Hello DPA and AAPG members. This year’s Division of Professionals Affairs theme of “Renew and Engage” continues as we kick off the second quarter of 2023.
I’ll start this column first by emphasizing the DPA’s mission: to promote professionalism and ethical standards; and provide a means for professional certification of petroleum geologists, coal geologists and petroleum geophysicists. Our community of DPA members commits to standards of competence, upholds the AAPG Code of Ethics and brings forward opportunities to continue our passion for lifelong learning and growth in professionalism.
With that, I’d ask you to join me in welcoming our newest and re-instated certified members: geologists: David Bocanegra, Nathan Kuhle, Mark McCaffrey and Steven Veal, and geophysicist Emovigho Omonigho.
Eligibility for Certification
The certification process was updated earlier this year and the new system makes it easier to apply, review, reinstate and approve members. To be eligible for certification, one must be an active AAPG member in good standing; hold a geoscience degree from a recognized institution; attained eight years of work experience, which can include credit for advanced degree programs (master’s counts as one year; a doctorate for two years). Additionally, AAPG members who would like to join but do not yet meet the work experience criteria can join as a provisional DPA member at a reduced cost.
Orphan Wells Conference Recap
DPA and the AAPG Division of Environmental Geosciences sponsored the highly popular and sold-out conference, “Orphan, Idle and Leaking Wells: Best Practices, Data Access, Funding Sources, and Business Opportunities,” which took place in February in Oklahoma City. Motivated by $4.7 billion of new funding to clean up orphan wells and following up on the earlier webinars, AAPG partnered with multiple agencies and societies to launch the conference. The event featured a keynote address, eight focused technical sessions and a panel discussion. The core technical committee consisted of an interdisciplinary team representing industry, academia and the U.S. Department of Energy.
Sponsors and exhibitors were eager to share their success stories in finding and plugging orphan wells and to detail the new technological advances in locating “lost” wells, including innovations in technologies and materials to effectively plug the leaky orphan wells, repurpose them for revitalized production or convert them to geothermal or energy storage.
Multiple follow-up activities have been held or are planned, including a webinar that occurred at the end of March, “Recent Developments in Plugging Orphan Wells and Establishing Methane Monitoring and Measurement.”
Additionally, special sessions are planned for both the Unconventional Resources Technology Conference in Denver, June 13-15, and the International Meeting for Applied Geoscience and Energy 2023 in Houston, Aug. 28-Sept. 1. Lastly, repositories with unique archives of historical information such as the Mid-Continent Geological Log Library and others are exploring ways to make their information available for orphan wells initiatives.
DPA Events at IMAGE’23
Planning for the AAPG/SEG IMAGE’23 conference is underway. I am excited for the program that is coming together, including a plan to return our annual leadership meeting to the convention. Note that the meeting begins on a Monday, rather than Sunday, hence events that are usually on the Tuesday of the conference (such as the DPA luncheon) will be scheduled for the following day this year. Dates for the following are pending, to be confirmed in IMAGE’23 announcements:
- DPA luncheon: title and speaker pending, planned for Wed. Aug. 30
- DPA-sponsored panel, “Revitalizing the Energy Workforce post-Pandemic”
- DPA-sponsored short courses on ethics, orphaned wells
- DPA leadership meeting: likely Monday morning
More details will be shared soon – keep an eye on the meeting announcements. I will also communicate information to DPA members once our program is finalized.
I’m grateful for this opportunity to lead the Division of Professional Affairs and appreciate the chance to serve AAPG and its membership. As my term as DPA president comes to a close, I’d like to thank DPA’s leadership, and particularly the Executive Committee who have worked alongside me this year.
I look forward to supporting my successor, Bruce Falkenstein, and the whole of DPA during the next term, beginning in July. There is still much to do, and I endeavor to assist Bruce in continuing to Renew and Engage DPA to provide more value to our members. Please share your ideas, suggestions and feedback at [email protected].