Earlier this summer I traveled through Europe with then President-elect Lee Billingsley and European Region President John Brooks. We were taking a tour that started in Oslo, Norway, then headed to Moscow and ended in Vienna for the EAGE annual meeting.
♦ The first stop was an invitation from past-European Region president, Sigrunn M. Johnsen, for an excellent intersociety field trip on a boat to look at the geology along the fjords near Oslo. The field trip gave Lee, John and me a chance to talk to a number of members to discuss their needs and concerns.
♦ In Moscow we had a most excellent tour sponsored by TNK-BP with students from the Moscow University and Gubkin Russian State University of Oil and Gas. Everywhere we go the students are great! They are very open and interested in AAPG and the professional development and opportunities we offer.
The next day we met with a contingent of Russian scientists from Russian industry institutes and universities. We formally agreed to the first Russian translation of AAPG Memoir 86, Global Resource Estimates from Total Petroleum Systems, by Tom Ahlbrandt, et al. This translation is being sponsored by a generous company donation and will be distributed in Russia and surrounding countries.
President Billingsley also plans to form a “Translation Committee,” which will translate BULLETIN articles into Russian for posting on the AAPG Web site.
We also agreed to the basic concept of a petroleum geoscience conference in Tyumen, Russia, in the late spring or early summer of 2007. This is an exciting opportunity for geoscientists and engineers to come and hear about Russian oil and gas techniques and opportunities.
♦ In Vienna we enjoyed a very good EAGE conference and had several talks with SPE, SEG and EAGE officials and staffs concerning joint ventures and opportunities.
We also were asked to visit OPEC for a tour and to make presentations about AAPG programs. Lee and I both gave talks to OPEC officials and staff concerning AAPG activities. They were especially interested in AAPG’s digital geology products through Datapages and our new map search and delivery system – GIS-Upstream Digital Reference Library (GIS-UDRIL).
Our tour was a great opportunity to observe first-hand the activities of the European Region, which is gearing up to develop products and services and will be a model for other AAPG Regions.
For example, last spring the European Region held its first field conference in Mallorca. Now we are planning the first joint AAPG/AAPG European Region meeting in Athens in November 2007.
Athens is a great location and, as it is a crossroads, the technical program will include talks and posters from at least two other AAPG Regions – Middle East and Africa.
AAPG also opened its first non-U.S. satellite office this year in London. The focus of AAPG’s European office is to provide membership and educational services.
Steve Veal is the new director of the office and its contact information is: AAPG, Room G22, Royal School of Mines, Department of Earth Science & Engineering, South Kensington Campus, Imperial College, London, SW7 2AZ; email.
Finally, you may have noticed a new addition to AAPG staff –Carol McGowen as Regions and Sections manager. Her job is to improve communication and coordination among the Association, Sections, Regions and affiliated societies. In addition, she is charged with helping the Sections and Regions drive major programs, such as the AAPG European office in London.
Clearly, there is a lot going on in the European Region; our next step is to help energize the other Regions. In the end, developing membership worldwide is all about providing products and services.
Those efforts to date include:
- In the Middle East Region, AAPG was secretariat to the successful GEO conference in Bahrain. AAPG plans to hold several education events in the Middle East Region this year and is evaluating opening an office in Bahrain.
- In September, the Latin America Region was involved in the development of the IX Simposio Bolivariano Petroleum Exploration in Cartagena, Colombia on the Subandean Basins, sponsored by Colombian Association of Petroleum Geologists and Geophysicists.
- In the Africa Region, AAPG is endorsing thein Abuja, Nigeria. AAPG also endorsed the Geo-Asia meeting held in June in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and the India Association of Petroleum Geoscientists GOA, India, conference.
- Of course, AAPG is holding its first jointly with the Petroleum Exploration Society of Australia in Perth on Nov. 5-8. Already, this conference is drawing record registration for an AAPG international meeting.
This is an exciting time to be an AAPG member. Incidentally, we have just restructured our committees. If there is any area in which you would like to serve, please let us know. You can review opportunities online at www.aapg.org.