While traveling to various events this summer, I have heard comments that members are glad to see some of the Executive Committee at these events, but wonder why more of the Executive Committee are not present. In years past, the Executive Committee would attend most of the sectional meetings along with the International Conference and Exhibition and Annual Convention and Exhibition.
With eight members serving on the Executive Committee, travel expenses were significant. When the previous Executive Committees looked at how to cut expenses, travel was an obvious choice. Over the last three years, we have cut down on the face-to-face meetings for the Executive Committee, opting instead for more conference calls. This year we will only have four face-to-face meetings, most in conjunction with an existing meeting that the majority of the Executive Committee would already be attending. We are making sure that the Executive Committee has representation at all AAPG and affiliate events to listen to the concerns of our members. These changes have significantly decreased the cost for travel incurred by the Executive Committee. For my part, most all of my travel costs as president are being paid for by my company, Beryl Oil and Gas, LP.
ICE and NAPE
It has been a busy month since the last President’s Column. At the end of August, I attended Summer NAPE, hosted by AAPG, the American Association of Professional Landmen and the Society of Exploration Geophysicists. The attendance was on par for a Summer NAPE held in Houston. Prior to the opening of the floor for the prospect expo on Thursday, there was a very good conference for the attendees.
The week following NAPE, AAPG held the 2019 ICE in Buenos Aires, Argentina. I want to congratulate Carlos Colo, general chair, and Victor Vega, vice chair, along with the entire ICE Committee on an excellent job. Several papers were presented on the potential and the drilling that is occurring in the Latin American and Caribbean Region. One area that got a lot of attention was the Neuquén Basin and the Vaca Muerta formation. The Vaca Muerta consists of black shale marls and lime mudstones that are Late Jurassic to Early Cretaceous in age. As with the shale plays in the Permian Basin, the Neuquén Basin has been producing since the early 1900s from formations that have been sourced by the Vaca Muerta. The first horizontal well was drilled and completed in the Neuquén Basin in 2011. Development has been slow but is picking up steam.
It was interesting to hear the talks on the Vaca Muerta drilling as it reminded me of the early development of the Permian Basin. I found it very interesting that we have the Bone Spring Formation that has the type location in Bone Canyon, N.M. that they have the Vaca Muerta, which translates to “dead cow.” Could there be a correlation with dead animals to the next big play?
I would be remiss if I did not recognize the outstanding job being done by the leadership of The Latin American and Caribbean Region. President Elvira Pureza Gómez leads an outstanding group that has been very engaged in planning and executing several great events in the region. Also, I want to thank the AAPG staff in the region, Emily Smith Llinás and Diana Ruiz Vásquez, for their hard work and dedication to AAPG, and my personal thanks for helping me with my scheduling so I was where I need to be at all times.
The next event was the Student Expo held the first week of September with approximately 250 students from universities across the United States in attendance. AAPG thanks the sponsoring companies, Chevron, Beryl Oil and Gas, BP Americas, Hess, ExxonMobil and SEG, for their support of this event. There were ten companies that conducted interviews, and I want to personally thank these companies: Southwestern Energy, Occidental Petroleum, BOEM, Noble Energy, BP Americas, ExxonMobil, Hess, Chesapeake Energy, ConocoPhillips and Chevron. Without them, we could have not had a successful Student Expo.
The Student Expo Committee under Chairman Sushanta Bose did a great job. They put together some great short courses, field trips and workshops to further help the students. Susan Cunningham, a Distinguished Lecturer for AAPG and an adviser for Darcy Petroleum, gave a talk on “What It Takes to be Successful in Exploration” for the students. The students presented several posters that were judged, and I had the pleasure of having lunch with the winners. Once again, the staff at AAPG did a great job, and I thank Heather Hodges and Susie Nolen for their hard work to make this event a success. One personal highlight was interacting with students from my alma mater, Missouri S&T.
As I stated in last month’s column, we have several sectional meetings in the fall. I have just returned from Cheyenne, Wyo. where the Rocky Mountain Section meeting was held. General Chair Marron Bingle-Davis did a great job with organizing the convention. They had a great turnout, and the program was excellent. The committee put together several field trips and short courses leading up to and after the conference. I attended the Rocky Mountain Section Business Meeting along with Section Vice President Jeff Aldrich and we got great feedback from the group. My complements to Lyn George, president of the Rocky Mountain Section, on a very well-run meeting. I attended the awards ceremony on Monday night and had the pleasure of getting a picture with the awardees. These are some of the people that make AAPG such a great organization.
In closing, I am looking forward to seeing several of you over the next month at sectional meetings across the United States. Remember, if you have not filled out the poll on the climate statement, please do so. The Executive Committee cannot make informed decisions without feedback from the members.
Throughout my life I have had little quotes or lines from songs that cause me to reflect on the situation at hand and give me a feeling of hope. Sayings like “If it’s going to be, it is up to me.” Think about this: a diamond is just a lump of coal that handled pressure, temperature and stress exceptionally well. Make your life a diamond.