At Long Last, IMAGE ’21 is Upon Us

The moment is almost here – the time for all applied geoscientists to converge on Denver for the inaugural International Meeting for Applied Geoscience and Energy. More about this great new event in a minute.

Yes, we’re still in the age of COVID and the delta variant is giving all of us pause as we consider how best to interact personally and professionally. But I’m pleased to share that I’m writing this column having just returned from my third in-person industry event in a four-week time period. First was the Unconventional Resources Technology Conference the last week in July, followed by the Offshore Technology Conference and NAPE Summit the third week in August.

The three events were modestly attended by historical standards – about 4,000 each at URTeC and NAPE and a reported 10,000 at OTC. But the folks that did attend shared a common experience – a sense of satisfaction about being back together in a familiar setting. Presentations were given, lunches were shared, business cards were exchanged and a few companies even hosted receptions for customers and friends.

Of course, reminders that something was different were everywhere: in the facemasks, in the sanitizer stations, in the no-contact pay stations and in the chairs marked “reserved for social distancing,” but the participants just got on with doing what we do. We just did it with greater care, and it worked.

Not everyone is comfortable attending a large event like IMAGE. That’s why you can watch the talks, connect with friends and talk with exhibitors online. But for those who are prepared and ready to see some friends and colleagues in-person, we really hope you’ll join us. IMAGE ’21 is worth showing up for.

What To Expect at IMAGE

IMAGE ’21 is a joint effort by the Society of Exploration Geophysicists and AAPG – it’s our new joint annual meeting, conducted in conjunction with SEPM, from Sept. 26 to Oct. 1 in Denver and online.

Please log in to read the full article

The moment is almost here – the time for all applied geoscientists to converge on Denver for the inaugural International Meeting for Applied Geoscience and Energy. More about this great new event in a minute.

Yes, we’re still in the age of COVID and the delta variant is giving all of us pause as we consider how best to interact personally and professionally. But I’m pleased to share that I’m writing this column having just returned from my third in-person industry event in a four-week time period. First was the Unconventional Resources Technology Conference the last week in July, followed by the Offshore Technology Conference and NAPE Summit the third week in August.

The three events were modestly attended by historical standards – about 4,000 each at URTeC and NAPE and a reported 10,000 at OTC. But the folks that did attend shared a common experience – a sense of satisfaction about being back together in a familiar setting. Presentations were given, lunches were shared, business cards were exchanged and a few companies even hosted receptions for customers and friends.

Of course, reminders that something was different were everywhere: in the facemasks, in the sanitizer stations, in the no-contact pay stations and in the chairs marked “reserved for social distancing,” but the participants just got on with doing what we do. We just did it with greater care, and it worked.

Not everyone is comfortable attending a large event like IMAGE. That’s why you can watch the talks, connect with friends and talk with exhibitors online. But for those who are prepared and ready to see some friends and colleagues in-person, we really hope you’ll join us. IMAGE ’21 is worth showing up for.

What To Expect at IMAGE

IMAGE ’21 is a joint effort by the Society of Exploration Geophysicists and AAPG – it’s our new joint annual meeting, conducted in conjunction with SEPM, from Sept. 26 to Oct. 1 in Denver and online.

If you’re an applied geoscientist – someone who uses geoscience to solve problems, such as finding and producing oil and natural gas – then this is the event you’ll want to attend. IMAGE ’21 combines all of the technical excellence and science of ACE and the SEG Annual Meeting along with a comprehensive technology showcase and exhibition, and the networking to strengthen our global community and help you make contacts to advance your own career.

AAPG past President Stephen Sonnenberg alongside SEG’s Julie Shemeta serve as the co-chairs for the event, ably assisted by AAPG vice chairs Catherine Campbell and President-Elect Steven Goolsby and SEG Vice Chair Sue Jackson in leading IMAGE ’21.

It was a major effort by these leaders and their organizing committees to integrate the existing ACE and SEG Annual Meeting programs, and they’re looking forward to unveiling the sessions for you.

On Sunday, Sept. 26, we’ll kick off IMAGE ’21 with an opening session chaired by Stephen Sonnenberg and Sue Jackson, who will orient you to the upcoming three days of programming. The session will also feature addresses by AAPG President Gretchen Gillis and SEG President Maurice Nessim, who will look to the future of geoscience and energy.

The future of exploration is how we’ll conclude the opening session, with Rice University professor Kirsten Siebach taking us to the Red Planet. “Exploring Mars with Curiosity and Perseverance” – the title of her talk – will showcase her experiences as a geologist for both the Curiosity and Perseverance Mars rover missions and how deepening our understanding of other planets can help us better understand our own.

Following the opening session head to the exhibit hall for the traditional Icebreaker Reception. Meet your friends and colleagues and visit with our exhibitors to learn about the latest technology and solutions to do your job better. It’s been a long time since we were together – don’t miss the Icebreaker.

On Monday morning we’ll kick off the IMAGE ’21 technical program with a keynote address by Pulitzer-prize winning author Daniel Yergin.

That will be followed by “The Future of Oil and Gas” plenary session moderated by Stephen Sonnenberg and featuring panelists:

  • William Raatz, worldwide chief geologist and Oxy fellow, Occidental Petroleum
  • Elizabeth Schwarze, VP global exploration, Chevron and chair of the AAPG Corporate Advisory Board
  • Robert Fryklund, chief strategist upstream, IHS Markit and vice chair of the AAPG Corporate Advisory Board
  • Hongbin Liu, executive VP, Sinopec, and
  • John Ardill, vice [resident – exploration and new ventures frontier, ExxonMobil Upstream Business Development.

The technical program of IMAGE ’21 features a host of special sessions and panels and more than 1,200 technical presentations – there is something for everyone at IMAGE ’21.

The Discovery Thinking Forum sessions are some of the most popular sessions at ACE and the 24th and 25th editions will be part of IMAGE ’21.

The first session will focus on the giant fields discovered between 2010 and 2020 (see related article here). It will be hosted by past President Charles Sternbach and AAPG Editor Bob Merrill, who will introduce the new memoir on these giant fields, and former VP-Regions John Dolson who will preview the accompanying Giant Fields Database. The session will continue with talks on the habitat of super-giant fields, the Liza Field in Guyana, the Zohr gas discovery in the Nile Delta and eastern Mediterranean, and the Buzios field in the Santos basin of Brazil.

The second session will feature a lookback on 25 iterations of Discovery Thinking forums, a review of adding new reserves and production in giant fields, discussion of two gas discoveries offshore Tanzania and several discoveries in Mexico’s Sureste basin, as well as “the seven habits of the effective petroleum systems analyst.”

The AAPG Foundation is proud to host the Michel T. Halbouty Lecture at IMAGE ’21. Charles Sternbach will present a lecture entitled “Super Basin Thinking: Methods to Explore and Revitalize the World’s Greatest Petroleum Basins.” The world is not running out of hydrocarbons and the new concepts, techniques and methodologies developed in super basins can be applied globally to develop and deliver the energy the world needs, and in a manner which benefits mankind and the planet.

COVID Precautions

Before I go, I want to talk a bit about safety.

As was the case at our URTeC, OTC and NAPE events, our priority is the health and well-being of our members, customers, and staff. Our plan is to comply with all city, state and federal laws and follow the guidance of health authorities.

Denver and the Colorado Convention Center are open for business and eager to welcome our community of geoscientists. We will adjust our protocols as new information becomes available, but while attending IMAGE ’21 you can expect:

  • The use of face masks while attending events in the Colorado Convention Center and area hotels to be strongly encouraged for all attendees, whether vaccinated or not. (Masks will be available at registration at no cost.)
  • All participants to be asked to use social distancing and maintain recommended distances when interacting with others; the seating in session rooms will be spaced accordingly.
  • Hand sanitizer stations to be located throughout the facility.
  • Surfaces will be frequently cleaned using products approved by the CDC.
  • Medical services to be available for any visitors feeling poorly or needing medical attention.

The moment is almost here. Whether you’re ready to attend IMAGE ’21 in-person in Denver or plan to stay home, please register and participate in the meeting. The committees have done a fantastic job, our peers are ready to share their knowledge and experiences, and AAPG and SEG have invested heavily in the technology and resources so you can participate from anywhere with an internet connection. We need and thank you in advance for your support.

I hope to see you in Denver.