Latin Region Typifies Potential

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Contributors: Alfredo Guzman

As we enter the last quarter of this calendar year – one that saw the world economy shaken, global health challenged by a new flu strain and of oil and gas prices back at levels no one thought they would ever return to – we can be grateful that our Association is healthy and in good standing.

Under the leadership of President John Lorenz, AAPG membership has not only NOT diminished, but is increasing, albeit modestly. Most AAPG programs are growing, attendance at Section meetings has been good (thanks to strong technical programs) and AAPG’s international presence has continued to expand.

Of the six Regions in which AAPG is organized internationally (Asia Pacific, Africa, Canada, Europe, Middle East and Latin America), the latter one has been the one getting off the ground slower – but there are strong signals that this is turning around.

An excellent indicator of AAPG’s important presence in the international arena in general and in Latin America in particular is this month’s International Conference and Exhibition being held in Río de Janeiro (see related story ).

One of the world’s most beautiful cities, Rio is destined to become the oil and gas capital of Latin America due to the exploration and development activity in the deep waters of Brazil’s offshore basins. These exploration efforts were recently crowned with the discovery of supergiant accumulations in the subsalt play of Brazil’s Atlantic coast.

Driving the advancement of AAPG’s Latin America Region is Colombia, which under the leadership of some of the world´s top explorationists has recently had several exploratory successes, proving that an environment friendly to industry is the best incentive to attract investment and strong companies.

Here, AAPG’s publications, training and educational programs, conferences, Distinguished Lecturers and networking are providing just what industry needs in order to continue its accomplishments in that Sub Andean nation.

Also, there is Argentina, with an important remnant potential in its traditional basins and with investment shares of part of the Atlantic basin, where it might someday soon make some interesting finds. And to the north of Argentina is Uruguay, which just had a successful round for exploration bids in its deep offshore.

In the rest of the Region:

  • Venezuela continues to be a world-class producer, having in its best interest to continue benefiting from AAPG services for its geosciences professionals.
  • Trinidad and Tobago has a thriving industry, also driven by an industry-friendly environment led by a very active, energetic and professional group of geologists who are very involved in AAPG activities.
  • The rest of the south cone countries have basins either producing or with potential, such as Ecuador, Bolivia, Perú and even Guatemala and Belize, where there are good indications of having reserves in their carbonate rocks. These countries also are becoming more and more interested in what AAPG can offer them.

This recent burst of industry activity needs the active participation of large numbers of geoscientists who are requiring professional services that AAPG is well positioned to provide.

The organization in AAPG’s Latin American Region also is gaining strength as elections are in process to fill the posts of Region president, president-elect, vice president, secretary/treasurer, with 10 candidates representing six countries vying for these positions. And through this leadership AAPG will provide services to a wide span of professionals working in Latin America, from those employed by the operators, be they majors or independents, NOCs, service companies and even to the national hydrocarbon agencies, where many of the policies ruling the local industries are established.

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