Big Crowds, Top Technical Program Stirs the ICE

By any matrix you can name, the recent AAPG International Conference and Exhibition in Singapore was a success – and in some cases, a success that surprised.

The most obvious surprise was the number of those attending the first-ever ICE held in Singapore: The final registration tally was 2,122, making it the fifth largest ICE in AAPG history.

That number included attendees from 62 countries – further evidence of AAPG’s growing global presence – with Asia/Pacific and European regions providing most of the participants. Twelve percent of the attendees were from the United States.

“We were all pleasantly surprised with the number of onsite registrations,” said ICE general chair Richard Lorentz. “Singapore being an island nation, with no significant oil and gas industry. We expected this number to be low – but in the end it was the onsite registration that tipped total registrants over 2,000. This was terrific.”

The meeting itself – including the special forums and overall quality of the technical session – was another success story for the organizing committee.

“We had very high expectations, but even with the bar set high we feel it (ICE) surpassed our expectations,” Lorentz said. “The terrific technical program and the wonderful venue proved to be a winning combination.”

Lorentz specifically recalled the special sessions that were dedicated to the late geologist Charles Hutchinson.

“The Hutchinson special forum was terrific,” Lorentz said, “and we were all surprised with the quality and amount of new research that was presented.

“The student events were all special,” he added, “and very well attended.”

There were several highlights that could be cited, including:

  • The opening session, emceed by Lorentz, introduced a taste of Singapore’s culture and industry (via a colorful “Dancing Lion” performance), and featured remarks from Lee Tzu Yang, chairman of the Shell Companies in Singapore, and AAPG President Ted Beaumont, who spoke about the industry’s challenges and potential for success with his talk, “The Unconventional Black Swan Event.”
  • The plenary session, moderated by Scott Tinker, on “The Unconventional Resources Energy Revolution – Is Asia Pacific Next?” drew a large number of participants for its entire presentation.
  • Ian Longley’s special lecture, “The Secrets of a Successful Geological Career in Modern Western Oil Companies,” drew a large number of participants and became the talk of the conference – it was informative, irreverent and totally entertaining.
  • The large and often dazzling exhibits hall boasted 91 exhibitors and 16 countries in the International Pavilion.

Even the judging of technical presentations brought some surprising success.

“We are particularly pleased with our new approach to judging and presentation of the best paper and poster awards on site,” Lorentz said. “Judge scoring, which is generally a thankless job, was done live and we were able to present the ‘best’ awards at the event during the closing sundowner.

“I have to say,” he added, “seeing the students accept their best paper award in front of their peers was terrific.”

The next ICE will be held Sept. 8-11 in Cartagena, Colombia.

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