Mancini named Powers medalist

AAPG Announces the Year’s Best of the Best

Ernest A. Mancini, internationally renowned educator and a leading researcher in stratigraphy and petroleum geology of the Gulf of Mexico, both onshore and offshore, has been named the 2014 recipient of the Sidney Powers Memorial Award – AAPG’s highest honor.

Mancini is a professor emeritus and a retired distinguished research professor at the University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa.

Joining Mancini at the top of this year’s AAPG awardees list is past AAPG president Peter R. Rose, retired founder and president of Rose & Associates, Austin, Texas, who has been named recipient of the Michel T. Halbouty Outstanding Leadership Award.

Mancini and Rose lead the list, but they are just two of the 47 award winners who have been announced by AAPG and who will be recognized at the opening session of the 2014 AAPG Annual Convention and Exhibition, set April 6-9 in Houston.

AAPG awards, approved by the Executive Committee, are presented annually to recognize individuals for service to the profession, the science, the Association and the public.

Mancini, when he receives his award in Houston, will become the 67th Powers medalist in AAPG history, first awarded in 1945 to legendary geologist Wallace E. Pratt.

The Powers Award is given annually in recognition of distinguished and outstanding contributions to, or achievements in, petroleum geology.

Sidney Powers himself was a founding member and 14th president of the Association. He died in 1932 at the age of 42. Frank R. Clark, in his memorial to Sidney Powers said, “Sidney Powers will be known by future generations for his able contributions to pure and applied geology, but, important as are his scientific achievements, his character was greater, because it typified service to others.”

Mancini began his career with Cities Service Co. as an exploration geologist in 1974. Two years later he became assistant professor in the department of geological sciences at the University of Alabama (UA).

He was appointed state geologist and director for the Geological Survey of Alabama, and oil and gas supervisor and director for the State of Alabama Oil and Gas Board in 1982, where he served simultaneously until 1996.

Mancini founded the UA’s Center for Sedimentary Basin Studies, an interdisciplinary geoscience research center, in 1998 and served as interim chair of the Department of Geological Sciences.

Mancini is the recipient of several AAPG awards including the A.I. Levorsen Award in 1980 and the Distinguished Educator Award 2000. He also served as AAPG elected editor in 2004-07.

He was appointed Distinguished Research Professor of the University of Alabama in 2005, was named the Blackmon-Moody Outstanding Professor in 2007, and he received the Burnum Distinguished Professor Award and became professor emeritus in 2010.

Rose, who is the eighth recipient of the Halbouty Outstanding Leadership Award, given in recognition of outstanding and exceptional leadership in the petroleum geosciences, received AAPG Honorary membership in 2002.

His book “Risk Analysis and Management of Petroleum Exploration Ventures” has been widely referenced by the industry since 2001. He was columnist of the AAPG EXPLORER “Business Side of Geology,” 2001-03, and served on the AAPG Executive Committee as president-elect/president from 2004-06.

Interviews with both Mancini and Rose will be published in a future EXPLORER. Biographies and citations of all award winners will be included in a future BULLETIN.

Award winners announced by AAPG and who will be honored along with Mancini and Rose in Houston are:

Honorary Member Award

Presented to members who have distinguished themselves by their accomplishments and through their service to the profession of petroleum geology and to AAPG.

  • John M. Armentrout, Cascade Stratigraphic Inc., Damascus, Ore.
  • István Bérczi, MOL Group, Budapest, Hungary.
  • Donald D. Clarke, consultant, Lakewood, Calif.
  • Martin D. Hewitt, Calgary, Canada.
  • James S. McGhay, Mid-Con Energy, Tulsa.
Norman H. Foster Outstanding Explorer Award

Presented to members in recognition of distinguished and outstanding achievement in exploration for petroleum or mineral resources, with an intended emphasis on recent discovery.

  • Orion Lea Skinner, Whiting Petroleum, Parker, Colo.

Skinner was responsible for Whiting’s Pronghorn Field discovery and his contributions to Bakken exploration in Stark County, N.D.

Robert R. Berg Outstanding Research Award

AAPG’s newest award, presented to honor a singular achievement in petroleum geoscience research.

  • Kevin M. Bohacs, ExxonMobil Upstream Research Co., Houston.
  • Robert G. Loucks, Bureau of Economic Geology, Austin, Texas.
Distinguished Service Award

Presented to those who have distinguished themselves in singular and beneficial long-term service to AAPG.

This year there are nine recipients of the honor:

  • Hussain M. Al-Otaibi, Saudi Aramco, Dhahran, Saudi Arabia.
  • Donna S. Anderson, EOG Resources Inc., Golden, Colo.
  • William P. Bosworth, Apache Egypt Companies, Houston.
  • Peter Burri, Burri Oil and Gas Consulting, Basel, Switzerland.
  • Michael R. Canich Jr., Sylvan Energy, Pittsburgh.
  • David R. Cook, retired, Maldon, England.
  • Mark Cooper, Sherwood Geoconsulting, Calgary, Canada.
  • Bret J. Fossum, ConocoPhillips, Houston.
  • Steven M. Goolsby, Goolsby Brothers & Associates, Lakewood, Colo.
Grover E. Murray Distinguished Educator Award

Presented for distinguished and outstanding contributions to geological education, both at the university level and toward education of the general public.

  • Joseph A. Cartwright, University of Oxford, Oxford, England.
  • Gregor P. Eberli, University of Miami, Miami, Fla.
  • Charles Kerans, University of Texas at Austin.
  • Donald R. Lowe, Stanford University, Stanford, Cali.
Public Service Award

Presented to recognize contributions of AAPG members to public affairs – and intended to encourage such activities.

  • John B. Curtis, Colorado School of Mines, Golden, Colo.

Curtis is being honored for his extensive work in educating government officials and the public on matters involving the energy industry.

Pioneer Award

Presented to long-standing members who have contributed to the Association and who have made meaningful contributions to the science of geology.

This year there are two winners of the award:

  • Vincent Matthews III, Leadville Geology, Leadville, Colo.
  • Thomas L. Thompson, Geo Thompson Discovery Inc., Boulder, Colo.
Wallace E. Pratt Memorial Award

Presented to honor and reward the author(s) of the best AAPG BULLETIN article published each calendar year.

  • Sonja Spasojevic and Michael Gurnis, for “Sea Level and Vertical Motion of Continents from Dynamic Earth Model Since the Late Cretaceous,” which appeared in the November 2012 BULLETIN.

Spasojevic is with BP, Houston, and Gurnis is with the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, Calif.

Robert H. Dott Sr. Memorial Award

Presented to honor and reward the author/editor of the best special publication dealing with geology published by the Association.

  • John A. Breyer for Memoir 97 “Shale Reservoirs: Giant Resources for the 21st Century.”

Breyer is with Marathon Oil, Houston.

J.C. “Cam” Sproule Memorial Award

Presented to recognize and reward younger authors of papers applicable to petroleum geology.

  • Joseph M. English, for the paper “Thermomechanical Origin of Regional Fracture Systems.”

English is with Petroceltic International, Dublin, Ireland.

John W. Shelton Search and Discovery Award

Presented in recognition of the best contribution to the “Search and Discovery” website in the past year.

  • Neil K. Basu, Gervasio J. Barzola, Hector Bello, Paul R. Clarke and Oswaldo E. Viloria for the paper “Integrated Eagle Ford Reservoir Characterization – Which Data is Critical to Collect and Best Describes Well Performance?”

All are with Pioneer Natural Resources, Irving, Texas.

George C. Matson Award

Presented to honor and reward the best oral presentation at the 2013 AAPG Annual Convention and Exhibition in Pittsburgh, Pa.

  • Stephen G. Holtkamp, for the paper “A More Complete Catalog of the 2011 Youngstown, Ohio, Earthquake Sequence From Template Matching Reveals a Strong Correlation to Pumping at a Wastewater Injection Well.”

Holtkamp’s co-authors are Brian Currie and Michael R. Brudzinski. All are with Miami University, Oxford, Ohio.

(A story on Holtkamp’s work appeared in the September 2013 EXPLORER .)

Jules Braunstein Memorial Award

Presented to honor and reward the best poster presentation at the 2013 AAPG Annual Convention and Exhibition in Pittsburgh, Pa.

  • Satinder Chopra and Ritesh Kumar Sharma, for the poster “New Seismic Attribute for Determination of Lithology and Brittleness.”

Both Chopra and Sharma are with Arcis Seismic Solutions, Calgary, Canada. Chopra also is the current editor of the EXPLORER’s popular Geophysical Corner column.

Gabriel Dengo Memorial Award

Presented to honor and reward the best oral presentation at the 2013 AAPG International Conference and Exhibition in Cartagena, Colombia.

  • Irene Arango, with Chevron, Houston, for the paper “Evaluating Hydrocarbon Expulsion Efficiency from Shale Reservoirs.”
Ziad Beydoun Memorial Award

Presented to honor and reward the best poster presentation at the 2013 AAPG International Conference and Exhibition in Cartagena, Colombia.

  • Jaime Castillo, Victor Castro, Alfredo Ramirez, Carlos Mora, Paola Blanco and Claudia Ceballos, for the poster “Cupiagua Sur XN1Z – Drilling Experience: Response and Uncertainty Management for Unexpected Overburden Sections.”

All of the co-authors are with Equion Energia, Bogota, Colombia.

Geosciences in the Media Award

Presented for notable journalistic achievement in any medium, which contributes to public understanding of geology, energy resources or the technology of oil and gas exploration. This year there are two awards being presented – one to the author and on-air host of a popular television series, the second to a project/film that enjoyed a major U.S. theatrical release in 2013 and has been seen by millions of people around the world.

  • Scott D. Sampson, author of “Dinosaur Odyssey: Fossil Threads in the Web of Life,” and consultant/on-air host of the Discovery Channel series “Dinosaur Planet.”
  • The “Switch” Energy Project, a documentary film and media outreach initiative that takes a look into the world’s energy future. The Project includes an ongoing website, Facebook page, social media and the Switch Energy Lab.

Accepting the award will be past AAPG president Scott Tinker, who served as the film’s co-producer and narrator, and Switch director and co-producer Harry Lynch.

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