’10 ICE the second largest

59 Countries Represented at Calgary

A technical program bolstered by a heavy emphasis on unconventional reserves and shale gas potential provided the setting for the second highest-attended International Conference and Exhibition in AAPG history.

The 2010 AAPG ICE, held in September at the Telus Convention Centre in downtown Calgary, Canada, had a total attendance of 2,281, putting it behind only the 2006 ICE meeting (2,626) in Perth, Australia, in terms of attendance.

Calgary had hosted three annual AAPG meetings, but this was the first time an ICE was held in Canada.

Convention officials agreed that it proved to be a winning locale.

“The program went very well,” said meeting general chair and AAPG Honorary member John Hogg. “We had a great technical program that brought people from around the world to Calgary, and we showcased Canadian and international resources and plays – a first for the ICE.”

Confirming the meeting’s international flavor was the fact that participants came from 59 countries, the top five being:

  • Canada – 1,230 attendees.
  • United States – 569.
  • United Kingdom – 73.
  • Brazil – 24.
  • Norway – 22.

“I think the biggest surprise about the meeting was how well everything went,” Hogg said. “Other than overcrowding in a couple of rooms the conference went without a hitch.”

The “overcrowding” problems were perhaps due to, paradoxically, the meeting’s successful and compelling technical program. Several talks – especially those dealing with unconventionals and shale plays – had overflow crowds as attendees tried to jam into rooms to hear the latest on the industry’s hottest topics.

Closed-circuit monitors were set up outside those rooms to accommodate the crowds – and those areas were often crowded, too.

“I think people will remember the Calgary meeting as a good time with a strong technical program, a wealth of field trips, short courses and, of course, the (post-meeting) core conference,” he said.

The meeting officially started with an opening session that featured a provocative talk by AAPG President Dave Rensink, who asked attendees to try to imagine what the Association would be like in 2030.

Rensink’s thoughts on AAPG’s “possible reality” included:

  • Over 50 percent of the membership will be non-U.S.
  • AAPG publications will be digital.
  • The average age will be lower than it is now.
  • As Regions develop their own annual conferences, the need for ICE will disappear, as the Annual Convention and Exhibition will become international events.
  • China will be AAPG’s seventh Region.

(More of Rensink’s thoughts on this – much of which was part of his Calgary speech – can be found in this month’s President’s Column on page 3.)

Other highlights included:

Capacity crowds for the special luncheons, including past AAPG president Scott Tinker’s talk at the Featured Speaker Luncheon on how technological advances will help fuel the future of unconventional gas resources.

Special lectures on the Burgess Shale and bitumen development in northeast Alberta.

A full-day emphasis on unconventionals, which attracted huge crowds to sessions, discussions and luncheons throughout the day.

The next ICE will be held Oct. 23-26 in Milan – AAPG’s first international meeting held in Italy.

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