Rocky Mountain Section
The Rocky Mountain Section (RMS) is thriving, with major industry activity in two shale oil plays:
- The Bakken in Montana and North Dakota continues with very high activity.
- The Niobrara Shale is heating up, with 30 operators active drilling and leasing, mostly in the DJ Basin, but notable activity is also seen in the Powder River Basin, Colorado North Park, and even the eastern Wind River Basin.
As a result, AAPG members are very busy. We have even seen this year the first commercial hydrocarbon production from the State of Idaho, with significant gas discoveries (by Bridge Resources) in the “Payette Basin” west of Boise. Exploration drilling continues in the Central Utah Thrust Belt play, with two discovered fields now producing.
The 2010 RMS meeting was held in Durango, CO in June, with attendance around 450, and an excellent technical program. This is the first time the Four Corners Geological Society has hosted this event, and they did an excellent job.
Plans are well underway for the 2011 RMS Meeting, to be held in June in Cheyenne, WY, hosted by the Wyoming Geological Association. With the aforementioned Niobrara activity very near to Cheyenne, this venue proves to be a great choice. Special technical sessions, field trips, and short courses are all in the works focusing on the Niobrara. Of course, the usual sessions on Rocky Mountain plays, structure and stratigraphy will also be part of the program. In addition, an EMD session will include coal, uranium, and geothermal, and a DPA Public session will be held. The Call For Papers has just gone out.
We are working on ramping up participation in the Young Professionals ranks, as well as expanding Student Chapters in the component Affiliated Societies within the Section. RMAG, and as always, continues to hold excellent and well attended special short courses, symposiums, and the annual Rocky Mountain Expo Prospect Fair and Technofest is coming up in November in Denver.