Chair of the House of Delegates
As my chance to Chair the AAPG House of Delegates approaches, I am struck by the gravity of the current reality for AAPG:
- We are searching for a new Executive Director;
- We will soon have our new President, Paul Weimer, take office, along with his Executive Committee;
- The AAPG Strategic Plan is being updated;
- Energy issues are at the forefront of US national discussion but not necessarily being acted upon.
LPG tank mounted in the trunk of a South Korea taxi.
I just returned from a business visit to South Korea. My extremely favorable experience helped bring home how the world of energy and geosciences are in a dynamic period of change. In Seoul, the buses and taxis are all (near as I could tell) fueled with natural gas. Gasoline is about $8.00 per gallon equivalent but imports of expensive cars increased 13% last year. Electricity is primarily generated by imported LNG. The national government has set specific goals for production and reserves.
A quick check of the EIA (US Energy Information Administration) website confirmed my observations:
- is the fifth-largest net importer of oil in the world.
- relies on imports for all of its oil needs.
- is the second-largest importer of liquefied natural gas in the world behind Japan.
Essentially every oil company or investment house visited was interested in shale gas and shale oil, was staffed by young or very young professionals (women as well as men), several of whom had recently attended the AAPG ACE in Houston. Every company saw investment in the US as a positive opportunity. AAPG publications and “convention bags” from the ACE last month were visible in several offices.
One other clear pattern was the credibility to be had by being recognized as an AAPG member, AAPG official and as a Certified Petroleum Geologist. My membership pin with Trustee Associate “brass” was commented on several times!
My point is that this experience really impressed me with the close professional ties geoscientists share globally, the worldwide concern with energy security, some practical applications of the use of natural gas and the demographic change in our industry (which may be more visible outside the US than it is to us within the US).
It is indeed a time of change, but I believe the AAPG Strategic Plan, especially in its updated version, sets the compass for us to achieve our strategic goals.
My plan is to have the House of Delegates contribute more and more to that task. A picture of our taxi’s CNG tank is on its way to AAPG’s Washington office and a link to the AAPG Membership Application website has been forwarded to each company visited in South Korea.
Please join me in inviting every qualified geoscientist you meet to join AAPG and help them by sending a link!