The Canada Region continues to focus on membership and technology through building relationships with students, universities, young professionals, and affiliated societies. We are doing this by encouraging participation in the Imperial Barrel Award (IBA) and AAPG Foundation Grants-in-Aid programs, running Local Student Chapter Leadership Summits (L-SCLS), and offering state-of-the-art Geosciences Technology Workshops (GTWs) in various locations across Canada. Canadian success at previous IBAs has been a springboard to increasing university participation in our local competition held in Calgary. We are also sending invitation letters to universities asking faculty to encourage students to apply for grants-in-aid.
Canada Region L-SCLS Program
The first Canada Region L-SCLS was held at the University of Western Ontario on November 25-27, 2011. This event could be the model for additional conferences aimed at encouraging students to participate in the AAPG through information exchange about petroleum geology, about the AAPG organization, and how students and student chapters can benefit from association with the AAPG. It was organized by the University of Western Ontario AAPG Student Chapter under the direction of Meriem Grifi with coordination from Kay Pitts. Support came from several sources, including AAPG, Canada Region, CSPG, Petrolia Pioneers Society, CSEG, and Ontario Petroleum Institute. Eight students from seven different Ontario universities participated. Activities included presentations by professors Dr. Guy Plint and Dr. Burns Cheadle of UWO, a local field trip, and a workshop on organizing student chapters.
Having run a very successful GTW in June, the Canada Region is on track to host two workshops in 2012. Preliminary planning for a fall conference in Halifax on microbial carbonates is under way while the second conference is being planned for central Canada.
THERE ARE PIPELINES, AND THEN THERE ARE PIPELINES
It seems that news about building pipelines may have even eclipsed the discussion of multi-stage hydraulic fracturing of horizontal wells. Although major news headlines have been made by the postponement of the approval to build the Keystone XL pipeline that is intended to transport Canadian synthetic crude and diluted bitumen to US markets, a second major pipeline proposal in Canada is beginning to garner its share of attention. The $5.5 billion (C), 525,000 barrels per day, 1,177 kilometer Northern Gateway oil pipeline proposed by Enbridge Inc. is running into significant opposition from various stakeholders. This pipeline is intended to help de-bottleneck Canadian oil production by opening a second market to Southeast Asia and China–sending crude oil to British Columbia’s Kitimat Pacific port. First Nations and aboriginal groups are concerned about the potential consequences of an oil spill along the route through British Columbia’s mountainous interior and the Pacific coast. A significant group of First Nations have declared their intention of preventing the construction of this pipeline that could impact their lands. Regulatory hearings begin in January 2012 while negotiations with stakeholders continue.