Here I am on my way home from Singapore, where I attended this year’s AAPG International Conference and Exhibition. Sitting on board a new Emirates A380, I am still trying to sort out my recent feelings about this amazing city. In many regards, it is a different and so organized place compared to our, at times, chaotic European cities. I am sure I am not alone with feelings, including praise for the great conference program that addressed the world’s rapidly changing and intensifying demands for energy. Asia-Pacific Resources: Fueling the Future was the theme of the conference at the Marina Bay Sands Expo and Convention Center in Singapore with over 2000 attendees from all around the world. The whole energy balance of the world has changed and the ICE program and talks reflected this fact fully.
We are already three months into the new AAPG fiscal year. The ritual changing of the guard of AAPG leadership on July 1 means it is time to thank the European Council members, subcommittees and our London office staff.
Our new fiscal year started with new members being elected. This time voting was taking place for Secretary and Advisory Council member representation for the European Region.
There were a number of achievements and overall growth of AAPG’s presence in Europe during the past fiscal year and many we will continue with this year as well. With the help of our professional staff in the European office in London, I am optimistic that the region is looking at a decent measure of follow-up success as far as educational programs and other activities are concerned.
The key issues that we face are:
- Promotion of Active membership
- Managing transition from Student to Professional membership
- Broadcasting products and services
- Provision of services/support to Student Chapters and YPs
- Identifying European lecturers and visiting geoscientists
The European Region Council is very much aware that the future of the geoscience community is dependent on the students and young professionals; therefore, a formal subcommittee of young professionals was formed. The subcommittee is in charge of all students and young professional activities. The Imperial Barrel Award has its own subcommittee.
Twenty university teams from across Europe gathered at the Albion Hotel in Prague on 15th – 17th March 2012 for the European Region IBA Competition. The Region played host to nearly 150 students, faculty staff and industry representatives. We were honored by the presence of David Curtiss, AAPG Executive Director, who was on his way home to Tulsa after accompanying AAPG President, Paul Weimer, on a visit to Moscow. We are looking forward to host at least the same number of teams coming to compete in Prague during early spring 2013. There are challenges, but as always, we try to meet them!
The Region is providing financial support to various Student Chapters so they can organize field trips, lectures, and other events. We have also been trying to promote the creation of more Young Professional Chapters linked to our Student Chapters, to manage the transition between university and professional life.
As of June 30, 2012, membership in the Region is over 3600, slightly up on 2010-2011 and about 10 percent of the total AAPG membership. We currently have 37 active Student Chapters and three Young Professional Chapters.
This year on 10-12 August in Tulsa, Oklahoma, the focus of Leadership Days was “Reassessing the Science” with sessions on fostering scientific breakthrough, pore systems in fine-grained rocks, economics of resource plays and delineating prospects using seismic attributes. There is always a challenge to bring all of the professionals, students, young professionals and staff together for a weekend and find a suitable forum and theme to discuss AAPG matters.
One of our goals is to increase AAPG’s visibility among others through the educational activity in Europe with a special focus on students and young professionals. The success of the Aberdeen and Lisbon Education Weeks led us to move forward with this initiative and organize a 5-day course in Budapest from 27 to 31 August 2012. The theme of the Budapest Education Week (BEW) was “Integrated G&G Studies in Prospect Evaluation”.
We offered courses by world-class lecturers in workshop format including exercises. The goal was to deliver practical knowledge and an integrative approach that can be applied throughout the entire exploration workflow. The relevance and timeliness of this concept was shown by the huge interest across the region. The event was sold out within three weeks in the middle of the summer holiday season with a high number of potential participants on the waiting list. We ended up with 48 participants; the majority of the registrants were young professionals. In addition, PhD. and MSc. students also attended the course. BEW included a field trip. Because of this success we are looking to come back next year.
After 11 successful years, the AAPG European Region was thrilled to announce a new Regional APPEX event specifically focusing on Eastern Europe, the Black Sea and Caspian, Southern Russia, Central Asian States and the East Mediterranean in Istanbul, November 8-9, 2012. There were many reasons to attend if you wanted to discuss the regional challenges for Turkey in the global gas market, to hear about the rise of unconventionals in Eastern Europe or understand the challenges to opening the East Mediterranean frontier. You could evaluate opportunities for exploration in northern Iraq and analyze the latest hot spots for exploration in the Caspian Sea and finally network with prospective clients and our expert speaker line-up.
When you read my report, I will be heading to Baku to open and attend the International Conference & Exhibition “Integrated Approach for Unlocking Hydrocarbon Resources”. It is the first year that geologists and geophysicists have organized a joint conference in Baku. The conference aim is to create a platform for geoscientists from different countries to meet, review latest technological advances and share experiences. The technical program of the conference will include all significant areas of oil and gas exploration and production, tectonics, sedimentology, geophysical and well-log data interpretation and regional geology. Azerbaijan Society of Petroleum Geologists (ASPG) and Azerbaijan National Committee of Geophysicists (ANCG), AAPG Europe, SEG, EAGE Local Chapter and AIS are the co-organizers of the conference. We hope to bring this part of Europe on our map of activities and support the local members and their professional work and business. The history of the oil industry of Azerbaijan dates back to the ancient period and, personally, I am looking forward to seeing our progress and what the “Black Gold Capital” looks like today.
Next time, I will tell you more about our future activities, including our plans for Student Chapter Leadership Days in July 2013 in Beauvais, France, and ICE 2014 which comes back to Europe again. The European Region will host ICE in Istanbul, the place where Europe meets Asia, the bridge between the cultures but definitely the place with amazing geology to look at, study, and enjoy!