AAPG Petroleum Structure and Geomechanics Group Background
Since 1997 the petroleum structural geology and geomechanics community has met under the auspices of the AAPG Reservoir Deformation Research Group (RDRG), a technical interest group affiliated as a subcommittee with the AAPG Research Committee (RC). This group, led by Steve Laubach and me, is now seeking the status of AAPG Petroleum Structure and Geomechanics Division (PSGD) to formalize their discipline association. The goal in seeking division status is to provide this interest group with a formal technical affiliation that will attract participation from within and outside AAPG and retain the interest long-term. The anticipated benefits for AAPG include increasing the quantity and quality of specialty conferences, publications, and educational outreach for this discipline area, and providing greater discipline-specific assistance to local organizing groups.
Driven by keen interest in geomechanics and supported by an established foundation in structural geology and tectonics, the amalgamated discipline of geomechanics and petroleum structural geology is one of the fastest growing disciplines in petroleum geoscience. Evidence of the growing importance of this technical area includes the rapid growth of these technical teams within E&P companies, the increasing importance of deep and/or geomechanically complex targets (including unconventional and subsalt), and the proliferation of papers and specialty meetings on these topics. An important opportunity for the AAPG stems from the current situation wherein this technical interest group is neither well-represented by other professional societies nor by the AAPG. For technical affiliation, individuals from this discipline area must look outside of AAPG to groups including the Structure and Tectonics Division of GSA, the Tectonic Studies and the Petroleum groups of the Geological Society of London, the American Rock Mechanics Association, the American Geophysical Union, the Society of Petroleum Engineers, and a plethora of informal LinkedIn groups.
Current and recent activities:
- will be heading up this group’s input to the Houston 2014 ACE local organizing committee as a theme co-chair.
- David Ferrill is organizing a Special Bulletin Issue entitled “Faulting and Fracturing in Shale and Self-Sourced Reservoirs.”
- Bob Krantz and co-conveners are conducting the 2013 AAPG Hedberg Research Conference “3D Structural Geologic Interpretation: Earth, Mind, and Machine.”
- At the invitation of the GSA, I presented a keynote talk on “Petroleum Structure and Geomechanics – What it is and How the Industry/Academic Bond can be Strengthened.” This presentation was made to introduce the AAPG PSGD initiative to this predominantly academic audience.