New and Retiring Members:
A big thank you to all the current and past committee members for their interest and involvement - Sheilyn Williams-Stroud and Tony Kolodziej have joined the committee, while Steve Goolsby, Richard Larese, Robert Lindblom John Purves and James Schmoker have completed their terms.
Continuing an effort started last year, a poster stating the importance of core preservation, accessibility and utilization, and brochures on our committee have been displayed at each AAPG National and Section meeting. Thanks to Marvin Carlson for developing and distributing the publicity material and the Petroleum Technology Transfer Regional Lead Organizations for providing space.
Although visibility at the National and Section meetings has been successful for the committee, these are once-a-year opportunities. Our intent is to contact the societies affiliated with AAPG as another possible audience for our message. These groups usually meet monthly and are both a user and generator of core and sample data. Links with them will be important and each of our committee members may have some contacts. Let us know.
Efforts to schedule a core-poster session at the Houston National Convention were unsuccessful. However, we are having productive discussions with the technical program committee for the 2003 National convention in Salt Lake and expect to get a core-poster session scheduled for next year. We need suggestions from this committee on core-poster presentations/presenters that should be invited. Volunteers to co-chair the session are also invited.
Preliminary investigations for a fact sheet on the costs to dump core compared to giving it to a public repository showed that this committee probably could not boil the complex and confusing information down to one or two pages. One difficulty in assembling the information is that each state has different rules, or interpretation of the rules, regarding procedures for core disposal. Thus, in some circumstances, the core is regulated under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) and the cost of sampling, testing and certifying radioactivity and hazardous materials in the core may be very high. But in other circumstances, the cores are interpreted as unregulated trash and it only costs a trip to the dump or walking to the trash bin behind the building. It would be risky to make our committee the authority on the topic by publishing a white paper when there does not seem to be any consensus among managers of repositories. George Bush, director of the Texas Bureau of Economic Geology core repository has estimated that to comply with RCRA requirements in Texas, assuming 60,000 boxes for disposal would cost $266,995 or $ 4.45/box.
The other major aspect of disposal vs. donation cost analysis is the potential for taking a tax deduction for donating core. Whether a deduction is possible is subject the charitable status of the receiving repository, IRS case-by-case valuation of the core, and whether the cost of acquiring the core was previously deducted. To further complicate the situation, companies do not want to publicly discuss their tax treatment of core donation. Certainly, our committee is not qualified to become a tax advisor.
GeoTrek is now running off a new server that is expected to improve performance and reliability. Much additional data has been added to Geo Trek: 1) The USGS Core and Cuttings Library in Denver's Database; 2) Unocal's Onshore publicly accessible cores and cuttings; and 3) The Texas Railroad Commission Log Data. Chevron core data continues to be added. The metadata catalogue now contains information on 72% of all lower-48 cores. Future additions that are planned over the final 9 months of the Department of Energy contract include: Kansas core metadata and link to the Texas Bureau of Economic Geology live inventory control system that tracks ancillary data and provides real-time core location information. This committee will continue to track progress on Geo Trek and other data access efforts by AGI.
Sherilyn Williams-Stroud attended the final public meeting of the NRC, August 23 23, 2001 in Houston. Highlights of the fact-finding presentations to the NRC: A Texaco representative described the companies past unsuccessful attempts to find a public repository that could take their core. The Alberta, Canada, Core Research Centre, considered one of the premier repositories, is maintained primarily by fees on oil and gas production. BP-Amoco is reviewing opportunities and costs for third-party storage and public access to 900,000 boxes of core stored in Houston and Tulsa. The Department of Energy has low-quality core storage at several national labs. The New Mexico Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources built a new addition to their core repository with industry donations. The Committee visited the Texas Bureau of Economic Geology and C&M core storage facilities. Data formats vary: Industry has partly adopted the POSC standard, but academic and government research agencies have adopted the NSDI (National Spatial Data Infrastructure) format standards. These are not compatible.
The editor of the AAPG Explorer has expressed an interest in having an article suggested by this committee on core preservation “success stories”.
The annual meeting of this committee is planned for Tuesday afternoon, March 12, 2001, at the AAPG National Convention in Houston. We will meet with the AGI National Geoscience Data Repository System steering committee for a premier presentation on the results of the National Research Council study on preservation of geoscience data and collections. As you may remember, AAPG and the AAPG Foundation contributed to the study costs and have attended many of the NRC meetings (see meeting report, above). Please send suggestions for the meeting agenda to Edie.