AAPG European Region President
I hope that those who attended the Annual Convention in New Orleans managed to travel back to Europe without too much delay. It took me six days to return, in which I savoured the sights and attractions of Fort Worth, Houston and Nice. The problem with volcanic eruptions and weather is that they are so unpredictable, despite what the “experts” might lead us to believe.
It’s election time! As I write my message the major political parties in the UK are trying to negotiate a deal whereby a coalition government might be formed, as no party won a majority in the general election which took place on 6th May. This type of situation is common in Europe where proportional representation is the predominant electoral system. In the UK however, where we have a “first past the post” electoral system, this situation has not arisen since 1974 and it is leading to a great deal of financial and political uncertainty, besides that of where the next cloud of volcanic ash is going to arrive!
Fortunately elections in the AAPG are simpler affairs and now is the time for Active members to exercise their democratic right and vote in three elections, namely for officers for the Executive Committee, for the Vice President of the European Council and for European representatives in the House of Delegates (the AAPG parliament). Details of all these elections have either already been sent or will shortly be sent to Active members.
The European Region is entitled to send 18 delegates and 5 alternates to the House of Delegates (HoD). 12 seats are currently vacant with 4 seats becoming vacant on 30th June, therefore we are looking to elect 16 delegates and a minimum of 5 alternates. It is extremely important to fill these vacant seats in order that the Region is properly represented in the HoD at a time when the AAPG is becoming a more international and culturally diverse organisation. I encourage as many Active members as possible to vote in these elections and also to consider putting their names forward as officer candidates.
Voting in AAPG elections brings to mind the current situation of our European Membership. In Europe we have approximately 3,300 members, which is about 10% of the AAPG worldwide total. Out of the European membership only one third are Active members and therefore eligible to vote. It is clear that a large proportion of Associate members are qualified to become Active and I encourage all who are qualified to transfer to Active status. By doing this you will have the opportunity of becoming more involved with the global development of your Association and have a greater say in how it is run.
Moving on from the exhortations, I have some good news. The Institute Francaise du Petrole (IFP) team won the global Imperial Barrel Award (IBA) at the Annual Convention in New Orleans in April. They beat teams from all US Sections and Regions to win the competition, following in the footsteps of the Moscow State University team who won last year. This is the third year that a team from Europe has won the IBA, which will significantly increase the pressure on the winning team from the European competition in 2011.
The Regional IBA Competition was held in Prague again this year, where teams represented 13 universities spread across Europe from Lisbon in the west to Tyumen in the east. Obviously IFP won the competition and second and third places went to Southampton and Nancy respectively. Incidentally, it was the first time a team from Nancy had taken part in the competition. I would like to thank Benoit Anquez from ExxonMobil, Mark Reeder from Nexen, Steve Toothill from CGGVeritas, Mario Mussini from Shell, Pat Whiteley from Sterling Resources and Anna Belan from Statoil for doing such an excellent job in judging the European competition. We really appreciate the time and effort the judges devoted to this most important activity. I would also like to thank all the sponsors of the Regional competition without whom we would not be able to hold the event: ExxonMobil, Total, Nexen, Sterling Resources, Concedo, Hess, Statoil, MOL, CGGVEritas and Serica.
Hopefully by the time the next Newsletter is published all the elections will been sorted out and the volcanic ash will be a distant memory.