As Pete Rose's monthly column indicates, I have just returned from accompanying him on a three-week tour of seven countries within the European Region. I was delighted when he asked me to facilitate this, as one of my goals is to visit every country within the region having oil and gas exploration and production, and /or Association members.
I need not reiterate Pete's account of our meetings, but the objectives of such visits are clear:
- To meet the members and key petroleum geologists and societies in each country.
- To engage with and foster students of geoscience, in order to explain and remind them of the value of AAPG membership and to show that the organization is flexible and willing enough to facilitate their involvement.
- (This means making it easier to join, NOT by lowering standards, but in part by setting fees at levels affordable in every country.)
- To stimulate regular activity in each country and to encourage joint meetings with adjacent states about more localized issues.
- To identify volunteers, students and members who are willing to be representatives of members in each university and country, and to act as activists for the Association in arranging meetings and conferences.
(Potential volunteers can respond to me via e-mail, at , especially those from Denmark, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Spain, Italy, Greece, Eire and the United Kingdom. Please, activists only!)
I am grateful to Walter Grün in Austria, Vlasta Dvorakova in Czech Republic and Alexander Kitchka in Ukraine for agreeing to seek out volunteers in their respective countries.
Pete has described our impressions of our visits and I will not repeat them, save to acknowledge my admiration and appreciation of the magnificent eight who organized each country visit: Sigrunn Johnsen, Norway; Istvan Berzci, Hungary; Ewa Zalewska, Poland; John Dolson, Russia; Alexander Kitchka and Pablo Zagorodnyuk, Ukraine; Vlasta Dvorakova, Czech Republic; and Wolfgang Nachtmann, Austria.
My first priority has been to those countries about which I had the least knowledge, but I have not forgotten the countries bordering the North Sea, Eire and the UK, nor those around the Mediterranean or bordering the Baltic Sea, with which I hope to establish contact during my term as European Region president.
The European Region plans to have meetings in London and Aberdeen this year, and will be present in Galveston, Texas, in February for the annual AAPG Leadership meeting.
Other specific plans include:
The region has organized a conference on Reserves and Reserves Reporting, set Feb. 15 in London, at the Energy Institute's IP Week. Pete Rose has agreed to speak about the new "reservoir evaluator" training, and we have a good line up of those involved in definitions (SPE, WPC, IASB and UNECE Expert Group) and accounting together with those undertaking reserves work.
APPEX London, set March 6-9, is largely organized by the Region, assisted copiously by Dana Patterson-Free of the AAPG staff. The country presentation program will again be arranged by IHS, which has sponsored APPEX London since its inception, and this year we shall continue with the successful Financial Forum, sponsored by ABN-AMRO. Booth uptake is promising, and we are looking to expand into a new venue for 2007.
If deals are your forte, do come along.
- The first conference to be held in the Region was in Prague in November 2004, and the Council is keen to build on this highly successful event. Hence, "Mallorca 2006," organized by the Region, will be held April 30-May 3 in Mallorca, an island just off Spain in the Mediterranean Sea.
The conference will be on the "Architecture of Carbonate Systems Through Time (Reference Models for the Mesozoic and Tertiary of Southern Europe, North Africa and Middle East)," and will include a field trip conducted by general chair Mateu Esteban and field trip chair Luis Pomar, world experts in the field of carbonates.
Organizers anticipate a large attendance, and space will be limited, so book early to avoid disappointment. The Web site at www.aapg.org, gives details. (Follow the International link to Mallorca 2006.)
- Work also has begun for a conference in 2007-08 on the Mediterranean basins. Again, the intention would be to link with Africa and Middle East regions. Sub-regional and local conferences also are being eyed to mobilize the eastern part of the continent with exciting topics like the future of the Black Sea province, and production case histories.
In the UK, as elsewhere in the region, there is considerable interest in ensuring that high school students receive the best advice about careers in the oil and gas industry, and on ensuring that young people (ages seven through 15) are given an early opportunity of taking an interest in earth science. These initiatives are supported in part by universities, learned societies, the World Petroleum Council, oil companies and trade organizations, but these are often disjointed and uncoordinated.
There is much AAPG can do to assist here, and much that we can learn from our U.S. colleagues in this domain.
Two important first steps might be to support schools with geoscience teaching materials and have established geoscientists visit schools to talk to classes, similar to the Visiting Geologists Program.