The Division of Professional Affairs is involved in several high profile projects at this time -- and probably the most important one is the certification of petroleum reserves evaluators.
Dan Tearpock, who was asked to be a part of this committee by DPA President Mike Party, along with Ron Harrell and Richard Miller head up a committee of over 40 volunteers from just about every professional organization out there.
The purpose of this exploratory committee is to look into the establishment of better practices and provide a standardization in the evaluation of petroleum reserves, which comes on the heels of several publicly traded companies having to write down a significant percentage of their reserves.
Rather than wait for legislation to do this task, the committee composed of members of AAPG, DPA, SPEE, SIPES, SPWLA, SPE and SEG are to make their final recommendation by the end to the summer to either not pursue the initiative or give their recommendation to go forward with a program. If the program recommendation is made, the committee also will formulate a business plan and budget.
One of the program's aspects would be the development of manuals for geoscience and engineering recommended practices, along with a series of courses to help educate those responsible for reserves evaluations.
In a recent news release, AAPG President Pete Rose commented: "It is vital that the investment community and government agencies have reliable reserves estimates. The professional associations sponsoring this initiative must show the investment community and governments that we have the expertise, ethics and responsibility necessary to provide reliable reserves estimates. This initiative may be a pivotal program to ensure consistent, reliable reserves estimates in the future."
And speaking of ethics, the DPA is going to be the sponsor of Scott Tinker, director of the Bureau of Economic Geology at the University of Texas, as the AAPG Distinguished Lecturer on Ethics this next year (see May EXPLORER).
Also, we have added the talk given by John Gibson on the subject of ethics to the Houston Geological Society to the DPA Web site. One can either review the talk on the DPA page, or download for a later review!
We still are looking into the practicality of helping fund the Washington office with AAPG. There are concerns regarding this initiative, and as of this writing, no definite decision has been made by the DPA Executive Committee or the Advisory Council to fund any given amount.
AAPG has asked that DPA contribute $50,000 per year for three years, as a one-third/two-thirds match (AAPG would fund $100,000 per year). Concerns revolve around whether this would be a reasonable budget, having some kind of "exit" strategy and just whether this type of initiative could actually make a difference on "the Hill."
We will be taking a vote on this issue in Calgary -- so stay tuned!
Whether we help fund the Washington office or not, the DPA is moving forward on an educational CD. The action, approved by vote at our mid-year meeting in Galveston, is to provide funding to create a PowerPoint presentation on various aspects of the extraction industry, including minerals and petroleum. It is meant to be an "infomercial" so to speak to be given to congressional staffs and any other interested parties.
Unfortunately the DPA was turned down by the Association of State Board of Geology to administer the ASBOG test as part of the initiative to create a "Board Certified" membership classification.
Without being able to administer the ASBOG test, which is the primary test one takes for most state registration qualifications, and having some reciprocity with the states with registration legislation, the Board Certified Membership category is just about dead -- if not on severe life-support!
As you can see, things are hopping for the division this year, and I will do my best to keep everyone informed about any of the above initiatives as new developments surface.
I feel very proud to be the DPA president this year, and will do my darndest to be a great president.