At deadline for this column I had just returned from the AAPG Annual Convention in Calgary. What an exhilarating experience to see such great interest in the technical program that the Energy Minerals Division (EMD) sponsored at the meeting.
Undoubtedly, much of this renewed interest in EMD is based upon a projected world peak in oil production sometime during the next several years and the need for unconventional energy resources ("energy minerals") to make up the difference.
Attendance at the meeting was high and most EMD sessions had standing room only. Highlights of the program included 12 technical sessions consisting of 92 posters and oral presentations on oil sands and heavy oil, natural gas from coal and shale, gas hydrates, geospatial applications to petroleum geology, carbon management and acid gas sequestration (in a session co-sponsored with the Division of Environmental Geosciences) and environmental issues related to unconventional energy resources.
There were two EMD field trips; one on the coalbed methane potential of the Horseshoe Canyon Formation (co-sponsored by the Canadian Society for Unconventional Gas), and the other on sour gas production and acid gas injection (co-sponsored by DEG). In addition, EMD sponsored a short course on coalbed methane.
I especially would like to thank Rick Richardson, EMD technical program chair, and the many session organizers, speakers, field trip leaders and short course instructors for putting together an outstanding program that obviously hit the mark and attracted huge numbers to the EMD-sponsored program.
Abstracts for each EMD technical session and information about other division events may be found on the EMD Web site at http://emd.aapg.org.
At the EMD business meeting in Calgary it was suggested that for the coming year we should "Get the Word Out" to the geoscience community that EMD is where you need to be to stay informed of the rapidly changing science associated with finding, assessing and producing unconventional energy resources in an environmentally safe manner.
We are anxious to work with other North American and international professional societies to promote science and education associated with unconventional resources. As an outreach effort, we are asking EMD members to volunteer to speak about unconventional energy resources to AAPG student chapters and other student geology organizations in your area. Also, inform students about the EMD research grant (up to $2,000) that is available each year. Information on how to apply for the student grant also can be found on the EMD Web site.
Detailed 2005 EMD business meeting technical area committee and regional counselor reports are posted on the EMD members-only Web site at http://emd.aapg.org/members_only. These reports are provided as a service to the EMD membership and contain current information on coal and coal gas, energy economics, gas hydrates, uranium, gas shales, geospatial information, oil shales, oil sands and geothermal resources.
Also on the site, councilor reports provide summaries of regional North American and international activities in the EMD theme areas.
Other current EMD activities include:
- Preparation of an updated, second edition of the Atlas of Coal Geology, which is planned for joint publication with The Society for Organic Petrology.
- A special paper from the recent AAPG Hedberg Gas Hydrate Conference, edited by Tim Collett.
- A joint EMD/DEG collection of papers on CO2 sequestration, edited by Matthias Grobe and others.
- A geospatial technology applications CD-ROM, edited by Sam Limerick.
The inevitable increase in demand and probable depletion of accessible oil and gas resources during the 21st century will cause us to depend more and more on energy minerals as sources to satisfy our ever-increasing need for energy.
The EMD especially needs your help to continue to promote research in the areas of the geology and the geospatial distribution of energy minerals. EMD invites AAPG members and those of related societies (if you are not already) to become a member of EMD. Membership application material is available at http://emd.aapg.org/membership_form.cfm.
As incoming president of the EMD, I invite you to join us in our effort to promote the much needed exploration and wise development of energy mineral resources. I look forward to working with you during the next year.
Take advantage of what EMD has to offer. Join us, get involved and help shape the future.