AAPG Begins New Journey With PTTC
In early August, Executive Director Rick Fritz asked whether I realized I was “about to be sucked into the vortex” – meaning that the heavy meeting schedule with attendant travel was about to begin.
I responded that I was well aware, and that was the reason I began the organizational planning process – especially identifying members to chair committees and populate related boards – in mid-April, six weeks before taking office.
Since mid-August we have had the annual Leadership Conference and two Executive Committee meetings, both held in conjunction with annual AAPG Section meetings – the Mid-Continent meeting in Wichita, Kan., and the Eastern Section meeting in Lexington, Ky.
Both Section meetings were successful, with possible record high attendance (over 400 in Wichita and 500 in Lexington) and excellent technical programs. I congratulate the convention chairs (Ernie Morrison-Wichita and Dave Harris-Lexington) and their committees for jobs well done.
The field trip to the Underground Salt Mine Museum near Hutchison, Kan., and the trip to the Red Mile Track in Lexington to watch the Harness Races were interesting and enjoyable.
Petroleum Technology Transfer Council
One of the important goals adopted by the Executive Committee on July 1 for the 2007-08 year was to “complete efforts to develop a new partnership to enable the continuation of the work of the Petroleum Technology Transfer Council (PTTC) under a new organizational structure.”
These efforts began in early spring 2007, when AAPG leadership became aware that Department of Energy (DOE) funding for PTTC would be phased out by October 1, 2008.
We are pleased that on Sept. 27 the PTTC board approved a proposal by AAPG to assume leadership of PTTC, an organization that has had perhaps the most successful fossil fuel program, developed by oil and gas producers with the support of DOE – it was originally designed to provide producers with low cost workshops and information on engineering, geology, geophysics and oil and gas operations.
The technology was gathered and transferred under contract by regional lead organizations (RLOs), managed through universities and state surveys or bureaus. Each RLO was counseled by producer advisory groups (PAGs), comprising local producers and others involved in the oil and gas exploration and production industry.
The EC considers the program important for our members and the industry.
Under the new organizational structure AAPG will have a majority of members on the new PTTC board and will likely bring in a minority partner or partners to help ensure the program’s success.
Partial funding from DOE will considerably reduce the financial risk for the first year of operation. Workshop fees will be increased but will be competitive with the marketplace. Additional support will be solicited from industry and foundations.
AAPG staff spent countless hours preparing the business plan for the new PTTC with conservative, most likely and optimistic financial scenarios – and then prepared multiple revisions to help the EC find the best plan to present to the PTTC board.
Jim Blankenship, director of the AAPG Geosciences Department, was our lead staff person for the project, and I congratulate him, Rick Fritz and all other staff and AAPG members who contributed their professional expertise.
Global Climate Change Solutions
The Global Climate Change Solutions Committee is now in place with Priscilla Grew at the University of Nebraska and member of the Division of Environmental Geosciences as chair of the committee.
I am pleased that all 12 members who were asked to serve on the committee accepted the invitation. They represent a balance of backgrounds and views on the climate issues, so we are anticipating a variety of topics on the Web forum.
Technical programs at AAPG meetings and articles for the DEG Journal likely will follow.