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This month’s column was provided by Rob Diedrich, president of AAPG’s Rocky Mountain Section.
Celebrate the spirit of exploration at this year’s AAPG Rocky Mountain Section meeting, set June 11-13 in Billings, Mont. The hosts will be the Montana Geological Society.
Two hundred years ago, Lewis and Clark’s Corps of Discovery explored the Northern Rockies and journeyed down the Yellowstone River through the Billings area. Our meeting’s theme, “Undaunted Exploration of the Rockies,” is inspired by this historic event, and pays tribute to both Lewis and Clark and today’s petroleum explorers whose determination and innovative ideas are producing exciting new oil and gas plays in the Rocky Mountain region.
The conference begins Sunday afternoon with an energy forum on “Significance of the Upstream Petroleum Industry on the Economies of Montana, North Dakota and Wyoming.” This forum features a panel of economic experts who will compare and contrast the economic impact of oil and gas exploration and development activity on the neighboring states of Montana, Wyoming and North Dakota.
The meeting also provides a host of educational opportunities for our attendees; the technical program includes nearly 90 talks and poster sessions, including:
- “Rocky Mountain Oil,” including sessions on EOR projects and plays in the Williston Basin.
- “Rocky Mountain Gas,” focusing on shallow and tight-gas sand plays.
- “Recent Developments and Advancements in Rockies Stratigraphy.”
- “Recent Developments in Rockies Structural Geology,” focusing on thrust-belt and Laramide tectonics.
- “Technology Advancements in Exploration, Development and Environmental Management.”
And then there are the four field trips, which examine the geology of some of the region’s most active oil and gas plays -- and provide opportunities to enjoy varied northern Rocky Mountain landscapes. The trips are:
- “Marine Cretaceous Reservoirs in Central and Northern Montana.”
- “Tensleep and Greybull Stratigraphy of the Big Horn Basin.”
- “Coalbed Natural Gas Development and Surface Mining Near Decker, Montana.”
- “Geology of the Billings Area,” including Billings’ striking rimrocks.
- Finally, the technical program offers three short courses that provide insight for both exploration and development:
- “Source Rocks 101: What Geoscientists and Engineers Should Know About Petroleum Source Rocks.”
- “Perspectives on the Bakken Play,” led by a group of seven Bakken experts.
- A core workshop designed to examine significant Rocky Mountain reservoirs.
The meeting’s All Convention Luncheon will celebrate the Lewis and Clark bicentennial with a special presentation by Charles Fritz, a noted western artist who has spent the past seven years retracing the Corps of Discovery’s footsteps and, for the first time since their writing, has comprehensively illustrated the journals of Lewis and Clark.
His 68-painting exhibit, which highlights the landscapes and key moments of the expedition’s 1803-06 journey, is now touring major museums across the country and will be on display at the Yellowstone Art Museum in downtown Billings during the AAPG-RMS convention dates.
Also capturing the Lewis and Clark theme is Monday evening’s social event, “Dinner Under the Big Sky at Pompey’s Pillar.”
Pompey’s Pillar, a 150-foot sandstone butte overlooking the Yellowstone River, bears the only remaining physical evidence of the Lewis and Clark expedition. On July 25, 1806, Captain Clark, while camping at this site, carved his name in this sandstone butte.
We’ve planned an unforgettable barbeque in this historic and scenic setting along the Yellowstone River at the sight of Captain Clark’s camp.
Consider combining the RMS meeting with a northern Rockies vacation!
Billings serves as a gateway for Yellowstone National Park and is just a short drive from the site of Custer’s Last Stand at the Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument.
Plan a day trip to other historic sites along the Lewis and Clark trail, or explore the Beartooth Mountains’ hiking trails and spectacular scenery.
Billings, Montana’s largest city, is well equipped to entertain you and your family with theatres, art museums, a zoo, the historic Moss Mansion and an abundance of shopping and dining options.
Join us in Billings this June for an undaunted Rocky Mountain Section conference!
For more information visit the RMS conference Web site at www.montanags.org.
The deadline for early registration is May 19.