Forums & Special Sessions
All events will take place at the Long Beach Convention & Entertainment Center unless otherwise noted.
Date: Sunday, 22 April
Time: 1:00 p.m.–3:10 p.m.
Location: Room 202
Co-Chairs: S. Testa and H. Krause
Recent interest and development of shale gas exploration in Poland brings us from the “King of Siluria,” Sir Roderick I. Murchison, during one field season in 1843 studying Paleozoic, Mesozoic and Tertiary rocks in Poland, to the birth of the oil industry in the northern Carpathians. This is the region where modern paleontology was born with the use of fossils to correlate reservoir rocks.
Some of the first detailed geological accounts of hydrocarbons in the region during the 15th and 16th century by G. Rzaczynski and K. Kluk, and early geological studies by S. Staszic and G. Pusch, would by the turn of the 20th century make the Carpathians the third oil producing province in the world. Moving south, the modern oil industry in the Middle East began in the first half of the 20th century in Iran (1909), Iraq (1927), Bahrain (1932), Kuwait and Saudi Arabia (1938) and Oman (1940).
Early work in this region was based on fundamental but important geological studies performed by European geologists such as English mining engineer George Reynolds and a geology graduate student from Stanford University named Max Steineke. During the years 1911–1916, the work of Ralph Arnold, with assistance from an appreciable number of recent graduates from Stanford University, marked the beginning of modern oil exploration in Venezuela.
We will close with a trip to the Bohai Sea, China, with an overview of the geologic setting and studies on accumulation regularity of hydrocarbon-rich depressions.
- Sir. Roderick I Murchison, aka “King of Siluria”, and his Geological Trip to Poland in 1843: P. Krzywiec, M. Narkiewicz, A. Slaczka, J. Diemer
- Birth of Oil Industry in the Northern Carpathians: P. Krzywiec
- The Dawn of Petroleum Geology in the Middle East: A Case Study of George Bernard Reynolds in Iran and Max Steineke in Saudi Arabia: R. Sorkhabi
- The First Venezuelan Geological Oil Map: The Ralph Arnold History 1911-1916: A. Duarte-Vivas
- Study on Hydrocarbon Accumulation Regularity of Hydrocarbon-Rich Depression in Bohai Sea, China: Y. Guo, J. Li
Date: Monday, 23 April
Time: 1:15 p.m.–5:00 p.m.
Location: Room 104C
Co-Chairs: C. Sternbach and E. Dolly
The “Discovery Thinking” Forum will be the fifth presentation of the AAPG 100th Anniversary Committee’s program recognizing “100 Who Made a Difference.” This year’s theme is New Discoveries in Old Areas, and the program will focus on insights derived from hard-won experience in revitalizing mature areas with major results. These talks from Pacific, Rocky Mountain and West Texas areas will be of particular interest for a meeting on the West Coast.
Each speaker and their associates overcame great challenges in both business and geological aspects of our profession. Topics to be discussed will include philosophy of exploration, stories from remarkable careers, professional insights and colorful anecdotes, and lessons learned on the path to success.
The Long Beach forum will feature five invited speakers who have made a difference. They are:
- Robert Bridges, Vintage Production California LLC
- Tony Reid, Occidental of Elk Hills, Inc.
- James C. Henry, Henry Resources LLC
- Orion Skinner, Whiting Petroleum Corp.
- Edward J. LoCricchio, Cordillera Energy Partners
As technology advances and a new wave of young geoscientists enter our profession, we see continued interest in forums such as this to discuss the personal side of success and what has been called the “art of exploration.”
Date: Monday, 23 April
Time: 5:10 p.m.–6:00 p.m.
Location: Room 104C
Chair: J. Reilly
Speaker: John Grotzinger
The Michel T. Halbouty lecture series is an ongoing special event at the AAPG Annual Convention & Exhibition. Lecture topics are designed to focus either on wildcat exploration in any part of the world where major discoveries might contribute significantly to petroleum reserves, or space exploration where astrogeological knowledge would further mankind’s ability to develop resources on Earth and in the Solar System.
The Michel T. Halbouty Lecture speaker will be John Grotzinger, Jones Professor of Geology at California Institute of Technology and Chief Scientist for the Mars Science Laboratory, discussing “Mars Science Laboratory Rover Mission: The Search for Source Rocks.”
The Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) rover, named “Curiosity,” had a perfect launch on 26 November 2011 and is to land in Gale Crater in August 2012. Its mission is to assess whether Mars ever had an environment able to support microbial life, and if rocks or soils might preserve organic carbon. The rover will carry the biggest, most advanced suite of instruments for scientific studies ever sent to the Martian surface.
Grotzinger uses his experience as a field geologist with interest in the evolution of the Earth’s surface environments and biosphere to work with his team and conduct analysis of dozens of rock and soil samples. Curiosity will conduct a deliberate search for forms of carbon that may be preserved on Mars and assess the character of ancient environments based on the development of facies models, derived from sedimentary rocks almost 4 billion years old. The mission is expected to last for one Mars year (approximately two Earth years). The Mars Science Laboratory is the entrée to the next decade of Mars exploration.
SEPM Research Symposium: Deposits, Architecture and Controls of Carbonate Margin, Slope and Basinal Settings
Date: Tuesday, 24 April
Time: 8:00 a.m.–11:50 a.m. & 1:15 p.m.–5:05 p.m.
Location: Room 201
Co-Chairs: K. Verwer, T. Playton, P. Harris
Carbonate margin, slope and basinal depositional environments, and their transitions, are highly dynamic and heterogeneous components of carbonate platform systems, are repositories for volumetrically significant amounts of sediment produced from nearly all carbonate environments, provide a stratigraphic record not necessarily preserved in platform-top or basinal strata, and serve as a complex link between the prevailing in situ sediment factories and domains dominated by resedimentation processes. Recent research has highlighted important academic and industry-applied aspects of these systems and will be presented in a special oral and poster session.
AAPG Ethics Lecture: Oil Spills, Ethics and Society — How They Intersect and Where the Responsibilities Reside
Date: Tuesday, 24 April
Time: 5:10 p.m.–6:00 p.m.
Location: Room 102
Fee: Included with registration. Please note your interest when registering, particularly if you wish to receive a certificate of attendance acknowledging the professional development credit earned.
Content: 1 PDH
Speaker: W. C. “Rusty” Riese
Increasing global demand for energy has forced societies the world over to look for and use ever more diverse and expensive forms of energy to fuel their economies. Oil is a key part of this energy supply, particularly in the arena of transportation fuels. The corporations that supply energy have been pressed into increasingly challenging environments to meet public and governmental demands for inexpensive energy.
Unfortunately, as we are reminded by the Gulf of Mexico Deepwater Horizon incident, accidents can happen, the environment can be damaged, and people can lose their lives when we operate at the leading edges of technology. When accidents occur, our responses typically tend to blame individuals, corporations or regulators, rather than the public whose demand for cheap, readily available energy forces exploration in new, more challenging frontiers.
Public opinions on this subject are shaped by a combination of self-education, fulminating politicians and aggressive, sensationalist journalists. Exploring more than societal interests at a national level puts our pursuit of inexpensive energy into context. This context pits the competing interests of developing countries, which demand ever-increasing shares of the world’s resources, against broader, transnational interest groups which are worried that continued dependence on energy-dense fossil fuels may cause runaway global warming and climate changes that may in turn destroy the earth’s ecosystems. Ultimate responsibilities for oil spills lie within this mix of competing demands and expectations — a mix far more complicated than most people are aware of or are willing to consider. All of us who consume energy have an ethical obligation to educate ourselves, and those around us, on the consequences of our demands for energy and for the environment.
Dr. W. C. “Rusty” Riese is an adjunct faculty member at Rice University and is based in Houston, Texas. He is widely experienced having worked in both minerals and petroleum as a geologist, geochemist and manager during more than 39 years in industry. He participated in the National Petroleum Council evaluation of natural gas supply and demand for North America, which was conducted at the request of the Secretary of Energy, and in the more recent analysis of global supply and demand requested by the same agency. He is currently a member of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists Committee on Resource Evaluations and a member of the House of Delegates.