Division of Environmental Geosciences Update: DEG and the AAPG

Doug Wyatt, 2013-14 DEG President
Doug Wyatt, 2013-14 DEG President

In all Advisory Council and other committee meetings this year we have unanimously expressed that the AAPG is, should be, and will be the go-to premier geosciences professional organization for the global oil and gas profession. I agree 110 percent, even more! 

Where should the Division of Environmental Geosciences (DEG) be in this ongoing effort? 

We should be right in the middle of the unconventional play efforts. Unconventional gas and oil exploration and production are a technology-based, geosciences-based, and environmentalbased program. These three concepts form the triad, a ternary diagram if you imagine it, of necessary understanding to have a successful program. The best technology and the best earth models have to be supported by the concepts of exploring and producing using the best environmental concepts or risk future issues, or worse, regulatory refusals. 

In offshore regions, especially deep water since the Macondo incident, the environmental issues surrounding deepwater drilling and the environmental implications of an event have received paramount attention. New requirements, models and thoughts are being incorporated into every deepwater program. Again it is a triad of technology and environmental merged with the geosciences. 

These same arguments hold for enhanced oil recovery and conventional oil and gas production. Where once environmental was a subsequent concept or action to exploration and production it is now a full partner in all planning and decision making. I believe this is good for two reasons. One is the obvious reason of ensuring that the oil and gas business operates with the best environmental practices. The second may not be so obvious but is just as important. Environmental considerations, and the DEG, can help make the AAPG part of the global environmental community, not just for oil and gas, but for water, alternative energy sources, agriculture, sustainability and all the global concepts we hear so much about. Oil and gas is our forte and the primary energy source of the anticipated future. We can work to make sure that oil, gas and AAPG are important parts of that overall global future.

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