My Agenda: Doing What We Do Better

During my candidacy and year as president-elect I often was asked about my agenda for AAPG.

My response: It is to help ensure that AAPG provides as much or more benefit to our members throughout their careers as it has for me.

I did not stand for office with any specific agenda relating to membership, governance, products or services. My year as president-elect has been very insightful, however, and provided me with a better understanding of the many challenges facing AAPG as it approaches its centennial.

What are some of these challenges?

Well, simply making sure AAPG is technologically up-to-date in how we manage and communicate our science is a major challenge.

The methods by which organizations and people are connecting and communicating are rapidly changing in response to evolving information technologies. The rate at which data and information are generated also has accelerated, and consideration must be given to making sure we deliver accurate and valuable information in a timely manner.

There also is a lot more competition - from both for-profit organizations as well as non-profit sister societies - in terms of recruiting members, developing products and communicating science.

Doing what we always have done and doing it the way we have done it may have worked great for the first 100 years, but if AAPG doesn't adapt and change to do things in line with today's highly technological and highly competitive world, we may not be around to see another 100 years.

So many things in regard to the way we do business have changed since I went to work in the 1970s. In the '70s petroleum professionals did not work in teams; rather, geologists were organizationally and physically separate from geophysicists - and both were separate from engineers.

Everything was on paper; seismic interpretation, well-log correlation, well data information (How many of you recall "scout tickets?"). Then along came the personal computer and workstations, the "integrated team" concept, widespread satellite communication, the Internet, cell phones and, more recently, smart phones.

Everything now is "real time." Employees are on call 24/7. Everything in our lives, our industry and our society is accelerating exponentially.

AAPG must be able to nimbly and efficiently anticipate as well as respond to this changing landscape, so that we are poised to take advantage of new opportunities that arise and discard outdated strategies, technologies, products and services.

One of the initiatives developed by my predecessor, President Lee Krystinik, to help AAPG thrive is the "Three-Year Business Plan," the purpose of which is to ensure that the activities of all aspects of AAPG - including Divisions, committees, Regions, Sections, subsidiaries and headquarters - are focused on streamlining and focusing AAPG's efforts to achieve its strategic and tactical objectives.

The implementation of this three-year business plan will ensure more continuity of planning and business operations from one EC to the next, as well as provide better financial stability for AAPG.

The Advisory Council (AC), our strategic planning body, also put forth a number of proposals last year aimed at discussing and evaluating options to help AAPG morph into an organization that is able and ready to take on the various scientific, technological and business opportunities the future holds.

These proposals include evaluating:

  • AAPG's organizational structure and governance.
  • The terms of office for AAPG officers and the whole election process.
  • How to best develop and incorporate TIGS and SIGS into AAPG.

Implementation of the three-year business plan and evaluation of the various AC proposals are just some of the things the EC will address over the course of the year.

Below is a quote that is often incorrectly attributed to Charles Darwin, but is actually a summation of Darwin's work by a management professor at LSU in the early 1960s.

It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is most adaptable to change. In the struggle for survival, the fittest win out at the expense of their rivals because they succeed in adapting themselves best to their environment.

This year, we're going to do our best to make sure AAPG is ready for the future. Changes are not only on the way, they're already here.

Doing what we do better is our first step toward tomorrow.

Comments (0)


President's Column

President's Column - Randi Martinsen

Randi Martinsen, AAPG President (2014-15), is principal with Hydrocarbon InSight in Laramie, Wyo.

President's Column

AAPG Presidents offer thoughts and information about their experiences for the Association. 


See Also: Bulletin Article

Integrated three-dimensional (3-D) paleomorphologic and sedimentary modeling was used to predict the basin architecture and depositional pattern of Pleistocene forearc basin turbidites in a gas hydrate field along the northeast Nankai Trough, off central Japan. Structural unfolding and stratigraphic decompaction of the targeted stratigraphic unit resulted in successful modeling of the paleobathymetry at the time of deposition. This paleobathymetry was characterized by a simple U-shaped paleominibasin. Subsequent turbidity current modeling on the reconstructed paleobathymetric surface demonstrated morphologically controlled turbidity current behavior and selective turbidite sand distribution within the minibasin, which strongly suggests the development of a confined turbidite system. Among three candidate inflow patterns, a northeasterly inflow pattern was determined as most likely. In this scenario, flow reflection and deflection caused ponding and a concentration of sandy turbidite accumulation in the basin center, which facilitated filling of the minibasin. Such a sedimentary character is undetected by seismic data in the studied gas hydrate reservoir formation because of hydrate-cementation–induced seismic anomalies. Our model suggests that 3-D horizon surfaces mapped from 3-D seismic data along with well-log data can be used to predict paleobasin characteristics and depositional processes in deep-water turbidite systems even if seismic profiles cannot be determined because of the presence of gas hydrates.
Desktop /Portals/0/PackFlashItemImages/WebReady/three-dimensional-paleomorphologic-reconstruction-and-turbidite.jpg?width=50&h=50&mode=crop&anchor=middlecenter&quality=90amp;encoder=freeimage&progressive=true 3724 Bulletin Article

Prolific hydrocarbon discoveries in the subsalt, commonly known as the “presalt,” section of Brazil and the conjugate African margin have created a business imperative to predict reservoir quality in lacustrine carbonates. Geothermal convection is a style of groundwater flow known to occur in rift settings, which is capable of diagenetic modification of reservoir quality. We simulated variable density groundwater flow coupled with chemical reactions to evaluate the potential for diagenesis driven by convection in subsalt carbonates.

Rates of calcite diagenesis are critically controlled by temperature gradient and fluid flux following the principles of retrograde solubility. Simulations predict that convection could operate in rift carbonates prior to salt deposition, but with rates of dissolution in the reservoir interval only on the order of 0.01 vol. %/m.y., which is too low to significantly modify reservoir quality. The exception is around permeable fault zones and/or unconformities where flow is focused and dissolution rates are amplified to 1 to 10 vol. %/m.y. and could locally modify reservoir quality. After salt deposition, simulations also predict convection with a critical function for salt rugosity. The greatest potential for dissolution at rates of 0.1 to 1 vol. %/m.y. occurs where salt welds, overlying permeable carbonates thin to 500 m (1640 ft) or less. With tens of million years residence times feasible, convection under these conditions could locally result in reservoir sweet spots with porosity modification of 1% to 10% and potentially an order of magnitude or more in reservoir permeability. Integrating quantitative model–derived predictive diagenetic concepts with traditional subsurface data sets refines exploration to production scale risking of carbonate reservoir presence and quality.

Desktop /Portals/0/PackFlashItemImages/WebReady/geothermal-convection-in-south-atlantic-subsalt.jpg?width=50&h=50&mode=crop&anchor=middlecenter&quality=90amp;encoder=freeimage&progressive=true 5682 Bulletin Article

Umiat field in northern Alaska is a shallow, light-oil accumulation with an estimated original oil in place of more than 1.5 billion bbl and 99 bcf associated gas. The field, discovered in 1946, was never considered viable because it is shallow, in permafrost, and far from any infrastructure. Modern drilling and production techniques now make Umiat a more attractive target if the behavior of a rock, ice, and light oil system at low pressure can be understood and simulated.

The Umiat reservoir consists of shoreface and deltaic sandstones of the Cretaceous Nanushuk Formation deformed by a thrust-related anticline. Depositional environment imparts a strong vertical and horizontal permeability anisotropy to the reservoir that may be further complicated by diagenesis and open natural fractures.

Experimental and theoretical studies indicate that there is a significant reduction in the relative permeability of oil in the presence of ice, with a maximum reduction when connate water is fresh and less reduction when water is saline. A representative Umiat oil sample was reconstituted by comparing the composition of a severely weathered Umiat fluid to a theoretical Umiat fluid composition derived using the Pedersen method. This sample was then used to determine fluid properties at reservoir conditions such as bubble point pressure, viscosity, and density.

These geologic and engineering data were integrated into a simulation model that indicate recoveries of 12%–15% can be achieved over a 50-yr production period using cold gas injection from five well pads with a wagon-wheel configuration of multilateral wells.

Desktop /Portals/0/PackFlashItemImages/WebReady/Integrated-reservoir-characterization-and-simulation-of.jpg?width=50&h=50&mode=crop&anchor=middlecenter&quality=90amp;encoder=freeimage&progressive=true 7968 Bulletin Article

A three-dimensional seismic data set and published data from exploration wells were used to reconstruct the tectonostratigraphic evolution of the Mandal High area, southern North Sea, Norway. The Mandal High is an elongated southeast-northwest–trending horst. Three fault families in the Lower Permian sequence, inherited from the basement structural grain of Caledonian origin, are interpreted: (1) a north-northwest–south-southeast–striking fault family, (2) a northeast-southwest–striking fault family, and (3) a near east-west–striking fault family. In addition, an east-southeast–west-northwest–striking fault family (4) that formed during Late Jurassic rifting and was reverse reactivated in the Late Cretaceous is interpreted. We suggest that inversion occurred because of small dextral motion along fault family 1. A final fault family (5) displays various strike orientations and is associated with salt movements.

Seven chronostratigraphic sequences defined by well data and recognized on three-dimensional seismic data are interpreted and mapped: Early Permian rifting in a continental environment; Late Permian deposition of the Zechstein salt and flooding; Triassic continental rifting; uplift and erosion in the Middle Jurassic with deposition of shallow-marine and deltaic sediments; rifting and transgression in a deep-marine environment during the Late Jurassic; a post-rift phase in a marine environment during the Early Cretaceous; and flooding and deposition of the Chalk Group in the Late Cretaceous. An eighth sequence was interpreted—Paleogene–Neogene—but has not been studied in detail. This sequence is dominated by progradation from the east and basin subsidence. Well and seismic data over the Mandal High reveal that large parts of the high were subaerially exposed from Late Permian to Late Jurassic or Early Cretaceous, providing a local source of sediments for adjacent basins.

Similar to the Utsira High, where several large hydrocarbon discoveries have been recently seen, the Mandal High might consist of a set of petroleum plays, including fractured crystalline basement and shallow-marine systems along the flanks of the high, thereby opening up future exploration opportunities.

Desktop /Portals/0/PackFlashItemImages/WebReady/permian-holocene-tectonostratigraphic-evolution-Mandal-High.jpg?width=50&h=50&mode=crop&anchor=middlecenter&quality=90amp;encoder=freeimage&progressive=true 3744 Bulletin Article

See Also: Industry Meeting

The Conjugate Margins Conference started in 2008 to bring industry and academia together to discuss the similarities of basin evolution along conjugate margins. The first three conferences focused on the margins of the North Atlantic. The conference has grown into a major international conference with presentations and posters from key industry players and academic researchers. In 2016, the focus of the conference will expand to include all the margins of the Atlantic with particular focus on the South Atlantic and African coastlines. Watch the website for details coming soon.

Desktop /Portals/0/PackFlashItemImages/WebReady/conjugate-margins-2016-400x400.jpg?width=50&h=50&mode=crop&anchor=middlecenter&quality=90amp;encoder=freeimage&progressive=true 21960 Industry Meeting