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respond to this changing landscape, so that we are poised to take advantage of new opportunities that arise and discard outdated strategies, technologies, products and services.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.

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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. 

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See Also: Bulletin Article

Predicting the presence and connectivity of reservoir-quality facies in otherwise mud-prone fluvial overbank successions is important because such sand bodies can potentially provide connectivity between larger neighboring sand bodies. This article addresses minor channelized fluvial elements (crevasse-splay and distributary channels) and attempts to predict the connectivity between such sand bodies in two interseam packages of the Upper Permian Rangal Coal Measures of northeastern Australia. Channel-body percent as measured in well logs was 2% in the upper (Aries-Castor) interseam and 17% in the lower (Castor-Pollux) interseam. Well spacing were too great to allow accurate correlation of channel bodies. The Ob River, Siberia, was used as a modern analog to supply planform geometric measurements of splay and distributary channels so that stochastic modeling of channel bodies was possible. The resulting models demonstrated that (1) channel-body connectivity is more uniform between minor distributary channels than between crevasse-splay channels; (2) relatively good connectivity is seen in proximal positions in splays but decreases distally from the source as channel elements diverge; and (3) connectivity tends to be greater down the axis of splays, with more isolated channel bodies occurring at the margins.
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The Marcellus Shale is considered to be the largest unconventional shale-gas resource in the United States. Two critical factors for unconventional shale reservoirs are the response of a unit to hydraulic fracture stimulation and gas content. The fracture attributes reflect the geomechanical properties of the rocks, which are partly related to rock mineralogy. The natural gas content of a shale reservoir rock is strongly linked to organic matter content, measured by total organic carbon (TOC). A mudstone lithofacies is a vertically and laterally continuous zone with similar mineral composition, rock geomechanical properties, and TOC content. Core, log, and seismic data were used to build a three-dimensional (3-D) mudrock lithofacies model from core to wells and, finally, to regional scale. An artificial neural network was used for lithofacies prediction. Eight petrophysical parameters derived from conventional logs were determined as critical inputs. Advanced logs, such as pulsed neutron spectroscopy, with log-determined mineral composition and TOC data were used to improve and confirm the quantitative relationship between conventional logs and lithofacies. Sequential indicator simulation performed well for 3-D modeling of Marcellus Shale lithofacies. The interplay of dilution by terrigenous detritus, organic matter productivity, and organic matter preservation and decomposition affected the distribution of Marcellus Shale lithofacies distribution, which may be attributed to water depth and the distance to shoreline. The trend of normalized average gas production rate from horizontal wells supported our approach to modeling Marcellus Shale lithofacies. The proposed 3-D modeling approach may be helpful for optimizing the design of horizontal well trajectories and hydraulic fracture stimulation strategies.

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In prospective basins affected by exhumation, uncertainty commonly exists regarding the maximum burial depths of source, reservoir, and seal horizons. One such basin is the Otway Basin, an important gas province in southeastern Australia, which has witnessed several exhumation events. Here, we present estimates of net exhumation magnitudes for 110 onshore and offshore petroleum wells based on the sonic transit time analyses of Lower Cretaceous fluvial shales. Our results show significant post-Albian net exhumation in the eastern onshore Otway Basin (gt1500 m [sim4920 ft]) and a generally minor net exhumation (lt200 m [sim655 ft]) elsewhere in the Otway Basin, consistent with estimates based on thermal history data. The distribution of net exhumation magnitudes in relation to mid-Cretaceous and Neogene compressional structures indicates that exhumation was dominantly controlled by short-wavelength basin inversion driven by plate-boundary forces.

Deeper burial coupled with high geothermal gradients in the onshore eastern Otway Basin and along the northern basin margin during the early Cretaceous have rendered Lower Cretaceous source rocks mostly overmature, with any remaining hydrocarbons from the initial charge likely to be trapped in tightly compacted reservoirs and/or secondary (fracture-related) porosity. However, the embrittlement of these reservoirs during their deeper burial may present opportunities for the development of low-permeability plays through hydraulic fracturing where smectite clay minerals are illitized. Source rocks at near-maximum burial at present day are at temperatures suitable for gas generation, with key controls on prospectivity in these areas including the sealing potential of faulted traps and the relationship between charge and trap development.

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See Also: Online Traditional Course

This course is particularly useful for professionals involved in writing research papers, proposals, dissertations, theses, and technical monographs.

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See Also: Short Course

This course will focus on Cretaceous sandstones in the Powder River and D-J Basins, including the Turner, Codell, Shannon, Sussex, and Parkman Sandstones. Cores from both the USGS and company collections will be presented.

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