Two-Way Street: Making a Connection That Counts

Here in Oklahoma, the month of July delivers the beginning of summer, kids out of school and a unique blend of oppressive heat and sweltering humidity that makes you feel like you're in a slow-cooker.

At headquarters it's the beginning of a new year. On July 1 a fresh Executive Committee led by President Randi Martinsen took the reins, approved a budget for the new fiscal year and is beginning its work to lead the Association.

Veteran EC members Secretary Richard Ball, Vice President-Regions John Kaldi and Editor Mike Sweet are joined by President-Elect John Hogg, Treasurer Jim Tucker and Vice President-Sections Steve Brachman in this endeavor.

These are your leaders, and I encourage you to reach out and communicate with them during the coming year.

I also want to take this opportunity to thank past president Lee Krystinik for his leadership of the Association and Executive Committee, and most emphatically for his wise counsel to me over the past two years that he's served on the Executive Committee.

As past president, Lee's work isn't done yet. He now rides over to lead the Advisory Council further down the trail blazed by past president Ted Beaumont.

(You'll note the riding-themed metaphors I'm using in this column. Having incoming and outgoing presidents who are both accomplished equestrians is forcing me to learn a new vocabulary.)

When I first began to work for AAPG, back in Washington, D.C., in 2006, one of the first people I met was Deborah Sacrey, our out-going treasurer who has been involved in our policy work since the very beginning. We've worked closely over the years, and the perspective and advice she's given me both at GEO-DC and as executive director have helped me do my job immeasurably better.

Thankfully, she's still only a phone call away.

I've known Tom Ewing, who departs as vice president-Sections, almost as long as I've known Deborah. And Tom brought a wonderful balance of thoughtfulness, perceptiveness and practicality to a host of EC discussions over the past two years.

Even into the final weeks of his term he was providing me counsel on matters related to the Sections and affiliated societies.


Having the opportunity to work directly with our EC members to grow AAPG is one of the perks of my job. And it's important to recognize that they are volunteers.

Volunteerism is at the heart of AAPG and permeates our organization. It includes those who volunteer to help us advance science by giving a talk or writing a journal article, those who work on committees to build specific programs or services, and those who serve in leadership and governance roles.

When you get involved with AAPG you're serving other members and the profession. This engagement also builds your professional network and can help you develop specific skill sets, particularly interpersonal skills - after all, in a volunteer organization you don't dictate, you can only persuade.

Yes, volunteering is about "giving back." But I'd argue it's much more than that.

It is, in fact, an investment in yourself - both as a person and as a professional. And that's what being a member of a professional organization is about - helping you advance and succeed.


It's summertime here in Oklahoma. And many of us in this part of the world will be taking time this month with family and friends to vacation, to relax and recharge both physically and emotionally.

As you climb that mountain trail, cast a fly along the riverbank, listen to the waves break on the shore or simply sit on your back porch at dusk listening to the crickets chirping in the grass, take a few minutes to reflect on your career and professional life.

Where are you and where are you going?

Can you describe what it would look like to take your career to the next level?

What are the skills or contacts that you need to get there?

Is there an AAPG program or committee or group that you could get involved with to gain those skills or contacts?

If so, consider getting plugged in.

And if you don't see a program that will help you, then I’d ask you to send me an email through the website. Let me know what kind of program you'e looking for, what you believe you need to be successful, and let's talk about it. Maybe we can build it together.

This is your year to take the reins, saddle up, and steer your career into an even brighter future.

Giddy up!

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Director's Corner

Director's Corner - David Curtiss

David Curtiss is an AAPG member and was named AAPG Executive Director in August 2011. He was previously Director of the AAPG GEO-DC Office in Washington D.C.

The Director's Corner covers Association news and industry events from the worldview perspective of the AAPG Executive Director.

View column archives

See Also: Bulletin Article

We use three-dimensional seismic reflection data and new map-based structural restoration methods to define the displacement history and characteristics of a series of tear faults in the deep-water Niger Delta. Deformation in the deep-water Niger Delta is focused mostly within two fold-and-thrust belts that accommodate downdip shortening produced by updip extension on the continental shelf. This shortening is accommodated by a series of thrust sheets that are locally cut by strike-slip faults. Through seismic mapping and interpretation, we resolve these strike-slip faults to be tear faults that share a common detachment level with the thrust faults. Acting in conjunction, these structures have accommodated a north –south gradient in westward-directed shortening. We apply a map-based restoration technique implemented in Gocad to restore an upper stratigraphic horizon of the late Oligocene and use this analysis to calculate slip profiles along the strike-slip faults. The slip magnitudes and directions change abruptly along the lengths of the tear faults as they interact with numerous thrust sheets. The discontinuous nature of these slip profiles reflects the manner in which they have accommodated differential movement between the footwall and hanging-wall blocks of the thrust sheets. In cases for which the relationship between a strike-slip fault and multiple thrust faults is unclear, the recognition of this type of slip profile may distinguish thin-skinned tear faults from more conventional deep-seated, throughgoing strike-slip faults.
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Jurassic deposition in the Maghrebian tethys was governed by eustasy and rifting. Two periods were delineated: (1) a carbonate shelf (Rhaetian–early Pliensbachian) and (2) a platform-basin complex (early Pliensbachian–Callovian). The carbonate shelf evolved in four stages, generating three sedimentary sequences, J1 to J3, separated by boundary sea level falls, drawdown, exposure, and local erosion. Sediment facies bear evidence of sea level rises and falls. Lateral changes in lithofacies indicate shoaling and deepening upward during the Sinemurian. A major pulse of rifting with an abrupt transition from carbonate shelf to pelagic basin environments of deposition marks the upper boundary of the lower Pliensbachian carbonate shelf deposits. This rifting episode with brittle fractures broke up the Rhaetian–early Pliensbachian carbonate shelf and has created a network of grabens, half grabens, horsts, and stacked ramps. Following this episode, a relative sea level rise led to pelagic sedimentation in the rift basins with local anoxic environments that also received debris shed from uplifted ramp crests. Another major episode spanning the whole early Pliensbachian–Bajocian is suggested by early brecciation, mass flows, slumps, olistolites, erosion, pinch-outs, and sedimentary prisms. A later increase in the rates of drifting marked a progress toward rift cessation during the Late Jurassic. These Jurassic carbonates with detrital deposits and black shales as the source rocks in northeastern Tunisia may define interesting petroleum plays (pinch-out flanking ramps, onlaps, and structurally upraised blocks sealed inside grabens). Source rock maturation and hydrocarbon migration began early in the Cretaceous and reached a maximum during the late Tortonian–Pliocene Atlassic orogeny.
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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.

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See Also: Delegates Voice Article

Greetings fellow members of the House. I am pleased to report to you that the cumulative efforts of the past several Boards of the Division of Professional Affairs have reaped generous harvest. Through their shared goal of enhancing the relevance of the Division to our members, and through laudable efforts by many people, our treasurer, Debbie Osborne has reported that we have reversed a long trend of negative annual balances, and the past two fiscal years the DPA has posted a small gain.

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See Also: Student Video

The History of AAPG/AAPG Foundation Imperial Barrel Award. Presented by David Cook at Houston Geological Society Legends Night in Houston, Texas on 19 January, 2015.

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