Season Premiere: A New Theme for DPA

The discovery of large quantities of oil in the early 20th century expanded the industrial revolution with an abundance of cheap, mobile energy across the world. This was the start of the "Oil Age."

One hundred years later we stand on the brink of another revolution - cheap natural gas for the near future. We are at the start of the "Natural Gas Age," and whether we like it or not, natural gas will most likely be cheap for the foreseeable future.

Although this is not great for gas producers, think of the effect this will have on the world's economy.

For example, North America now has a system that will provide some of the cheapest energy in the world. As a result of new technology, many countries will see this "gas effect" around the globe.

During my term as DPA president this year our theme will be "Culture of Greatness." This may sound arrogant, but I think it is important to recognize and promote the culture of professionalism and discovery that has provided cheap energy for mankind for more than 100 years.

It is the ingenuity of our collective professions that initiated the resource plays in the past decade. I think this is no accident. I believe it is the culture in our industry to be inquisitive, aggressive and searching that led to this new development.

Coupling this with the correct strategy of investment in science and technology for a good return has developed the new resource discoveries we have today.

The Division of Professional Affairs is a leader in professional development and discovery within AAPG. I thank you for your confidence in me as the leader of DPA, and I appreciate the opportunity to work with past DPA president Valary Schulz, the new Executive Committee, DPA councilors and the AAPG staff led by divisions manager Norma Briggs.

Val is a great leader and under her leadership we accomplished a lot for DPA last year.

The DPA originally founded to provide professional peer certification to its members. Although professional certification is still a very important part of our program, DPA has grown to be much more.

The first sentence of our mission statement is, "The DPA promotes professionalism and ethical standards for the AAPG." To me, the greatest value of DPA is the professional relationship among our members - I am always amazed at the networking opportunities within our group.

Our overarching goal is to develop DPA into a leader in professional development and discovery in our industry - a gold standard. As a result, we are focusing on education and training - especially in regards to prospecting and reserves.

Another past DPA president, AAPG Honorary member Charles Sternbach, is chair of the Playmaker Forum Committee, and currently we have five Playmaker Forums scheduled for fiscal year 2014-15. Locations will be in Calgary, Canada; London, England; Midland, Texas; Pittsburgh; and Oklahoma City.

These build on the success of two previous Houston Playmaker events (2013, 2014), which Charles conceived and organized.

Other events include:

Mark Gallagher has developed a very popular educational program on "Geosteering." These courses are typically sold-out.

Last year Bob Shoup, DPA's Continuing Education chair, led a successful forum on "Reserve Analysis," and another is planned for this year by current DPA Reserves and Resources Committee chair Eleazar Benedetto-Padron.

Of course DPA will continue to support AAPG's GEO-DC program, and we will look for opportunities to expand this program globally. Currently we are reviewing a new climate change position paper for AAPG.

Finally, with the development of AAPG's new website, we plan to overhaul the DPA site for easier use and access to information. Dianne Phu is the DPA website committee chair so please contact her if you have any questions about the website or would like to volunteer.

Presidential Medal of Freedom winner John W. Gardner once said:

"History never looks like history when you are living through it. It always looks confusing and messy, and it always feels uncomfortable!"

I believe the global decoupling of gas and oil prices will be recognized as a major event in history - and we plan to make DPA an integral part of the new resource revolution that is spanning the globe.

For all of our programs we need people - young professionals to senior geos.

So if you are a DPA member please contact us to get involved; we are looking for you!

And if you are not a member then please contact a DPA member, DPA staff or go online and become part of DPA.

We look forward to a great year - come and join us!

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Director's Corner

Division Column-DPA: Rick Fritz

Richard D. “Rick” Fritz, is the 2014-15 President for the Division of Professional Affairs.

Division Column-DPA

The Division of Professional Affairs (DPA), a division of AAPG, seeks to promote professionalism and ethical standards, provide a means for professional certification of petroleum geologists, coal geologists, and petroleum geophysicists, assist in career planning, and improve the professional well-being of AAPG members. For more information about the DPA and its activities, visit the DPA website.

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2014-15 DPA Officers

  • President – Richard D. Fritz, SM Energy, Tulsa.
  • President-Elect – Michael R. Canich, Trimont Energy, Pittsburgh.
  • Vice President – Gregory F. Hebertson, Midstates Petroleum, Houston.
  • Secretary – Terence G. O’Hare, Emerald Energy, Dallas.
  • Treasurer – Connie L. Mongold,  Shell Exploration and Production,  Houston.
  • Past President – Valary L. Schulz, Cinco Resources Inc., Dallas.