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Legislation Tracking Service Planned

To begin with, this being the first of several articles that are one of the many responsibilities of the DPA president, I didn’t know where to begin or what to write.

Needless to say, I follow in the footsteps, most recently, of Tom Ewing, Rich Green, Mike Party, Deborah Sacrey, Bob Shoup, Tom Mairs, Royce Carr and many other past DPA presidents – and without exception, all have provided both distinguished service and vision to and for this Division.

So where do I want to go and what do I want to relate concerning our profession and the DPA?

Well, here goes – an announcement of something new and quite exciting.

In the very near future, an extremely valuable and useful tool will be available to all DPA members on the “Members Only” section of the DPA Web site. During the recent annual meeting in San Antonio the DPA Council chose to subscribe to a legislative reporting service, TrendTRACK, a service that provides a connective link, via key search words and filters, to all of the 50 state legislatures and the U.S. Congress.

Once the key profiles have been finalized, a DPA member who wants to determine if there is any legislation that will impact his/her professional geologic practice will go to the “Members Only” section of the DPA Web site and simply click on any of the predefined profiles that most appropriately fit and/or impact their area of practice.

With one click of the mouse you will be able to see, track and respond to (if warranted or desired) legislation that may influence your sector of professional geologic practice!

If anyone has tried to negotiate a state legislative site, or several different state sites, you already have discovered that every one of them is different and generally not very user friendly. TrendTRACK cuts through all of those differences and consolidates everything into a concise and reliable legislative tracking system.

Further, it is anticipated that state-level legislation that could be of note to the DPA membership (or to the general AAPG membership) also will be tracked by the Division’s Governmental Affairs Committee (GAC – ably chaired by Carl Smith), and when appropriate these legislative bills may be flagged and opposed or supported via the GAC.

When this information is deemed critical, action may be requested to contact legislators with the GAC’s recommended action.

The DPA Council also authorized the use and access of this legislative tracking service for the AAPG’s GEO-DC office via its director, David Curtiss.

With this service being made available, the daunting task of first being made aware of new, federal legislation and then tracking it as it makes its way through the legislative process will be readily available to that office.

This should make David’s work in Washington somewhat more manageable – and provide him with needed information, at his fingertips, to move forward with his charge.

Finally, this reminder to DPA members: On the "Members Only" section of the DPA Web site there is a section where you can go and record all of the continuing education courses, seminars, meetings attended, etc.

This feature is extremely useful and easy to use and was implemented by the Division for those DPA members who are subject to continuing education requirements that may have been instituted via a state board of licensure/registration, or have voluntarily elected to become "board certified" with the DPA.

If anyone has been subject to an audit - and it is not a matter of “if” but rather a matter of “when” you will be audited by one of these boards - you will find that the few minutes it takes to enter the information worth its weight in gold (or now, oil), especially when you are searching through check registers or errant pieces of paper that may clutter your desk, or floor around it, like mine.

This service is just like an insurance policy - you hope you never need it, but when and if you do it will be at your fingertips.

(Note: The Texas Board of Professional Geoscientists will accept a printout of your DPA record as evidence of your continuing education activities.)

Next time, online ethics courses.

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Division Column-DPA Rick Ericksen
Rick L. Ericksen, of the Mississippi State Board of Registered Professional Geologists, Jackson, Mississippi, is DPA President for 2008-09.

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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DPA Officers Elected

Paul W. Britt, with Texplore Inc., in Houston, has been voted president-elect of the Division of Professional Affairs for 2008-09.

Britt will serve as DPA president in 2009-10.

Also newly elected as DPA officers are:

Vice president – Daniel M. Reynolds, Coral Coast Petroleum LC, Wichita, Kan. (one-year term).

Treasurer – Michael A. Fogarty, consultant, Canaan, N.H. (two-year terms).

They will be joined on this year’s board by DPA president Rick L. Ericksen; secretary Debra Rutan; and past president Tom Ewing.

See Also: Bulletin Article

Regional variations in thickness and facies of clastic sediments are controlled by geographic location within a foreland basin. Preservation of facies is dependent on the original accommodation space available during deposition and ultimately by tectonic modification of the foreland in its postthrusting stages. The preservation of facies within the foreland basin and during the modification stage affects the kinds of hydrocarbon reservoirs that are present.

This is the case for the Cretaceous Mowry Shale and Frontier Formation and equivalent strata in the Rocky Mountain region of Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming. Biostratigraphically constrained isopach maps of three intervals within these formations provide a control on eustatic variations in sea level, which allow depositional patterns across dip and along strike to be interpreted in terms of relationship to thrust progression and depositional topography.

The most highly subsiding parts of the Rocky Mountain foreland basin, near the fold and thrust belt to the west, typically contain a low number of coarse-grained sandstone channels but limited sandstone reservoirs. However, where subsidence is greater than sediment supply, the foredeep contains stacked deltaic sandstones, coal, and preserved transgressive marine shales in mainly conformable successions. The main exploration play in this area is currently coalbed gas, but the enhanced coal thickness combined with a Mowry marine shale source rock indicates that a low-permeability, basin-centered play may exist somewhere along strike in a deep part of the basin.

In the slower subsiding parts of the foreland basin, marginal marine and fluvial sandstones are amalgamated and compartmentalized by unconformities, providing conditions for the development of stratigraphic and combination traps, especially in areas of repeated reactivation. Areas of medium accommodation in the most distal parts of the foreland contain isolated marginal marine shoreface and deltaic sandstones that were deposited at or near sea level lowstand and were reworked landward by ravinement and longshore currents by storms creating stratigraphic or combination traps enclosed with marine shale seals.

Paleogeographic reconstructions are used to show exploration fairways of the different play types present in the Laramide-modified, Cretaceous foreland basin. Existing oil and gas fields from these plays show a relatively consistent volume of hydrocarbons, which results from the partitioning of facies within the different parts of the foreland basin.

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See Also: CD DVD

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See Also: Online e Symposium

This e-symposium will provide information on which tools, processes, and procedures all geoscientists, engineers, and technical professionals working in shale plays need to understand and implement.

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The surprising emergence of several new exploration plays and new ideas on the basin history demonstrates that we have much more to learn and harvest from this natural laboratory of sedimentary processes.
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