Special sessions in spotlight

DPA Agenda Full in San Antonio

The AAPG Annual Convention and Exhibition is the single greatest exercise in professional development that we have as energy geoscientists. We go to conventions to meet and network; to hear the latest in research; to see case histories of using tools and concepts to find and produce oil and gas; and to take counsel on the future of our society and our profession.

DPA plays a substantial role in all this. Although we don’t host technical sessions, we have special sessions – forums – as well as short courses and our luncheon. All of these events tie directly into our professional practice and behavior, and the external factors of government policy and economic choices that affect our careers.

In San Antonio, we are sponsoring an excellent two-hour ethics course with David Abbott. His courses always are worth attending, full of case studies and real ethical problems from his inexhaustible files. We also are co-sponsoring a course on career development for new and mature geoscientists.

And our DPA Luncheon featuring Texas Railroad Commissioner Elizabeth Ames Jones already is nearly sold out.

But I want to share the lineups from our two forums:

Our headliner forum is on Tuesday morning: “Energy Resources, Reserves and the Future Workforce: Policy and Labor in the Geosciences.” The session is co-chaired by general convention chair (and PTTC chair) Gene Ames, and by me.

Here’s who you can hear at this event:

Larry Chorn, chief economist at Platts, speaking on global energy competition, and what it might take to prosper.

Rod Nelson, Schlumberger, summarizing the National Petroleum Council study on energy resources.

David Curtiss, director of AAPG’s GEO-DC office, offering the view from Washington on impacts of the NPC study and on current initiatives in work force development.

Randall Luthi, director of the Minerals Management Service, speaking on domestic energy policy – including access to Federal lands and waters.

Dan Tearpock, Subsurface Consultants and chair of the DPA Committee on Reserves Training, speaking on the SEC’s request for changes in reserves standards, and the need for professional training of reserves evaluators.

Rick Deery, U.S. House of Representatives Western Caucus, speaking on the political dimensions of training our future geoscience work force (especially EMSRA, the “Energy and Mineral Schools Reinvestment Act”).

Pat Leahy, American Geological Institute, speaking on investments in the geoscience work force, specifically addressing the supply side.

You need to hear all of these people, and ask them hard questions. Please come and learn about the current activity in Washington, D.C., and elsewhere, and our need to develop our future work force!

NOTE: These speakers are not listed in the registration brochure. For more information look for signs and posters at the convention, or check the Web site!

Our second forum, equally outstanding, is Monday afternoon’s session on “Discovery Thinking,” chaired by Charles Sternbach and Ted Beaumont (see related story).

At this DPA forum, you can hear from some of the “greats” of the exploration world – people such as Marlan Downey, Bob Gunn, Alfredo Guzman, Dudley Hughes, Herbert Hunt and Clayton Williams – as they share some of their philosophy of exploration, the lessons they have learned and other insights.

Come learn about “the art of exploration!”


In fact, be sure to come to the convention and find many ways to enjoy San Antonio and South Texas.

Come to our DPA events, and learn how to develop as a professional geoscientist.

And come by the DPA booth, and learn how to join our community of professionals.

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Division Column-DPA

Division Column-DPA: Thomas E. Ewing

By THOMAS E. EWING DPA President.

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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See Also: Bulletin Article

Gas generation is a commonly hypothesized mechanism for the development of high-magnitude overpressure. However, overpressures developed by gas generation have been rarely measured in situ, with the main evidence for such overpressures coming from source rock microfractures, the physical necessity of overpressures for primary migration, laboratory experiments, and numerical modeling. Indeed, previous in-situ observations suggest that gas generation only creates highly localized overpressures within rich source rocks. Pore-fluid pressure data and sonic velocity–vertical effective stress plots from 30 wells reveal that overpressures in the northern Malay Basin are primarily generated by fluid expansion and are located basinwide within the Miocene 2A, 2B, and 2C source rock formations. The overpressures are predominantly associated with gas sampled in more than 83% of overpressure measurements and have a sonic-density response consistent with gas generation. The association of fluid expansion overpressures with gas, combined with the sonic-density response to overpressure and a regional geology that precludes other overpressuring mechanisms, provides convincing in-situ evidence for basinwide gas generation overpressuring. Overpressure magnitude analysis suggests that gas generation accounts for approximately one-half to two-thirds of the measured excess pore pressure in the region, with the remainder being generated by coincident disequilibrium compaction. Thus, the data herein suggest that gas generation, if acting in isolation, is producing a maximum pressure gradient of 15.3 MPa/km (0.676 psi/ft) and not lithostatic magnitudes as commonly hypothesized. The gas generation overpressures in this article are not associated with a significant porosity anomaly and represent a major drilling hazard, with traditional pore-pressure prediction techniques underestimating pressure gradients by 2.3 plusmn 1.5 MPa/km (0.1 plusmn 0.07 psi/ft).
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Isolated carbonate buildups (ICBs) are commonly attractive exploration targets. However, identifying ICBs based only on seismic data can be difficult for a variety of reasons. These include poor-quality two-dimensional data and a basic similarity between ICBs and other features such as volcanoes, erosional remnants, and tilted fault blocks. To address these difficulties and develop reliable methods to identify ICBs, 234 seismic images were analyzed. The images included proven ICBs and other features, such as folds, volcanoes, and basement highs, which may appear similar to ICBs when imaged in seismic data. From this analysis, 18 identification criteria were derived to distinguish ICBs from non-ICB features. These criteria can be grouped into four categories: regional constraints, analysis of basic seismic geometries, analysis of geophysical details, and finer-scale seismic geometries. Systematically assessing the criteria is useful because it requires critical evaluation of the evidence present in the available data, working from the large-scale regional geology to the fine details of seismic response. It is also useful to summarize the criteria as a numerical score to facilitate comparison between different examples and different classes of ICBs and non-ICBs. Our analysis of scores of different classes of features suggests that the criteria do have some discriminatory power, but significant challenges remain.
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See Also: CD DVD

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See Also: Field Seminar

Participants will examine illustrative outcrops of thrusts, fault-related folds, stratal architectures and facies of depositional systems affected by growing structures, which are good analogues for hydrocarbon reservoirs. Objectives include interpreting complex thrust structures, identifying and understanding strain and fracture systems in fold-thrust belts, and analyzing patterns of growth strata in areas with synsedimentary folding.

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See Also: Short Course

Here is an introduction to the tools and techniques that geologists and geophysicists use to locate gas and oil, that drillers use to drill the wells and that petroleum engineers use to test and complete the wells and produce the gas and oil. Exercises throughout the course provide practical experience in well log correlation, contouring, interpretation of surface and subsurface, contoured maps, seismic interpretation, well log interpretation, and decline curve analysis.

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