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


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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Emission of carbon dioxide (CO2) from fossil-fueled power generation stations contributes to global climate change. Capture of CO2 from such stationary sources and storage within the pores of geologic strata (geologic carbon storage) is one approach to mitigating anthropogenic climate change. The large storage volume needed for this approach to be effective requires injection into pore space saturated with saline water in reservoir strata overlain by cap rocks. One of the main concerns regarding storage in such rocks is leakage via faults. Such leakage requires, first, that the CO2 plume encounter a fault and, second, that the properties of the fault allow CO2 to flow upward. Considering only the first step of encounter, fault population statistics suggest an approach to calculate the probability of a plume encountering a fault, particularly in the early site-selection stage when site-specific characterization data may be lacking. The resulting fault encounter probability approach is applied to a case study in the southern part of the San Joaquin Basin, California. The CO2 plume from a previously planned injection was calculated to have a 4.1% chance of encountering a fully seal offsetting fault and a 9% chance of encountering a fault with a throw half the seal thickness. Subsequently available information indicated the presence of a half-seal offsetting fault at a location 2.8 km (1.7 mi) northeast of the injection site. The encounter probability for a plume large enough to encounter a fault with this throw at this distance from the injection site is 25%, providing a single before and after test of the encounter probability estimation method.
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Coordinated Geobiology research on Yellowstone hot springs and Caribbean and Pacific coral reef ecosystems have identified a suite of universally active microbe-water-rock interactions that fundamentally shape these ecosystems. While at first glance these seem to be wildly different and unrelated environments, close examination reveals a host of striking similarities and scientific parallels.

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