ACE 2011 – Disseminating the Science

Networking potential is always high at the AAPG Annual Convention and Exhibition.
Networking potential is always high at the AAPG Annual Convention and Exhibition.

Science is the heartbeat of AAPG. It is the key for innovation in our industry, and AAPG is dedicated to finding new scientific developments and related new technologies.

Once again it’s time to disseminate science at ACE –AAPG’s Annual Convention and Exhibition, and as usual, meeting along with SEPM. Once again the meeting is in Houston, and the meeting’s theme is fitting for the locale: “Making the Next Giant Leap in Geoscience.”

It will be held April 10-13.

Thousands of geoscientists, engineers, managers, professors, producers, teachers and students will be coming to share their findings and explore new ideas. With more than 400 oral presentations and more than 400 full-day posters, the technical program is the heart of the ACE.

There are 11 themes this year – and as you can see, there is something for everybody:

  • Molecules to Marketplace: The Business of Energy.
  • Global Deepwater Reservoirs: Giant Leaps in E&P.
  • Worldwide E&P: Opportunities in the New Decade.
  • Challenged Resource Frontiers.
  • Mudstones and Shales: Unlocking the Promise.
  • Siliciclastics: Advancing Research to Resource.
  • Insight into Carbonates and Evaporites.
  • Breakthroughs: Tectonics, Salt and Basin Analysis.
  • Integrating New Technology, Geophysics and Subsurface Data.
  • Energy and Environmental Horizons.
  • The Next Geo-Generation: Who, What and Where.

In addition to the technical program, one of my favorite places is the exhibit hall. Houston always has a great exhibition, and this year will be no exception. It is one of the best places to network while exploring new technology.

Of course, there are many ancillary activities at the convention – field trips, short courses, student activities, luncheons, forums, panels, special sessions, committee meetings, spouse activities and entertainment.

Some of the highlights include the opening session and awards ceremony on Sunday, April 10, from 4-5 p.m. in the George R. Brown Convention Center. If you have not attended the opening session lately, now is the time to enjoy an exciting program, which includes a keynote speech by AAPG President Dave Rensink.

The opening session is a great opportunity to recognize the great scientists and leaders of AAPG.

On Monday, April 11 there will be a special All-Convention Luncheon featuring four NASA astronauts, as well as one of my favorite programs – the Discovery Thinking Forum, which this year will feature five top executives discussing their success exploring for and finding hydrocarbons.

There also are numerous events for students and young professionals. One of the member’s favorites is the student reception on Monday night, when awards are provided for best student paper and poster and the winners of the Imperial Barrel Award (IBA) competition are announced.

It is important to thank the members and staff who work tirelessly to make a great program at ACE. We also thank all of the sponsors who help make ACE a reality at a reasonable cost.


I have attended every ACE since 1977, through good times and hard times. I always found it well worth the trip.

Please come and join us in Houston.

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Director's Corner

Director's Corner - Rick Fritz
Richard D. “Rick” Fritz, an AAPG member since 1984 and a member of the Division of Environmental Geosciences and the Division of Professional Affairs, served as AAPG Executive Director from 1999 to 2011.

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

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This article addresses the controls exerted by sedimentologic and diagenetic factors on the preservation and modification of pore-network characteristics (porosity, pore types, sizes, shapes, and distribution) of carbonates belonging to the Bolognano Formation. This formation, exposed at the Majella Mountain, Italy, is composed of Oligocene–Miocene carbonates deposited in middle- to outer-ramp settings. The carbonates consist of (1) grainstones predominantly composed of either larger benthic foraminifera, especially Lepidocyclina, or bryozoans; (2) grainstones to packstones with abundant echinoid plates and spines; and (3) marly wackestones to mudstones with planktonic foraminifera.

The results of this field- and laboratory-based study are consistent with skeletal grain assemblages, grain sizes, sorting, and shapes, all representing the sedimentologic factors responsible for high values of connected primary macroporosity in grainstones deposited on the high-energy, middle to proximal outer ramp. Cementation, responsible for porosity reduction and overall macropore shape and distribution in grainstones to packstones deposited on the intermediate outer ramp, was mainly dependent on the following factors: (1) amount of echinoid plates and spines, (2) grain size, (3) grain sorting and shapes, and (4) clay amount. Differently, in the wackestones to mudstones, laid down on the low-energy, distal outer ramp, matrix is the key sedimentologic factor responsible for low values of scattered macroporosity and dominance of microporosity. The aforementioned results may be useful to improve the prediction of reservoir quality by means of mapping, simulating, and assessing individual carbonate facies with peculiar pore-network characteristics.

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