Finding Value In A Multi-Disciplinary Venture

Last month in this column I made the point that AAPG’s success as a scientific and professional society is highly dependent on the relevance and value of our products and services to our members and customers.

Relevance, to me, indicates that we are focusing on topics that really matter and that move us closer to fulfilling our mission of advancing the science. Value is a subjective thing, but our intent is that AAPG members and customers be enriched by what the Association offers – and that they ask for more.

That’s one way to describe AAPG’s strategic goal of being indispensable to the energy geoscientist.

If you joined us in Pittsburgh last month for the 2013 AAPG Annual Convention and Exhibition (ACE) you saw our most recent effort to deliver on these two themes. The organizing committee worked closely with our staff to plan and execute a conference that delivered relevant science content and valuable learning and networking opportunities for each of the participants.

Thanks to everyone who contributed to another successful ACE, and to all of you who attended for your support.


As you have read in this issue of the EXPLORER, our attention is now shifting westward to the Rockies and a brand new initiative to deliver relevance and value to the oil and natural gas marketplace: The Unconventional Resources Technology Conference (URTeC), scheduled Aug. 12-14 in Denver.

URTeC is brought to you by the Society of Petroleum Engineers, AAPG and the Society of Exploration Geophysicists.

The conference is multi-disciplinary, encompassing both the geosciences and engineering. But what makes it unique is its cross-disciplinary emphasis, where the technical program focuses attention on the intersections of these disciplines in relation to unconventional resources.

The design of this conference mirrors how companies operate. In the days of old a new ventures team may have developed a prospect and thrown it over the wall to the drillers, while they then moved on to the next opportunity. Today, however, geoscientists and engineers work together in teams to successfully find and produce hydrocarbons.

And it is here where we can expect to recognize and develop new insights and potentially breakthroughs.

URTeC attendees will have the opportunity over three days to choose from more than 300 presentations and “ePapers” across 20 themes, ranging from well design and geosteering to fluid flow, fracture prediction and case studies from unconventional plays across North America.

If you are interested in the science and technology of unconventional resource development, you will have no trouble finding talks that you want to see.

The technical program committee has put the emphasis for the conference on science and technology. That’s where we can deliver maximum value. But they also have provided significant opportunities to put the science and technology – and its broad societal impact – into context, through the opening plenary session, interactive expert panels and an energy policy forum.

This is essential, because the oil and natural gas industry’s ability to find and produce unconventional oil and natural gas ultimately depends on its social license to operate – that is, public acceptance to develop these resources.

One conference theme, for example, is dedicated to health, safety and environmental issues.

My hope is that URTeC will enable us to learn from each other and effectively communicate the best science, technology and operations practice. This will ensure our ability to deliver the potential that these resources have to offer.


I began this column talking about relevance and value. This is foremost on our minds here at AAPG. And URTeC is one more way that we, together with our sister societies, are innovating to advance the science and to provide you with products and services that help you do your job better.

See you in Denver this August!

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Director's Corner

Director's Corner - David Curtiss

David Curtiss is an AAPG member and was named AAPG Executive Director in August 2011. He was previously Director of the AAPG GEO-DC Office in Washington D.C.

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

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