In the northern hemisphere we are preparing for winter. Each day the sun sits lower in the sky, rising later and sinking earlier. Here in Oklahoma – where the wind famously comes sweepin’ down the plain – the wind has a decided chill to it, and out come the sweaters, coats, hats and mittens.
For many of us, this season also is a time to spend with family and friends, enjoy crackling fires, offer good cheer and reflect on the year past and the year ahead.
At AAPG it’s been a year of continued progress and growth. Our membership numbers at the beginning of November were just below 40,000. These are oil and gas professionals – geoscientists, engineers, and other interested folks – who are drawn to the products and services that AAPG offers.
And perhaps most importantly, they join the Association to associate with like-minded men and women who find and produce the oil and natural gas that fuels the world.
Our mission at AAPG is to advance petroleum geoscience and to promote and encourage professionalism. And we’ve certainly worked to do just that.
This year we conducted two major AAPG conferences: ACE in Pittsburgh and ICE in Cartagena, Colombia. Both were successful events, providing an opportunity to learn through strong technical programs, educational courses, and opportunities to network with colleagues from across the globe.
In addition to these flagship AAPG events, we cooperated and participated in several other major conferences, including OTC, OTC Brasil, IPTC in Beijing, the Arctic Technology Conference, and 3P – Polar Petroleum Potential.
One notable addition to this line-up was the launch of URTeC, the Unconventional Resources Technology Conference, in cooperation with SPE and SEG. Building upon this initial success, we are now planning for the 2014 URTeC. And, in fact, the call for papers is currently open (see related story, page 4). I would encourage you to submit a paper and contribute to the momentum behind this multidisciplinary conference.
In addition to these large events, AAPG participated in numerous smaller events.
Last month I told you about the joint research symposium on fine-grained sediments we conducted with SEPM, Petrochina RIPED and the China University of Petroleum in Beijing. The Europe Region held a Region conference in Barcelona. And we conducted nearly 30 Geoscience Technology Workshops and Forums in the eastern and western hemispheres.
There were two Hedberg research conferences in 2013. The first, held in Beijing, focused on fundamental controls on petroleum systems in lower Paleozoic and older strata. The second was titled “3-D Structural Geologic Interpretation: Earth, Mind and Machine,” conducted in Reno, Nev.
AAPG provided numerous opportunities to learn something new by offering our members and customers worldwide access to over 50 short courses and 14 field seminars.
And don’t forget about AAPG publications – in 2013 the BULLETIN contained 83 peer-reviewed articles and we published seven books, ranging from the Great American Carbonate Bank to energy resources in the solar system.
A significant highlight this year is our partnership with SEG in launching the new quarterly peer-reviewed journal INTERPRETATION, focused on subsurface interpretation. The emphasis of this new periodical is the integration of tools and technology with scientific principles and insights.
This year also saw the formation of AAPG’s fourth technical division, the Petroleum Structure and Geomechanics Division. And this group, which has existed informally for quite a few years, is now formally recognized within AAPG and is focused solely on advancing the petroleum geosciences in the tectonic, structural geology and geomechanics domain.
In addition, to better serve our members and customers, we launched the AAPG Advisory and the Advisory Alert this summer. With these two monthly emails from AAPG we aim to keep you connected and informed with the many ways that you can engage with your fellow oil and gas professionals.
And we’ve added staff, based in Bogotá, Colombia, and Lagos, Nigeria, to create new opportunities for and better serve our members in Latin America and Africa.
There’s a common thread that weaves throughout all of these activities: The engaged member or contributor who offers to share his or her scientific or professional knowledge and experience for the benefit of the profession. That’s what makes professional societies unique – we teach each other what we know.
And it’s how we collectively accomplish AAPG’s mission.
As 2013 draws to a close I invite you to reflect on what you gained in the past year from AAPG membership, and how you contributed. It is your involvement that propels the Association forward.
The demand for petroleum continues to grow. And while AAPG may be approaching its 100th birthday, I can assure you that in pursuing our goal of advancing the world of petroleum geoscience we’re just getting started.