‘Innovators’ and ‘technology enthusiasts’

EMD an Unconventional Resource

Are you passionate about unconventional energy resources? Would you like to learn as much as possible about the latest concepts and technologies to explore and develop these?

Then look no further than AAPG’s Energy Minerals Division, which has been devoted to unconventionals for over 30 years!

Does this surprise you? It might, because people don’t immediately make the link between unconventionals and energy minerals. And that’s the key reason for this article – to make AAPG members aware that the EMD should be your unconventional resource.

EMD strives to be a recognized technology and scientific center of excellence of unconventional energy and energy minerals resources within AAPG. We focus on generating and compiling technical information and delivering this to our members in our “Members Only” site and through an ever-expanding number of oral and poster presentations, workshops, conferences, short courses, fieldtrips and publications.

Perhaps you also have noticed the “standing room only” EMD-sponsored and organized sessions at the past three AAPG conventions.

The engine for this information is a set of 12 technical committees, staffed with some of the best and brightest people from industry, academia and government. These committees are focused on:

  • Tight gas sands.
  • Gas shales.
  • Oil sands.
  • Coal.
  • Coalbed methane.
  • Geothermal energy.
  • Oil shales.
  • Nuclear minerals.
  • Gas hydrates.
  • Geospatial information.
  • Energy economics and technology.
  • Renewable energy resources (jointly with the Division of Environmental Geology).

The need for this type of resource has never been greater. Did you realize, for example, that more than 90 percent of the wells being drilled in North America today are completed in unconventional reservoirs? How is it possible that this could be true, and yet only 1,450 of AAPG’s 35,000 members (4 percent) belong to EMD?

Perhaps the answer is that EMD members are the innovators, generating and disseminating information on the technical characterization of unconventionals within AAPG. Support for this concept comes from the article “New Ideas and Their Diffusion,” published by Art Berman in the November 25, 2006, HGS Bulletin.

Art’s paper uses the concept of “Diffusion Theory” to explain that early in the life cycle of new ideas and technologies, only a small percentage of a given population understands and applies this knowledge. Later on, more people accept it based on the experience of those that have preceded them. And finally, nearly everyone embraces this new way of thinking or doing things based on its momentum.

Diffusion Theory as a model for the life cycle of a company or play.
Diffusion Theory as a model for the life cycle of a company or play.

The accompanying diagram illustrates how the EMD membership could be classified as the “Innovator” or “Technology Enthusiasts” group within AAPG.

The growing acceptance of the ideas and technologies underpinning the exploration and development of unconventional reservoirs is a good example of diffusion theory in action. Using this model, EMD members represent the innovators who benefit from the early acceptance of this knowledge, and who work to extend this knowledge to others.

The Diffusion Model also predicts that about 15 percent of the total population (innovators and early adopters) need to embrace these new ideas and technologies to help combat the 15 percent skeptics/laggards within the greater population, before there is enough momentum to capture the larger population.

This argues that EMD needs to nearly quadruple its membership to be an effective force for change within AAPG.

If you have this “Innovator” spirit, come join us! You can visit our Web site to learn about the benefits of EMD membership – and to submit an application today.

We look forward to welcoming you.

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