Director's Corner

AAPG Ready for Its Role at the Upcoming OTC

Houston – the largest city in Texas and fourth-largest city in the United States – is widely considered the oil capital of the world. If you’re employed in our industry, the odds are high that you have either lived in Houston or frequently visit.

Many AAPG members were in town last month for a tremendously successful 2014 Annual Convention and Exhibition. Our thanks as an Association go out to the Organizing Committee and AAPG staff who worked so hard to design the technical program and other convention events, providing each of the attendees with a chance to learn and network, both essential to doing their jobs better.

This month the city of Houston will welcome back its largest annual convention, the Offshore Technology Conference (OTC), which begins May 5.

Back in 1969, 12 scientific and professional societies and associations came together to create an event focused on all aspects of energy production offshore. The range and scope of the participating organizations is far-reaching:

  • American Association of Petroleum Geologists
  • American Institute of Chemical Engineers
  • American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical, and Petroleum Engineers
  • American Society of Civil Engineers
  • ASME International Petroleum Technology Institute
  • Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Oceanic and Engineering Society
  • Marine Technology Society
  • Society of Exploration Geophysicists
  • Society for Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration
  • Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers
  • Society of Petroleum Engineers
  • The Minerals, Metals and Materials Society

In addition, there are additional endorsing and supporting organizations for OTC.

Oversight for OTC is provided by a board of directors representing the sponsoring organizations – each of the organizations has a representative, and Cindy Yeilding, vice president-Gulf of Mexico exploration for BP, currently serves in this capacity for AAPG.

OTC is a big show. Since 1969 more than 2.2 million attendees have participated. Last year alone attendance reached 101,000, once again approaching the 1982 high of 108,000. And the city of Houston has derived over $2.5 billion in economic value during the history of the event.

The draw for these attendees: a robust and peer-developed technical program and an exhibition of state-of-the-art technology and services needed in offshore energy production.

In fact, a walk through the OTC exhibition can be pretty overwhelming. Last year it encompassed more than 652,000 net square feet of exhibition space and included more than 2,700 exhibiting companies.

This is the place to bring people to get a sense of the size and scale of the oil and natural gas industry – it just goes on and on.


The technical program this year includes a host of AAPG-sponsored sessions, ranging from an ethics breakfast on Monday, May 5, where Silvia Peppoloni will speak about “Geoethics: A Way of Thinking and Practicing Geosciences.”

Other sessions include geohazard assessments, emerging offshore geoscience technologies, methane hydrates and the Law of the Sea. And this is just a sampling of the 15 sessions or events that AAPG is sponsoring.

We owe a debt of gratitude to the AAPG program committee who worked with their counterparts from the other sponsoring organizations to design and deliver this technical program.

  • Buford Pollett, chair, Eni
  • Eric Cauquil, vice chair, Total
  • Michael Abrams, Apache Corp.
  • Robert Bruce, BHP Billiton
  • Randall Cooper, Marathon Oil
  • Kimberly Faulk, Geoscience Earth & Marine Services
  • Gretchen Gillis, Saudi Aramco
  • Claudia Ludwig, consultant
  • Bo McCarthy, Apache Corp.
  • Jamie Patrick-Maxwell, Bachtel
  • Sue Pritchett, Ikon Science
  • Nina Rach, E&P Magazine
  • R.C. Shipp, Shell International E&P
  • James Thomson, BP plc
  • Stephen Wardlawm, Fugro GeoConsulting Inc.

OTC board members Cindy Yeilding and Wafik Beydoun, representing the Society of Exploration Geophysicists, have declared Tuesday, May 6 to be “Geosciences Day” at OTC, and there will be a reception for all AAPG and SEG members and other geoscientists attending OTC.


There’s a lot to do and see at OTC – you owe it to yourself to come and see what the buzz is all about.

Be sure to stop by the AAPG booth and say hi!

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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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