Global insights focuses on Asia Pacific

Singapore ICE Has World-Class Program

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)

A world-class technical program that promises to address the world’s rapidly changing and intensifying demands for energy is about to move from the planning stage onto the main stage.

“Asia-Pacific Resources: Fueling the Future” is the theme for the AAPG International Conference and Exhibition, which will be held Sept. 16-19 at the Marina Bay Sands Expo and Convention Center in Singapore.

The meeting marks the first time AAPG has turned to Singapore for its annual ICE event. The last time the Asia-Pacific region hosted an ICE was the 2006 meeting in Perth, Australia, which was the highest-attended ICE in the event’s 24-year history.

Organizers, recognizing the growing impact of unconventional development in the region and throughout the world, have focused on providing a program that is responsive to the world’s current reality of demand and potential.

For example, the meeting’s first technical event will be a plenary session titled “The Unconventional Resources Energy Revolution – Is Asia Pacific Next?”

“The 2012 ICE is happening in the right region at the right time,” said general chair Richard Lorentz, with Kris Energy in Singapore. “The unconventional theme addresses a big question – can Asia follow the success of the North American story?”

The plenary session, which will be moderated by past AAPG president Scott Tinker, will discuss and debate accelerating Asia-Pacific’s shale gas, shale liquids and coalbed methane plays.

But Lorentz is quick to point out that the conference draws on not only the Asia-Pacific region, but from all over the world for insights into “evaluating our approaches to the core elements of petroleum systems – from frontier basins to mature petroleum provinces.”

Right Place, Right Time

Meeting in Singapore, itself, further emphasizes the theme and intent of the meeting.

“Things have really picked up since the financial crisis of the late 1990s, and once you visit Singapore you can feel the increase of activity,” Lorentz said. “Companies want to be active in Asia – this is perfect timing for an AAPG ICE where the depth and breadth of our technical program will address the current issues in an Asia-Pacific context.

“Asia is the most populous continent in the world with one of the highest levels of economic growth, which is likely to continue over the next couple of decades,” he continued. “The growth is fueling higher energy demand, whether it be conventional, unconventional or alternative sources in this resource-rich region.

“Gas will continue to be a big and increasing part of the energy mix in Asia,” he added. “And there is a move now to unconventionals.”

Another plus is the ICE locale: the new Marina Bay Sands Expo and Convention Center, located in the heart of Singapore.

“The fantastic site gives the delegates the opportunity to really see and taste the city first hand,” Lorentz said, “its rich diversity of food and cultures and the wonderful tropical fauna.”

The technical program itself comprises 212 oral and 185 poster presentations – “plus an excellent offering of short course and field trips,” Lorentz added.

That program is organized around five areas:

  • Exploring and Developing Asia-Pacific’s Petroleum Provinces.
  • Trap, Source, Reservoir and Seal Definition.
  • The Past Is the Key to the Future.
  • Facing the Future’s Challenges Today.
  • New Dimensions in Global Unconventional Resources.

Organizers pushed for creative approaches in all areas, with an eye toward offering new perspectives and formats for the presentations.

One result of that initiative: The AAPG Discovery Thinking forum , a regular feature of recent AAPG Annual Conventions and Exhibitions, will make its ICE premiere in Singapore.

The forum will feature five invited speakers who have “made a difference” in the profession and industry, talking not only about global discoveries but the creative thinking and processes that led to their success.


Other highlights planned for the Singapore ICE include:

♦ The opening ceremony, set for 5 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 16, will be a fast-moving, colorful and informative opening led by Lorentz and featuring brief remarks from AAPG President Ted Beaumont and dignitaries from Singapore.

The multi-media program will conclude with a traditional Singaporean Lion Dance – a dazzling, unforgettable blend of artistry and powerful rhythms.

♦ A special technical session honoring the career and legacy of the late, renowned educator Charles Hutchison .

♦ The large exhibit hall will feature the latest in technology, science and data services – and will be the site of the Icebreaker to start the meeting as well as the Wednesday “Sundowner” reception to mark the conclusion.

♦ Two ticketed luncheons:

  • The AAPG/DPA Featured Speaker Luncheon will feature Scott Tinker, director for the Bureau of Economic Geology and the State Geologist of Texas, talking about “The Global Energy Transition.” It will be held Monday, Sept. 17.
  • The EMD/DEG Luncheon will feature licensed water well driller John V. Fontana talking about “Water Well ‘Problems’ In Areas of Unconventional Resource Development: Appearances Are Deceiving and Solutions Are Many.” It will be held Tuesday, Sept. 18.

The movie “Switch,” featuring Tinker – and which focuses on the question, “What will it really take to make the transition from oil and coal to alternative energy sources?” – will be screened at a special ICE event Monday night, Sept. 17.

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