Explorer Director’s Corner

May is upon us. In the northern hemisphere we’re in the middle of spring, a time of awakening and new beginnings. Here in Oklahoma, the sun is shining, the grass is green and the roses are in bloom. But there’s another side to spring in Oklahoma: tornado season. And for many of us, the present situation looks more like foreboding thunderheads, hail, fierce winds and sheets of rain. COVID-19 continues to spread illness and uncertainty. Far too many of us have either been directly affected by this virus or know someone who has. None of us has escaped the impact of a staggering collapse in oil prices. Graduation has been canceled. This month looks more sinister than sunny. And all of us – newly minted graduates, mid- career and seasoned veterans alike – are asking, “What’s next?”

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Emphasis Article

With oil reaching historic lows, massive layoffs, a growing stigma against fossil fuels, and new fields of science with a futuristic feel, it is understandable why studying the geosciences – particularly for careers in petroleum – might strike a student as a bad idea. Most would agree the oil and gas industry has a major public relations crisis on its hands. To remain relevant, it must demonstrate the growing need for geoscientists in forward-thinking positions where job security is all but a given.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Article

'Attracting investment capital looked like a challenge for the oil and gas industry heading into this year, as investors put increased emphasis on profitability and steady returns. At first that situation appeared to be an emerging problem. Then prices fell off a cliff, with damaging results for exploration funding. The worldwide spread of the coronavirus gutted oil demand while a dispute between Saudi Arabia and Russia left both sides threatening to increase crude production. OPEC+ eventually reached a compromise on cutting output, but most analysts felt it was too little, too late, putting oil and gas in a money crunch. '

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Learn! Blog

As geoscientists, we have a deep appreciation of the rocks themselves, whether they are in the field or in the lab. We also know that the one constant in geological history is change, and those changes can be both gradual and almost instantaneous (think Chicxulub). Now, COVID-19 is challenging educators to force face-to-face learning environments, including classrooms, laboratories, and field courses to move online. Here is a quick summary of best practices and lessons learned when it comes to transitioning from face-to-face to online learning.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Division Column DPA

It has been said that wise people surround themselves with the smartest people they can find and then listen to them. I am always looking for opportunities to learn something about the future of oil and gas from people in other disciplines. In late February, with that thought in mind, I attended a luncheon hosted by the Unites States Association for Energy Economics at the Federal Reserve building in Houston.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer President’s Column

What a difference a month makes. I discussed black swan events in last month’s President’s Column. Let me tell you, the AAPG and the oil industry just got hit with three black swan events all at once: the coronavirus, the stock market’s major drop and the oil price plunge. While the drop in the stock market and the drop in demand for oil have a direct tie to the coronavirus, the unwinding of OPEC+ has added to the oil price drop. Understandably, the events of this past month have caused an increased amount of anxiety for many people.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Article

“Normally one would talk about an event like this in terms of recent discoveries and trends.” That’s Neil Hodgson, AAPG Europe president, talking about what happened – more to the point, what didn’t happen – at the recent APPEX Prospect and Property Expo in London. He has good reason for the non- announcement: recent discoveries and trends in the industry are, he believes, an ongoing occurrence for explorationists – it’s part of their DNA. What is needed right now is a re-focus – a rebirth. Listening to Hodgson, there is a sense that while he sees the clouds on the energy horizon – especially in Europe, he is more excited about the sun peeking through them.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Emphasis Article

On Feb. 11, Colombia’s state oil company Ecopetrol signed a joint venture with Royal Dutch Shell granting the company 50-percent working interest in the Fuerte Sur, Purple Angel and Colombia-5 blocks located in the Southern Colombian Caribbean. Shell is not the only company taking note of Colombia’s offshore potential. Noble Energy entered the country in 2018 and obtained its first acreage position with a 40-percent operational stake in the COL-3 and GUA OFF-3 blocks in March 2019. Ian Gordon, Colombia country manager for Noble, said the country has a lot to offer to companies seeking offshore opportunities.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Emphasis Article

In the wake of a long hiatus from discoveries that nearly made Oman obsolete in the industry, potential is brewing again. This time, it is offshore where Eni recently began drilling the country’s first deepwater well. Eni CEO Claudio Descalzi announced, “The first drilling that we are doing in the region will be in Oman in February. It will be the first (deepwater) offshore drilling in Block 52 in Oman, so it’s quite important.” Block 52 is a vast area of approximately 90,000 square kilometers off the southern and southeastern seaboard of Oman, with water depths up to 3,000 meters. The exploration well was planned just seven months after the completion of seismic data acquisition and is likely to show gas-condensate.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Emphasis Article

In the oil and gas industry, the size of a discovery matters. And these days, so does the environmental footprint of extracting its resources. As the world continues to research sustainable energy sources, one geologist – in a rare twist – is looking to giant deepwater oil and gas fields for solutions. “If we’re looking for efficient sources of energy with manageable environmental footprints, deepwater may be the place to look,” said AAPG Member Henry S. Pettingill, consultant and former geologist for Shell and Noble Energy. While it often seems that environmental strain related to energy consumption is the focus, Pettingill suggests considering the environmental cost of extracting and producing that energy.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)

Hot Items

Explorer Article

The results are in for the AAPG officer election for the president-elect, vice president – regions, and secretary. Thank you for your voting participation!

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Events Blog

URTeC 2021 Registration Now Open! Plan to join us at the Unconventional Resources Technology Conference (URTeC) 26–28 July 2021, in-person at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston, Texas and online.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Events Blog

Hey you Unconventional Resources Team Rock Stars! We’re proud to announce the profits from Carson Beyer's new song, 'The Rocks' -- inspired by all of you -- will be donated to Oilfield Helping Hands. We stand with OHH and Carson proudly and want to do our part in offering a helping hand to all who have been affected. If you would like to make a donation, go to https://lnkd.in/dB53uvy . 

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
wwwUpdate Blog

AAPG publications are widely read by geologists, geophysicists and reservoir engineers. Are they your target audience? Then take advantage of the many advertising opportunities available in AAPG’s news and journal magazines.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
wwwUpdate Blog

Courtesy of AAPG and AAPG Datapages, two Discovery Series data sets have been donated free of charge for use as online teaching materials. Discovery Series 10 – Sandstone Petrology: A Tutorial Petrographic Image Atlas 2nd Edition and Discovery Series 15 – Carbonate Petrology: Interactive Petrography Tutorial, both authored by Kitty Milliken, have been posted online for easy accessibility.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
wwwUpdate Blog

The AAPG Mobile app will let you easily connect with friends and colleagues and access all of your AAPG membership benefits right through your mobile device. Available for download for both iOS and Android devices!

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)

Headquarters Contacts

Diane Keim
Diane Keim Administrative Coordinator, AAPG +1 918 560-2644