The International Meeting for Applied Geoscience and Energy, or IMAGE ’21, the integrated annual convention of AAPG and the Society of Exploration Geophysicists in conjunction with the Society for Sedimentary Geology, is all set for its inaugural event to be held online and in-person in Denver, Colo., Sept. 26 to Oct. 1. This gathering of the industry’s top thinkers, leaders and innovators boasts an impressive schedule of special sessions, workshops, field trips and other offerings to expand geoscience and professional skills.
The Southwest Section Convention sizzled in the Fort Worth heat in late June, marking the first in-person section convention since the pandemic, and attracting a larger than anticipated number of geologists and geophysicists. Southwest Section organizers were thrilled with the large number of on-site registrations resulting in sellout ticketed events at the Radisson Fort Worth meeting site.
The future for a petroleum geoscientist might seem more uncertain these days as the transition to cleaner energy begins. Fewer students have their ambitions set on oil and gas careers and industry professionals are beginning to question how their knowledge and skills will fit into a world of new energies. But, as many observers have noted, oil and gas will continue to play a key role in fueling the energy system for decades to come. As well as being needed to explore, geoscientists will be the bedrock for many emerging roles prompted by the transition because of their expertise in the subsurface.
OPEC+ and the United Arab Emirates appear to have settled their spat over production levels for now, but the “prisoner’s dilemma” of the current oil market remains, and that could have long- term ramifications for the industry.
The International Meeting for Applied Geoscience and Energy, or IMAGE ’21, the integrated annual event of AAPG and the Society of Exploration Geophysicists in conjunction with the Society for Sedimentary Geology, is all set to be held online and in Denver, Colo., Sept. 26 to Oct. 1. The event will bring together many of the greatest minds and leaders from multiple disciplines of the geosciences sector, which includes an impressive lineup of keynote speakers that include IHS Markit’s Daniel Yergin, Kirsten Siebach of the Mars Perseverance mission and Kirk Johnson of the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History.
“The beauty of the unconventionals is, while they’re expensive, we know where they are.” That’s Carlos Torres-Verdin, Brian James Jennings memorial endowed chair and Zarrow centennial professor of petroleum engineering at the University of Texas at Austin, talking about the promise of unconventional energy production in the United States, both from an industry standpoint and with a view to its position in the country’s future energy mix. According to a study by the Harvard University Business School, by 2030, 3.8 million jobs, half of which would be accessible to middle-skilled workers, could potentially be supported by the development of unconventional resources.
It is a fair question, right? We have all thought about it. If I think back to that “Intro to Geology” course in college, it seemed “easy” at the beginning, probably because it was so much fun! It was an intoxicating course for an outdoor/nature-minded science student. The professor showing us a wide range of Earth landforms and processes with slides of beautiful places, teasing out the idea of a career with outdoor travels around the globe. Plus, hanging out with other geology students was a blast, whether after class drinking a beer or hiking over a pile of rocks. Who knew those were the early days of “networking”? As with any discipline however, the more you advance, the more you must work at it. Those advanced classes and degrees were not easy, but the value and enjoyment were worth it.
Petroleum exploration on the United States’ Outer Continental Shelf has a colorful history, punctuated by the interplay between private enterprise and government oversight. Except for a thin strip near the coast controlled by the adjacent coastal state, the entire area is under federal government jurisdiction. As of 2020, the OCS provides about 15 percent of U.S. domestic oil production and 2 percent of natural gas. The following is a brief history of that government oversight and how the author’s involvement may have saved the industry’s activity in the OCS from being nationalized.
“Transmission, generally, is a bipartisan issue.” That hopeful note on the national energy grid, specifically the need to fortify, improve and expand it so Americans can efficiently get the energy they need – and in the midst of all the rancor about what the president’s infrastructure bill will or will not ultimately encompass – comes from Sen. Martin Heinrich, D-N.M. The reason there seems to be bipartisan support on the grid is in part, he said, because regardless of party affiliation, Americans have come to rely on being able to access the energy we need. Making sure that is always the case, made more complicated by all the new energy sources that will soon travel the grid, was the topic of a recent GE-sponsored Axios event on the transmission of energy, it’s resilience, sustainability – and reinvention.
Just as Alaska was bracing itself for the economic fallout of the Biden administration’s adversarial stance on oil and gas, two recent court decisions are giving the state hope. On June 15, a federal judge lifted the administration’s temporary ban on federal lease sales, clearing the way for a highly anticipated lease sale in the prolific National Petroleum Reserve – Alaska. And, on May 26, a brief filed by the U.S. Department of Justice affirmed that the Willow Project, a major discovery in NPRA that has been tied up in environmental-related lawsuits, complies with environmental regulations. While it remains unclear how soon the NPRA lease sale can take place, it is expected that the Willow project, one of the North Slope’s largest projects in recent years, will move forward.
Claudia J. Hackbarth, a Houston-based geologist who has held a variety of management and leadership positions for the Royal Dutch Shell Group, assumed the presidency of AAPG on July 1.
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.
Executive summary of the AAPG 2022 Member/Customer Planning Survey
Results of the 2022 AAPG Member/Customer Planning Survey.
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