The Nigerian Association of Petroleum Explorationists has just concluded their 35th Annual International Conference and Exhibition held in Lagos from the 19th to the 23rd of November. Once again, this meeting was a resounding success, with over 1500 participants and over 150 technical oral and poster presentations. The conference was preceded by a workshop and several short courses, one of which was co-taught by our own Dr. Adelola Adesida (AAPG HoD Ghana representative). Highlights of the meeting included a jointly-chaired NAPE-AAPG-EAGE lead technical session on the “Application of New Technologies to Exploration in Africa” which will hopefully lead to future similar collaborative efforts by our three organizations. A Management Session mid-way through the conference provided interesting insights into new models for alternative funding of upstream projects in Nigeria which has significant implications for exploration in other countries across Africa. The most memorable event of the meeting for me personally was the Young Professionals Leadership Forum with the theme of the “Future of Oil and Gas in the Rapidly Changing Global Energy Mix” which Ademola Lanisa (AAPG Africa Region YP Chairperson), Tunbosun Oke Afolayan (past AAPG Africa Region YP Chairperson), Femi Esan (AAPG Africa Region President-Elect) and others worked so hard to organize. About 200 YP’s were hoped to be present, but about 500 were in attendance! I had great interactions with many of the YP’s both during the question and answer period and throughout the rest of the week. The most prevalent question I was asked concerned how to meet and engage the right professional mentor(s) – this is an important subject that our Africa Region leadership team will discuss over the coming months.
The meeting wasn’t all of a technical nature of course. In addition to great networking opportunities there was also a chance to experience the diversity of Nigerian culture up close during the African Night festivities. It was amazing how many local languages were toasted across the hall that night.
As we learned a few weeks ago, Oyebamiji Ajibola (AAPG Africa Region Treasurer) has been elected as the new President-Elect of NAPE, and this was formally announced at the Awards and Recognition ceremony at the end of the conference. The AAPG booth, under the leadership of Delia Kuye (AAPG Africa Region Office Manager) and with the assistance of several enthusiastic YP’s, was always busy and many AAPG memberships were either renewed or initiated. Both Delia and Abeer Zubaidi (AAPG Middle East & Africa Regions Director) helped provide a high profile for AAPG throughout the conference and organized several very productive AAPG Africa Region informal leadership meetings the results of which we will report back to the entire leadership team over the coming weeks.
I would like to offer our sincere thanks to Abiodun Adesanya (NAPE President), Andrew Ejayeriese (NAPE President-Elect), Nosa Omorodion (NAPE Immediate Past-President), Ajibola and all of the NAPE leadership and membership for their kind hospitality and interest in fostering the always strengthening AAPG-NAPE relationship. I am sure we will continue to build on this over the coming years and we all look forward to the 36th NAPE AICE!