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Another Successful Conference in Yangon

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Contributors: Peter Grant

The AAPG/EAGE/MGS held their second geological conference in Yangon Myanmar from 19-20 November 2015. The conference was aptly titled “Innovation in Geoscience: Unlocking the Complex Geology of Myanmar”

The conference was attended by 211 delegates who participated in a very strong technical program. In fact we had such interest in providing papers that for the first time we had to have 2 parallel sessions. The papers were of a very high quality and it was very pleasing to see that we had such diversity in these papers, from industry (international and local), international academia, local universities and Government. The conference was opened by his Excellency the Deputy Minister for Energy, U Aung Htoo who set the challenge to industry and academia to assist his country in “finding solutions to the complex geology of Myanmar for the success of their citizens”. This conference theme became the battle cry of most of the subsequent talks.

Myanmar awarded many new onshore and offshore PSCs in 2014/15 and the initial exploration programs, are now just commencing or in the late planning stages. In addition, the drilling of the first of the deepwater wells by Woodside and partners Total and MPRL in the Rakhine basin will have commenced by the time this is published. The industry is monitoring these activities with keen interest.

Often at conferences, the operators who are conducting new operations are often guarded with what they disclose. It was very reassuring to see that many of the operators were open in their presentations and provided glimpses of how they are tackling the technical challenges that they face, and we thank them for this. In addition, the academic discussions on the tectonic evolution of the area progressed and continued at length, sometimes with a little passion. It is interesting on reflection to see how over the last 15 months since our last conference there are new ideas in this area, just further adding to the theme of the conference that not only is the geology complex, it is still little understood.

I would like to thank all our sponsors who were very generous, the presenters who made the conference a great success and our partners the EAGE and MGS. This was an excellent conference, the papers and conversations outstanding and all appropriate to the theme. We will plan a further conference probably in early 2017 when all the new operational activities will be completed and the companies will have had time to reflect on the results. We hope to see you in Myanmar again then.

Peter Grant

AAPG Asia Pacific Region president

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