Latin America & Caribbean Region Report - March 2020

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Advance the science of geology
Visiting Geoscientist Program (VGP)
  • In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the AAPG Visiting Geoscientist Program Committee sent a memorandum recommending the suspension of all in-person visits, and the LACR Leadership and VGP Committee supported the decision
  • The LACR VGP Committee, in response, developed a virtual strategy to continue supporting the program and connecting industry professionals with students through the remainder of the fiscal year
  • On March 31, the Committee launched Tuesday Talks with AAPG, a weekly live webinar series featuring LACR Visiting Geoscientists.
  • Each 90-minute session includes a 60-minute talk and up to 30 minutes of questions and answers with participants connected via WebEx or a similar platform.
  • The LACR VGP Committee is developing a calendar to include at least one talk per week from March 31 through June 30. Talks will feature a variety of speakers, topics, geographical regions and languages
  • The Committee contacted all LACR VGs to inform them of the virtual strategy and encouraged them to complete a survey indicating their interest in providing a virtual lecture. The survey asks them to provide a list of talks available, permission to record the sessions, presentation language and days and times available.
  • Tuesday Talks may continue at a lesser frequency when in-person visits resume
Tuesday Talks – March
  • 31 March – Josué Alejandro Mora delivered the talk “Analysis of the Lower Magdalena Valley Basin, NW Colombia, Including Three-Dimensional Modeling and Petroleum Systems” via WebEx. 250 people attended.
Earth Science Week


February and March activities organized by National Autonomous University of Nuevo Leon (UANL) Student Chapter members in Nuevo Leon, Mexico:

  • 18 February – “Environmental Sustainability and Recycling” workshop for elementary school students at the Hacienda de Guadalupe school, Linares, Nuevo Leon. 66 students participated.
  • 25, 26 February – “Introduction to Geosciences” talk delivered to students of the Conalep and CBTa 29 high schools in Linares, Nuevo Leon. 190 students attended.
  • 2 March – “What’s Geology and why is it Important?” activity presented to school students at Preparatoria 14 UANL school, General Teran, Nuevo Leon. 75 studnets participated.
  • 7, 11 and 13 March – UANL Student Chapter members participated in “Expo-Orienta” a UANL fair organized in the four UANL high schools. Member provided information about Geology and why studying an earth science career is a good choice. Members reached approximately 400 students, 100 in each high school.


  • 28 March – Shenille Samlal presented the STEM Session “Introduction to Earth Sciences” to students via the online platform Edmodo. Students of St. Francis College and St. Stephen’s College attended.

Student/Young Professional Sustainable Development in Energy Projects Contest

  • AAPG Latin America & Caribbean launched a contest to highlight energy projects promoting sustainable development with social, environmental and economic impacts
  • Sponsors: ACGGP, NEOIL Exploration, Rock Whisperer LLC
  • Contest winners will receive cash to fund their projects
    • First place: $2,000
    • Second place: $1,000
    • Third place: $500
  • Contest timeline:
    • Contest open:    1 February 2020
    • Proposals due:    30 April 2020
    • Winners announced:    30 May 2020
Promote geoscience and technology
GTW Colombia 2020: Exploration and Development in Southern Caribbean Basins
  • 27-28 October 2020
  • Event originally scheduled for 24-25 March postponed due to public health concerns and travel restrictions related to COVID-19
  • Committee considering moving event from Barranquilla to Bogota to accommodate companies who will face travel restrictions through the end of the year
  • Confirmed sponsorships from Shell, Noble Energy and Petrobras Colombia
  • Sponsorship from Ecopetrol canceled due to austerity measures
  • TGS and ANH to confirm based on new workshop information
  • Session Themes:
    • Tectonic Setting and Petroleum Systems
    • Recent Discoveries and New Plays
    • Enhanced Imaging and AVO/DHI
    • Seismic Acquisition, Risk Reduction and Drilling Optimization
    • Special Sessions: Government Strategies to Support Colombia’s Energy Sector
Energy Opportunities Conference, Exhibition and B2B Session
  • Camino Real Polanco, Mexico City, 23-24 September 2020
  • Evaluating possibility of postponing conference to a future date in order to ensure more robust participation
  • Developing a strategy for virtual forums to begin in late-April
  • Conference Sessions:
    • Maximizing the Region’s Energy Mix
    • Recent Experiences in Offshore Exploration Campaigns
    • Energy Outlook and Future Projections
    • Connecting Industry, Government and Regulators
    • Disruptive Technologies and their Impact on the Energy Sector
    • Roadmaps for Sustainable Energy Development: Technical, Financial and Societal Aspects
    • Reducing Risk and Optimizing Costs in the New Energy Era
  • Other event features:
    • Country Snapshots: open acreage, licensing and bid rounds throughout the region
    • Business-to-business session: one-on-one meetings with current and future partners in private conference rooms
    • U-Pitch Technology Showcase: shark tank-style session connecting entrepreneurs with investors
    • 700 m2 exhibition featuring individual stands and country pavilions
  • Confirmed sponsors to-date: Chevron, Shell
Unconventional Resources Technology Conference (URTeC) Argentina
  • Hilton Buenos Aires, Argentina, 16-18 November 2020
  • Currently planning to hold in-person conference as scheduled; will continue to monitor COVID-19 and evaluate its potential impact on the event
  • Call for Abstracts extended through June 11, 2020
  • Currently seeking abstract reviewers for all URTeC Session Themes:
    • Potential for New Unconventional Exploration and Development Plays
    • Integrated Reservoir and Play Characterization
    • Reserves Estimation and Production Forecasting
    • Geomechanics and Rock Physics
    • Well Construction and Design
    • Completions, Stimulation, and Implementation
    • Production, Operation, and Facilities
    • Seismic Applications for Unconventional Developments
    • Novel Technologies, R&D, and the Digital Oilfield
    • Social Performance and Stakeholder Management
Serve AAPG members throughout the Region
Region website & social media as of 2 April 2020
  • Facebook page has 2123 followers (increased 4.1%)
  • Twitter account has 803 followers (increased 5.2%)
  • LinkedIn account has 1857 followers (increased 5.0%)
Develop the next generation of geoscientists

Imperial Barrel Award (IBA)

  • IBA LACR sponsors: Chevron ($5000-confirmed), Shell ($10,000-estimated, not confirmed), Schlumberger (Petrel licenses for Brazil teams)
  • Virtual round competition with 30 teams from nine countries held on March 6. The Universidad Nacional de Piura from Peru stopped responding to messages and did not participate in the virtual competition
  • Teams were divided into four groups, with one winner selected from each group

Group A

  • Universidade Federal do Pampa (Brazil) – winning team
  • Universidade Federal do Amazonas (Brazil)
  • State University of Rio de Janeiro (Brazil)
  • Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (Brazil)
  • Federal University of Sergipe (Brazil)
  • Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte (Brazil)
  • Universidad Federal de Paraná (Brazil)
  • Universidade do Vale do Rio dos Sinos (Brazil)

Judges: Felipe Vargas, Lina Rendon, David Reed

Group B

  • Universidad de Buenos Aires (Argentina) – winning team
  • National University of Cordoba (Argentina)
  • Universidad Técnica de Oruro (Bolivia)
  • Universidad Mayor de San Andres (Bolivia)
  • Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos (Peru)
  • National University of San Antonio Abad of Cusco (Peru)
  • National University of San Agustin (Peru)
  • Universidad Nacional de Piura (Peru)

Judges: Mauricio Blanco, Cleveland Jones, Claudia Dueñas

Group C

  • Universidad Industrial de Santander (Colombia) – winning team
  • Universidad de Caldas (Colombia)
  • Universidad Pedagógica y Tecnológica de Colombia (Colombia)
  • Universidad del Norte (Colombia)
  • EAFIT University (Colombia)
  • Universidad Nacional de Colombia – Bogotá (Colombia)
  • Universidad de Pamplona (Colombia)
  • Universidad Autónoma Tomás Frías (Bolivia)

Judges: Mary Borrero, Ronnie Ameerali, Marcia Pinheiro, Muriel Miller

Group D

  • Universidad Simón Bolivar (Venezuela) – winning team
  • Universidad Central de Venezuela (Venezuela)
  • University of Los Andes (Venezuela)
  • Instituto Politécnico Nacional (Mexico)
  • Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico (Mexico)
  • Anton de Kom University of Suriname (Suriname)
  • University of the West Indies (Trinidad and Tobago)

Judges: Yeny Cortes, Lizbeth Calizaya, Carlos Aizprua

  • Winning teams will compete in the region semifinals, to be held virtually due to health concerns related to COVID-19 outbreak:
    • Universidade Federal do Pampa (Brazil)
    • Universidad de Buenos Aires (Argentina)
    • Universidad Industrial de Santander (Colombia)
    • Universidad Simón Bolivar (Venezuela)
  • Region Semifinal winner will advance to Global Finals, scheduled to take place in Houston on 6 June, one day prior to the AAPG Annual Convention and Exhibition (ACE). AAPG continues to monitor the current situation in order to determine how the IBA finals and ACE will be affected
2019 Student-Young Professional Leadership Summit*

2-4 October 2020 in Lima, Peru

  • Confirmed sponsorships from Chevron ($5000)
  • Organizing committee developed timeline for event organization and is developing the event website and a plan to promote sponsorship to companies and associations
Ready to Work (RTW) Program
  • Committees working in Argentina, Mexico, Suriname, Venezuela and Trinidad and Tobago developing programs for recent graduates being trained to work in the energy industry
  • The initiative is supported by the FY2020 Region budget, and additionally, though committees are seeking local support to strengthen the programs
  • The Mexico RTW Committee obtained $1500 in support from Shell Mexico
  • The Brazil RTW Committee, recipient of LACR funding in 2019, obtained $25,000 reais (approximately $US 5000) from ExxonMobil to conduct RTW activities in 2020
  • RTW committees originally planned to complete all activities by the end of AAPG’s FY 2020 fiscal year (30 June) but are evaluating timelines given public health concerns and university and business closures resulting from COVID-19
Student Chapters

February activities not previously reported

  • 1, 15 February - UTO, Oruro, Bolivia, participated in the webinar “Petrophysics Short Course – Part I" by Carlos Jiménez, of Emerson. 5 students attended.
  • 4-6 February – Two chapter members from IPN, Mexico City participated as volunteers for the AAPG Hedberg Research Conference: Geology and Hydrocarbon Potential of the Circum-Gulf of Mexico Pre-salt Section.
  • 7 February - IPN, Mexico City, Mexico, held the activity "Shell Meeting," 4 people attended.
  • 7–27 February - UANL, Linares, Mexico worked with the UANL Faculty of Earth Sciences and the UNIVERDE association to organize the “ECO FCT Campaign,” which focused on waste collection and recycling of aluminum cans, paper, cardboard and electronics on the campus
  • 9 February - USB, Caracas, Venezuela, participated in the field trip "Puerto Frances-Cabo Codera."28 students attended.
  • 21 February - IPN, Mexico City, Mexico, held the activity "College Scholarships: Khalifa", by Jamal Alsayyed, Program Director, and Cesar Maldonado, Program Specialist at the IIE. 20 students attended.
  • 21 February - UANL, Linares, Mexico, participated in the virtual talk “What happens to your residues? Waste management in Mexico: Current panorama and sustainable future” by Natalia Pulido Villarreal, RECLON. 45 students attended.
  • 22 February - UTO, Oruro, Bolivia, held the activity “Handling the Brunton-type Compass Short Course.” 20 students attended.

March activities

  • 2-3 March - Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP), Campinas, Brazil, attended the enrolment confirmation of the new undergraduate students of the Institute of Geosciences and had an AAPG stand to welcome them and promote AAPG. Members sold banners, folders and stickers to raise funds for the chapter. 4 students attended.
  • 3 March - UFRRJ, Seropédica, Brazil, held the activity "Presentation of the extension groups of the UFRRJ geology class." 50 students attended.
  • 5 March - UWI, St. Augustine, Trinidad and Tobago, held a fundraiser event "Chow Sale" to raise funds for future activities. 5 students participated raised $300.
  • 5 March - UCV, Caracas, Venezuela, participated in the field practice “Geoelectrical Methods,” where geology and geophysics students measured the subsurface resistivity with Vertical Electrical Sounding. 17 students attended.
  • 6 March - UFS, São Cristóvão, Brazil, held the activity “More Geology: Geophysics Applied to Hydrocarbon Prospecting” by Álex Fernando. 5 members and 12 students attended.
  • 10 March – UBA, Buenos Aires, Argentina, participated in the activity "AAPG YP Argentina Core Workshop." 11 students attended.
  • 10 March - Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León (UANL), Linares, Mexico, attended the “Earth Science Faculty Excellence Award Ceremony” by the Engineering Education Accreditation Council (CACEI), which certified the department with excellence for its high educational standards. 60 students attended.
  • 12 March - UNAL, Bogota, Colombia, held the activity “The conventional in the characterization of non-conventional deposits” by PhD Carlos Molinares. 10 students attended.
  • 12 March - Unisinos, São Leopoldo, Brazil organized, in coordination with Unisinos’ Academic Directory and Geology Museum, a reception for new students to inform them about activities carried out by the different groups. They introduced AAPG, the chapter and talked about the proposed activities for the year and about the importance of student involvement. The event also included a yoga practice taught by a geology student. 14 students participated.
  • 12 March - UCV, Caracas, Venezuela, participated in the talk "Latest Applications of Distributed Acoustic Sensing (DAS) for Well Monitoring," held by MSc Gabriel Solano, GeoTerra CEO. 15 students attended.
  • 26 March - UMSA, La Paz, Bolivia, nominated René Rodolfo Ayala Sanchez, professor at the Universidad Mayor de San Andrés, the "Geoscience Inspired Educator Award."
  • 30 March - UNAM, Mexico City, Mexico, held the activity " Geophysics Day." 8 students attended.
  • 30 March - UCV, Caracas, Venezuela, applied for the L. Austin Weeks Undergraduate Grant.
  • 30 March - UMSA, La Paz, Bolivia participated in the AAPG Student Chapter YouTube Video contest and applied for the L. Austin Weeks Undergraduate Grant.
YP Chapters


  • 10 March – Held the activity “AAPG Argentina YP Core Workshop”, LCV Lab, Buenos Aires. 16 people attended.


  • 7-8 March - Field Trip: “La Angostura – Mataral Section (Stratigraphic Column & Structural Sections)” by Jaime Oller, Senior Geologist, Petrobras Bolivia. 9 YPs and professionals attended.
  • 11 March – Held the talk “Confidence Based Exploration in Bolivian Thrustbelt Through Integration of G&G Workflow” by Paul Janssen, Shell Bolivia, as part of the XVII Session “Cycle of Geoscientific Talks”, in Santa Cruz, Bolivia. 30 Students, YPs and professionals attended.


  • 2 March - Received confirmation of sponsorship from ExxonMobil for 25.000 reais (approximately US$ 5.000) to organize the Ready To Work (RTW) Program in Brazil in 2020.
  • 31 March - Held a chapter meeting to inform members of upcoming activities, RTW sponsorship and social media engagement and to discuss the current industry situation. 23 members attended.


  • No activities reported in March


  • 1-3 March –Chapter identified students to apply for the Wintershall-DEA Call for Internships. There were 139 total applicants, with 12 selected by the YP Chapter. 3 of the applicants recommended by the Chapter were awarded internships


  • No activities reported in March


  • 4 March – Held the activity “Basic Well Log Presentation” by AAPG YP Suriname board member, Charita Ramdas, at the Anton de Kom University of Suriname. 13 students and YPs attended.
Onshore Seismic Workshop organized by the Trinidad & Tobago YP Chapter
Onshore Seismic Workshop organized by the Trinidad & Tobago YP Chapter

Trinidad and Tobago

  • 6-7 March – Hosted the 2-day “Trinidad Onshore Seismic Workshop” in Trinidad. 105 people attended.
  • 25 March – Ariana Osman presented the webinar “Linking the Orinoco Shelf-Margin Deposits to the Deepwater, an example from the Miocene, Cruse Formation, Trinidad.”65 people attended.


  • 13 March – Held the virtual technical lecture “Application of Geophysical Methods for Hydrocarbons Prospection” by MSc Alvis Campos. 11 people from Mexico, USA and Venezuela participated in the meeting.

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