Welcome to an interview with José Rafael Barboza Gudiño, Autonomous University San Luis Potosí, Mexico who is a member of the technical committee for AAPG’s Hedberg Research Conference on the Geology and Hydrocarbon Potential of the Circum Gulf of Mexico Pre-Salt Section, 4 – 6 of February in Mexico City. In addition to discussing the Gulf of Mexico, the conference will also include discussions of analogues and other depositional and structural models for pre-salt reservoirs in other parts of the world.
What is your name and your current position?
José Rafael Barboza Gudiño, Researcher and Head of Geology Institute, at the Autonomous University San Luis Potosí, Mexico.
What is your background? How did you first become interested in geology?
I have worked for 30 years in the academy, but my position at the UASLP Institute of Geology has allowed me, in addition to teaching and basic research, to interact with the industry through agreements and collaborative projects. My interest in geosciences arose from my childhood, living in a small town in the countryside and always wondering about the nature of many processes and materials such as rocks and minerals or fossils.
Where have you worked as a geologist? Which geological locations? (fields, basins, etc.)?
I studied mainly the stratigraphy and paleogeography for the Triassic and Jurassic in the Sierra Madre Oriental in northeastern Mexico, although initially my doctoral dissertation involved a regional study and the tectonics of the Sierra de Oaxaca, in southeastern Mexico. In addition, different projects have allowed me to work in several provinces of the country such as the Mesa Central, Sierra Madre Occidental and the so-called Guerrero Terrain, and also for a short time to visit different places around the world, such as Europe, the United States of America including Alaska, or South American countries like Chile and Argentina.
Huizachal Valley, Tamaulipas.
In the foreground there are lower Jurassic rhyolitic domes underlying red beds of the Lower Jurassic La Boca Formation and the Middle Jurassic La Joya Formation. The Upper Jurassic and Cretaceous form the stratified succession of evaporites and limestone in background
Please describe a memorable experience for you in your profession as a geologist.
There have been many pleasant experiences, such as when having favorable results in geological exploration or research, but there have also been great experiences in getting to know different places or people. I remember the occasion when I was alone in the Sierra de Oaxaca, the night was approaching and when I descended from my truck on a path in the forest, in front of me, about 10 or 12 meters away, in the middle of the road, a jaguar stopped. A couple of seconds passed in which I remained motionless and I think it was the most prudent, although my truck was 2 meters away. The majestic cat jumped and got lost in the forest. I think the field geologists are among the few professionals who still have a chance to live a fantastic experience like this.
What do you think about the future of oil and gas exploration in deepwater, sub-salt, and pre-salt conditions?
I believe that there are great possibilities, these are areas and systems that have been little explored until today, while the challenges for exploration are growing, knowledge about structures and stratigraphy is also growing, as well as the sophistication of techniques for indirect exploration, drilling and extraction.
What are some of the tools and techniques that will be necessary in the future?
Greater knowledge of deposit environments and their relationship with geotectonic regimes, in the same sense the precise knowledge of the determining parameters for the generation and preservation of hydrocarbons, in addition to the sophistication of indirect exploration techniques.
What are some of your personal opinions about the science of petroleum geology today? What will future geoscientists need in order to succeed?
Greater capacity and ability to handle large amounts of information obtained through indirect exploration techniques, without forgetting the mastery of basic geological concepts such as sedimentology and stratigraphy or the concepts of structural geology and deformation analysis.
Can you please recommend a good book?
Haakon Fossen (2016). Structural Geology 2nd Edition, Cambridge University Press, www.cambridge.org/9780521516648