Letter from the Editor | May 2022
My congratulations to the AAPG for taking a public stand in FAVOR OF Petroleum Geology in the April 2022 EXPLORER.
Don Burdick is President of the AAPG Division of Professional Affairs (DPA); the Ethics and Mentoring Division. His column in the APRIL 2022 AAPH Bulletin entitled: ‘Petroleum Geology – Yes, Petroleum’ is a clear statement of the incredibly empowering benefits to Humankind that have been provided by Petroleum Geology. See Don’s article, at this link: https://explorer.aapg.org/story/articleid/62843
The exceptional value of the energy density of hydrocarbons can be validated by viewing any of the impressive movies and presentations made by Dr. Scott Tinker, State of Texas Geologist from the UT Austin Bureau of Economic Geology, including: ‘Switch’, ‘Switch On’ and ‘Energy Makes our World’.
Dr. Tinker’s impressive communication efforts profoundly demonstrate the value and merits of Hydrocarbons to the world, often highlighting the plight of the Third World to to achieve the energy freedom enjoyed in the USA and Developed countries worldwide.
As our aforementioned speakers (and a huge host of fully-informed scientists worldwide) have accurately observed, The United States and Western Europe have some of the World’s best Environmental, Safety and Governance improvement over the last half century, in cleaning up their hydrocarbon industries, compared to the other major world producers, such as Russia, China and the majority of the Middle Eastern Nations.
Internationally, prices remain high, around $100 for oil and astonishing at $7+ domestically for natural gas. Putin’s war in Ukraine continues, as the United States and NATO do everything within reason to assist the Ukrainian people and government resist a brutal dictator’s onslaught.
The resulting worldwide change in dynamics of supply chains for basic necessities from Energy and Food, to Manufactured Goods have been radically altered in every country around the world. It is abundantly clear we are not returning to the open, international trading world of the pre-Covid era anytime soon.
Decarbonization and electrification have been legislated, but are at economic odds with a long-lived vehicle fleet and the immense requirements of new electrical generating and charging infrastructure requiring multiple trillions of dollars and decades of investment necessary to achieve the desired completion of those transitions. That doesn’t even touch the scope of rebuilding more than a century’s worth of legacy electrical infrastructure; particularly in the Midwest and East Coast.
The damage caused by the political constraint of underinvestment in hydrocarbon projects is seen in $5 gasoline prices, nearly 8% annual inflation, Natural gas prices tripled, and worldwide LNG prices skyrocketing. The resulting worldwide surge in demand cannot be filled overnight by low energy density alternatives.
The demand for oil and natural gas remains strong and immediate in this world of structural shortage, despite the concerns of Wall Street and environmentalists worldwide of a two-to-six foot sea level rise by the year 2100.
In summary, every form of energy must be developed to their maximum potential, as technology and funding allow. That will likely be humanity’s most successful path through the Energy Transition.
HGS in May 2022
As HGS Members and Volunteers begin May 2022, the HGS Annual Elections are underway, with online-only voting through each HGS member’s own HGS website account. Voting has been underway since April 10, 2022 and will continue through May 10th 2022.
Candidates for the 2022-2023 Houston Geological Society Officer Election can be found on the HGS website and the HGS Bulletin. Be sure to vote before the deadline!
Although most of the HGS’ technical presentations for the 2021–2022 are winding down in preparation for graduations and the start of summer vacations, the HGS still will maintain core services. While there will be fewer technical presentations from May thru August, the quieter summer months will be punctuated with some excellent learning opportunities.
The SWS-AAPG Annual AAPG Southwest section Conference will be held in Midland, Texas from May 2, 2022 - May 4, 2022. Theme of the event is: Combining Scales of Geology to the Reservoir.
Returning the focus back home to Houston, the HGS Continuing Education Committee will present two courses on Well Log interpretation. They will be presented in two separate one-day courses: Well Logs: Basics on May 6, 2022 and Well Logs: Beyond Basics on June 10, 2022. Each course has its individual registration, CEUs, and cost. Followed by session 2; HGS Well Log Courses - Well Logs: Beyond Basics on 10 June. Be sure to register for both, and enhance your log interpretation skills!
HGS Virtual General Meeting - A Simplified Guide to - Case Studies and Examples
Monday, May 9, 2022 Virtual Event 6:00pm - 7:00pm
Speaker: Dr. Vitor Abreu of ACT Geosciences
Dr. Abreu’s presentation proposes a back-to-basics approach, emphasizing key observations that can be made from any geologic data: lithofacies, lithofacies association, vertical stacking, stratal geometries, and stratal terminations., and initial depositional profile.
HGS Virtual E&E Potential for REEs and Other Critical Minerals in Large Evaporitic Bodies: Examples from North American Phanerozoic Salt Bodies
Wednesday, May 11, 2022 Virtual Event 7:00pm - 9:00pm
HGS Virtual General Lunch- Reality Check: Life Cycle of Geophysical Data Utilized in the Exploration and Development of Deepwater Stratigraphic Traps
Monday, May 25, 2022 Virtual Event 12:00pm - 1:00pm
Speaker: Joseph Reilly recently retired as ExxonMobil Chief Research Geoscientist.
Geoscientists have been successfully exploring for, and developing, stratigraphic traps for decades. Deepwater clastic “play opening” examples within the greater Atlantic region and their varying seismic expression and rock physics responses of these clastic reservoirs will be discussed.
We truly appreciate and thank ALL our HGS Members, Volunteers and HGS educational outreach teams!
Congratulations to NASA Geologist and Hometown GeoHero Elizabeth Watkins on her arrival at the International Space Station! On the the Moon with Artemis, and onto Mars!
Wishing Everyone the best of health and continuing success in 2022!
HGS Editor 2021-2022
Scott C. Sechrist