From the Editor - November 2020

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From the Editor

Ceri Davies

How does a geologist transition?

Hello again rock friends,

With winter rapidly approaching and temperatures soon to drop, akin to what we are witnessing with the oil price, the ongoing uncertainty around the Oil and Gas industry continues to fuel concerns about the future and even the best laid out plans have to be redrawn.
Over the past couple of weeks we have seen several announcements and transactions around companies merging or being acquired, with Chevron-Noble, Devon-WPX, ConocoPhillips-Concho, Cenovus-Husky and Chrysaor-Premier Oil all making the headlines. 

On a daily basis we see the media reporting that the end of the oil industry is nigh and that it is time for all of us to transition to other industries.   I appreciate that the oil industry is going through some changes and that, unfortunately, we will see a reduction in the number of colleagues and friends we get to work with.   However, the World still needs energy and even in considering a transition away from fossil fuels, the 2020 BP Energy report makes it clear that oil and gas will be a fundamental part of the energy mix for many decades to come, the oil industry lives.  There are also some features of our part of the industry that are unique and some elements of our roles that go beyond the nine to five.  Many of us undertook a career in geology because of the passion we have for the subject and we have been lucky enough to convince someone to pay us to fulfill our hobby.  A career as a geologist is unlike any other, and asking a geologist to transition does not come easily.  Whilst some of us may transition away from the oil and gas industry, we’ll always remain geologists.

The realization that we can make a career from understanding the natural sciences first dawned on me during a family holiday to Iceland prior to my senior years in high school.  For those who have not yet had an opportunity to visit Iceland, if ever the chance presents itself in the new normal, I encourage you to spend at least a week there.   Tectonics, volcanism, geothermal energy – all accessible to explore and part of daily life in a country that is a star player in natural wonders.

All of which leads me to my closing comments.  As mentioned in my note last month, a few weeks ago we took a long weekend camping trip to Waco.   We visited the Grayson Formation near Lake Waco and then stopped at the Waco Mammoth National Monument.  With two 1st graders, the outcrop provided an excellent opportunity to explore and look for fossils.   The tour guide at the mammoth site highlighted the careful excavation and analysis their team undertake to understand the history of the mammoths and how they came to rest at that location.

My oldest, with a projected height of 5’7”, has got big plans of being a point guard for the Houston Rockets.  His brother, when asked during his classroom discussion ‘what do you want to be when you’re older’ – ‘wants to work at the place where we saw the mammoths, because he likes digging in dirt’.  

Until next month and Happy Thanksgiving,

Penny sized mid-Cretaceous ammonites in the Grayson Formation, near Lake Waco.