Cyclicity and Long-Term Demand-January 2009 From the President

Cyclicity is not only a concept in coastal sedimentary deposits or long-term climate change; it appears once again in a dramatic fashion in the pricing of oil and gas. Fortunately for us, that means the current downturn should be temporary. The basic economics of our industry have not changed. In the long run, there will continue to be a growing demand for the products
of the petroleum industry, both in the form of fuels and feedstock for the production of plastics and chemicals. ExxonMobil has projected a 1.2% annual growth in energy demand, even assuming improved efficiency, which becomes a 35% growth in demand from 2005 to 2030, with a concomitant rise of 30% in carbon emissions.
Some of that energy will be obtained from wind, water, and nuclear sources, but oil and gas will still be the dominant source, barring unforeseen developments. In lesser developed countries such as China and India, energy consumption for transportation is expected to grow substantially.
“From 2005 to 2030, demand in developed countries is expected to be relatively stable, as increases in the number of vehicles are offset by significant efficiency improvements,” ExxonMobil said. “In contrast, demand in developing countries is likely to more than
double as economies grow and rising prosperity enables a dramatic increase in personal vehicles.”
The long-term growth of oil and gas use will also result in the long-term growth of carbon emissions, and it is in our best interests, as geoscientists and stewards of our earth, to be sure that the industry addresses both of these factors. Carbon sequestration can be a benefit to our industry by using CO2 flooding for secondary and tertiary recovery. A holistic point of view can produce innovative new ways to produce oil and gas from existing fields, and improve the reputation of the energy industry in the process. Over the next few years many experienced geoscientists will choose to retire. If prices remain at their current low levels, the
process will be quicker, although some will continue to work as consultants or independents. Others will leave the business entirely. For those who remain, there will once again be a need to maintain and update skills and contacts throughout the industry.
Fortunately there is now a generation of young geoscientists who are rapidly gaining experience and have the technological skills to use and develop new tools and ideas.
The Houston Geological Society plays a substantial supporting role in providing access to new technology and new ideas, and venues to develop contacts (otherwise known as friends) throughout your career. I am grateful to have gotten to know so many interesting and
knowledgeable geoscientists through the volunteer work I have done with HGS, and I recommend it to you if you haven't tried it yet. It’s fun and a great way to meet people and make friends who share your interests, and who (almost incidentally) become a great network of professional contacts.
January is going to be a busy month. The lucky folks who chose to go on the HGS Trans-Pecos field trip will be gone the first week.  At the General Dinner Meeting, Dr. Bilal Haq, originator of the Haq sea-level curves, will present insights into the nature, amplitude and causes of sea-level changes. At the International Explorationist’s Dinner, our own Al Danforth will discuss emerging
plays and new petroleum systems in India. The North American group will hear Dr. Shirley Dutton talk about predicting Wilcox Sandstone reservoir quality with depth. The Environmental & Engineering group will hear about nuclear power in space, and attendees at the General Luncheon will hear about prediction of reservoir quality in gas shales using seismic data from David Paddock. Cyclicity and Long-Term Demand A holistic point of view can produce innovative new ways to produce oil and gas from existing fields, and improve the reputation of the energy industry in the process.There will also be a field trip to the Daisetta Sinkhole site, and a new
Continuing Education course on risk analysis in prospects with direct hydrocarbon indicators. This is the first time this course has been offered by HGS and I think it will be a great addition.
It is not too soon to start thinking (and registering) for the Mudstones (Applied Geoscience) conference, to be held February 9 and 10th. This conference was very successful last
year, and organizer Frank Walles has done it again. Four half-day sessions will focus on the Haynesville/Bossier and other Gulf Coast Shale systems with 12 expert speakers. Register now to besure you get a seat!

January 2009 HGS Bulletin
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
From the President