April 2008 President's Letter

Elections and Conventions-What’s Your Slogan?
by Linda Sternbach
I am fascinated by slogans these days, especially since no one can escape the current Internet bombardment of national election coverage, fueled by Republican and Democratic slogans. This is compounded by my personal interest in the latest oil company slogans that relentlessly scroll by on the sidebars of numerous geoscience websites. Apparently oil companies are using advertising banners to cast out fishing lines and troll for younger staff. If you are over 45, you can remember catchy oil product slogans. My favorites are "Drive with care and buy Sinclair," "You can trust your car to the man who wears the star" (Texaco), "It’s not just oil-it’s Pennzoil" and "Put a tiger in your tank" (Esso). Want to know what are the latest in trendy oil company slogans? I will get back to this topic later in this article.
Speaking of elections, April and May bring big choices in the HGS officer elections. HGS has a great slate of candidates, thanks to our nomination committee headed by past-President Steve Brachman. HGS is poised to continue another strong year of activities, and we recognize and sincerely thank all the candidates running for HGS office for 2008-2009 for their volunteerism and dedication. Meet them at HGS dinners, where they will be introduced. Voting in the HGS election can be done entirely online at www.hgs.org. Please check your member user information and make sure your email and street address are current. The HGS webmaster will send each active HGS member an email with a passcode to be used in voting. The deadline for casting votes is May 9. You can choose the officers who will run HGS! And let’s see if we can better last year’s online balloting, in which 949 active members voted.
The AAPG Annual Convention is April 20-23 in San Antonio, at the Henry B. Gonzales Convention Center. This year the slogan is "Deliver the Conventional, Pursue the Unconventional." The general chairman of the 2008 convention is Gene L. Ames, and the General Vice Chair is Bonnie R Weise. Gene Ames says, "For the first time ever, the Annual Convention will coincide with one of the biggest parties in the country-1 Fiesta! A wide variety of fun and cultural events will add a whole new dimension to the ‘Pursue the Unconventional’ part of the meeting’s directive." There are new themes for technical talks at this convention, including a forum on unconventional resources on Tuesday morning, April 22; a forum on global climate change on Wednesday, April 23; and a totally new session theme on geospatial technology, combined with astrogeology, on Monday, April 21.
Monday afternoon, April 21, at the convention features the "Discovery Thinking Forum," an outgrowth of the AAPG 100th Anniversary Committee’s program recognizing "100 Geologists Who Made a Difference." The forum will present six invited speakers: Marlan Downey, Bob Gunn, Alfredo Guzman, Dudley Hughes, Herbert Hunt and Clayton Williams. Each is a legendary veteran of the petroleum industry, and their talks will be recorded for an AAPG 100th anniversary archive program. We see continued interest in Geo-Legend forums such as this to discuss the "art of exploration."

After the Discovery Thinking Forum, convention attendees need to catch Ray L. Hunt, of Hunt Oil in Dallas, speaking on "Distinguishing Successful Wildcatters," based on his 50 years of experience. This is the annual AAPG Michel Halbouty lecture, on Monday, April 21, at 5:00 p.m.
Back to slogans. They must be powerful, because every oil company seems to have one. I like the ones that are a play on words yet sound like a sentence. Examples: "Bringing excellence to the surface" (Anadarko), "Taking on the world’s toughest energy challenges" (ExxonMobil), "Commitment raised to the power of El Paso" and "Energy based, People powered" (PetroTrin, the Trinidad national oil company).
Some slogans try hard to say big things in using few words. Examples: "Human Energy" (Chevron); "Beyond Petroleum" (BP); "Explore More" (Kerr McGee); "Go Well, Go Shell"; "See the Value" (Nexen, Canada). I have to admit, some slogans I don’t entirely understand, but they sound inspiring. Petrobras has a slogan statement in Portuguese, "O desafio 9 a nossa energia" which translates to "Challenge is our energy" (check this out at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Petrobras). Saudi Aramco has futuristic slogan: "Opportunity of a Lifetime" in an ad seeking workers willing to spend part of their lifetime living in the Middle East. The curious can check out the "the world’s largest free to access online advertising slogans database" on http://www.adverteyesuk.com/. An extensive list of past oil company slogans are under the drop down menu "fuels/oils".
HGS has a slogan: "Be an active part of the world’s largest local geological society." Being active in the society includes voting! Be sure to cast your vote in the HGS election by May 9, 2008.

Linda Sternbach
Thursday, March 27, 2008
From the President