From the President- January 2010

2010: A Year of Opportunity 
Happy New Year! 2010 promises to be a great year for the HGS. I know that one of everyone’s top New Year’s resolutions is to attend more HGS talks and short courses. OK, well maybe not the top but certainly in the top 10…20?..100? Oh, come on Work with me here! Like I was saying, right up at the top of everyone’s list of things to do in 2010 is to attend more of the great talks the HGS puts on every month. I think one of the highlights this year will be the Mudstone Conference (Applied Geoscience Conference, or AGC) to be held February 8 - 9. In just three short years the Mudstone Conference has become the premier world conference on unconventional reservoirs. It attracts attendees from all over the United States and many foreign countries. If you have any interest in the Haynesville, Woodford, Marcellus, Bossier or Eagle Ford shale or shale plays in general, this is one conference you can’t afford to miss! Register early as it ALWAYS sells out!
In addition to the AGC there are a lot of excellent talks already scheduled for the spring. For example, the North American Exploration group is having a joint talk with the International Exploration group entitled “Sand-Prone Submarine Mass Transport Deposits: Reservoir Characteristics and Classification of an Underappreciated Deepwater Facies” by Lawrence D. Meckel-III. The Northsiders are presenting a talk entitled “Clues to Depositional Processes of Ancient Mudrocks- Comparison of the Quaternary Shallow Marine Amazon Dispersal System with the Barnett, Haynesville, and Mancos Shales” by Jim Rine. The Environmental Group is presenting a talk entitled “Municipal Setting Designations in Houston” by Richard Chapin. These presentations are in addition to the General HGS dinner meeting, “What’s New in Seismic Imaging?” by John T. Etgen, and the General HGS Lunch meeting, “The Influence of High-Frequency Climate Variability on Paleoclimate Interpretation” by Marty Perlmutter. That incredible talk schedule is JUST for the month of January. In addition to learning new things and networking, each of these HGS talks is worth one hour of Continuing Education credits of the 15 hours which are required to keep your Texas P. G. license current. We are indeed fortunate to live in an area that can provide so many opportunities to learn. We simply need to take advantage of it.
2010 promises to be a year of opportunities and challenges. One of the challenges will be to find ways to make our prospects appealing to both our partners and management in order to get them on the drilling schedule. In times when drilling funds are limited there can be a bit of competition even within the same company for those drilling dollars. This can work both for us and against us. On the plus side the competition may force us to do extra steps or conduct more research in order to enhance our prospect. This extra work helps us to understand the prospect better and that in itself makes us better as presenters. On the downside, geologists who are not the best presenters may see their prospects by-passed in favor of less qualified but better presented prospects. This of course is nothing new. It has been going on since the days of paper seismic sections and logs and the days when the E & P in a company’s name stood for Exploration and Production, not Excel and PowerPoint. Presenting is an aspect of our jobs that sometimes gets ignored. We ask for training in a lot of areas but few of us ever ask for training in the fine art of presenting or preparing the presentation such as requesting a course in PowerPoint for example. It’s come a long ways since most of us first started using the current mainstay of prospect presentations. I know such things seem so mundane but in the end, whether presenting to management or potential partners, the presentation is where the rubber meets the road. We have spent untold hours with our prospects. We think about them even when we aren’t at work. They come unbidden into our heads at the most inopportune times. Who among us has not at one time or another dropped what we were doing to grab a piece of paper, a napkin, our daughter’s homework, to scribble down a revelation that suddenly just popped into our heads?Our prospects are not just things to be put on drilling calendars. They are living breathing extensions of ourselves. They are the culmination of our current professional abilities and lives. We are excited when they are born, we celebrate when they are successful, we mourn and spend hours reflecting and asking why when they are not. Our prospects, successful or not, are a part of us. If our prospects are to live we must convey all we know about them in a clear, concise, and convincing manner, and we generally have just 30 minutes to an hour in which to do it. It is no longer enough to simply be proficient and keep current in the technologies that help us recognize and define our prospects. We must make ourselves proficient in presenting them. We owe them (and our long suffering families) that much, don’t you think?
Here’s wishing you a year of personal and professional success!

Gary Coburn
Saturday, January 16, 2010
From the President