Message From the Board
Message from Conferences Director - Alex MacNeil

By: Alex MacNeil  |    May/June 2019

CSPG Education Program Overview
SOLD OUT! That’s the news for the CSPG Rock Analysis Workshop that took place in mid-March at the University of Calgary. Congrats and thank-you to the presenters, sponsors, and technical chairs (Stan Stancliffe, Amin Ghanizadeh, David Robertson, and Ken Glover). The workshop focused on different methods and recent developments for both tight-rock and oil sand reservoir characterization. I highlight this workshop as an example of the technical excellence and career development opportunities that exist because of the CSPG and its membership. 

This year has a number of exciting opportunities for attending CSPG conferences, regardless of any specific subdiscipline of petroleum geology you may follow. This year’s GeoConvention (May 13-15th) is responding to changing demographics and play types by including a series of solicited case-studies that highlight unconventional (Montney, Duvernay, Spirit River, heavy oil, and oil sands) reservoirs – from opportunity generation to reservoir characterization with a focus on driving profitability. A new feature at this year’s meeting will be a series of solicited “fundamental skills” talks in a mini short-course format that are geared towards younger geoscientists hoping to further their skills. On Wednesday, May 15th, there will also be an afternoon panel session on the Value of Geosciences. Moderated by Danielle Smith, former leader of the Wildrose Party and talk show host on News Talk 770, panelists include Wayne Foo (President and CEO, Parex Resources), Rob Morgan (President and CEO, Cona Resources), Kevin Angus (Strategic Advisor, Point Loma Resources), Gary Bunio (Director New Technology, Suncor), Pat Ward (President and CEO, Painted Pony), and Jen Russel-Houston (Vice President Geosciences, Osum Oil Sands and CSPG President-Elect). And perhaps the icing on the cake will be the CSPG Core Conference (May 16-17th) – why? Because it’s the 50th year for the core conference and the committee has prepared a fantastic technical program that focuses on reservoirs both old and new. Attention will be paid to some of western Canada’s most famous reservoirs – the ones that built the industry over past decades, but also new reservoir types that will probably prove to be the future of our industry (think unconventionals). The technical program is too extensive to review here but highlights include core presentations on East Shale Basin Duvernay, the Montney, Clearwater and McMurray Formation case studies, and examples of unconventional reservoirs from the United States including examples from the Permian and Cretaceous of Texas (Wolfcamp, Eagleford, Austin Chalk). This year’s GeoConvention and Core Conference should not be missed, and thank you to the society members (Shelley Leggitt, Lindsay Dunn, John Hogg, Tom Plumridge, Christa Williams, Carson Renaud, Liese Mclaren, Brent Kuntz, and Kelsea Pedersen) who have worked hard to plan these important meetings!

But the opportunities for technical development and networking continue in the fall. On Oct. 3rd, following the SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition, the CSPG and SPE will co-host a core workshop focused on reservoir characterization. This will be an excellent opportunity for CSPG members to view and discuss cores from different reservoir types with reservoir engineers from around the world. More information will be available soon on the CSPG website. Lastly, if you work on tight rock unconventional reservoirs, you will want to attend this year’s Gussow Conference (Oct. 15-17th) in Banff. The technical chairs (Tristan Euzen, Jim Wood, and James Macquaker) have prepared five technical sessions related to advances in unconventional reservoirs. Invited speakers will soon be announced and registration opens May 1st. As the meeting is capped at 120 registrants we expect that the meeting will be sold-out, so please register early if you hope to attend! Overall, 2019 is an exciting year for conferences hosted by the CSPG and in partnerships with other societies, so as the Director of Conferences I hope that you will be able to attend at least some of these events, and find them to be a valuable part of your career development.