Achieving a Sustainable Future Through Geoscience

San Antonio - 

Aramco’s experience and leadership in geology, petroleum systems and oil and gas exploration technologies were on display at this year’s American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG) Annual Conference and Exhibition with technical papers, presentations, and support for the society’s annual Imperial Barrel Award (IBA), which engages top teams of geoscience graduates from around the world. 

Sa’id Al Hajri, Manager, Geological Operations Department, Saudi Aramco, spoke during the IBA award ceremony noting the rapid evolution of technologies that allow geoscientists to perform tasks in seconds and minutes rather than days and weeks. “Our role as an industry is to build the bridge among industry, academia and today’s students who become tomorrow’s professionals,” said Al Hajri.Sa’id Al Hajri speaks to the importance of young professionals entering the industry and congratulates the 2019 IBA winning team from the University of Houston.

The University of Houston was awarded first place for the 2019 IBA competition. The team successfully solved a basin evaluation challenge and presented exploration targets that impressed judges, beating out 12 finalists from 124 teams that competed globally. Serving on the judging committee was Haidar Qatari, Geologist, Eastern Area Exploration Department, Saudi Aramco. 

Two Aramco professionals were honored for their contributions to the society and industry. Ibrahim A. Al Ghamdi, Chief Geologist, Exploration Resource Assessment, Saudi Aramco, received an AAPG Distinguished Service Award for his active involvement in the society since 1984 to educate and grow membership on the local and regional level. 

Ayrat Gizzatov, Lab Scientist, Reservoir Engineering Technology, Aramco Research Center—Boston, received the George C. Matson Memorial Award for best paper presentation during last year’s conference. Gizzatov’s paper highlighted the interaction of surfactant chemicals with carbonate rock at the nanoscale. Aramco Lab Scientist Ayrat Gizzatov from the Aramco Research Center—Houston was presented with the George C. Matson Memorial Award by AAPG President Denise Cox during the awards ceremony for the best oral presentation at last year’s AAPG conference.

Throughout the three-day event, poster presentations supported major conference themes such as geochemistry, basin modeling, and unconventional resources, among other topical sessions chaired by Aramco personnel. Participation of a mentor in the Student Career Seminar further underscored the company’s engagement with young professionals. 

Crowds gathered on the exhibition floor to learn more about Aramco’s latest exploration advances and specific talks on thin section image evaluation and research underway. For example, Christian Scheibe presented, “Evaluating Paleo environment Redox Conditions in Organic-rich Carbonates through Geochemical Element Covariations and Proxies.” Other presentations highlighted the company’s work in exploration and related research. 

Incorporating technology advances and integrating disciplines—geology, geophysics, geomechanics, and reservoir engineering—are helping to address increasingly complex hydrocarbon plays. These disciplines and the data science revolution are bringing about step changes in petroleum exploration and production. Aramco’s post-conference core workshop offered a chance for some hands-on learning.

Aramco’s commitment to sustainable exploration and production, knowledge sharing and professional development were evident and continued to support the mission of AAPG and this year’s conference theme of step changes in petroleum geology. 

Aramco was a diamond level sponsor for the conference and a sponsor of the IBA program. Houston-based Aramco Services Company (ASC) and its Upstream team hosted a post-conference core workshop for company staff exploring the topic of fractures and their effect on fluid flow and production, “Interpretation of Natural and Induced Fractures & Artifacts in Cores.”