President’s Column – July 2003

Title: President’s Column
Author: Bruce Kelso
Publication: The Outcrop, July 2003, p. 3

As always, the Annual AAPG Convention, held this year in Salt Lake City, was a fabulous meeting. The meeting provided an opportunity to visit with geological cohorts from around the country, socialize over a few pints while discussing old times and new projects (yes—even in Salt Lake), and listen to a variety of excellent technical presentations. I always hope to come away from the Annual meeting with a new idea or concept to incorporate into what I am working on, and attending this year’s meeting was no exception.

I was reminded that controversy and differing opinions surrounding a geological concept or model is a positive process that causes us to reevaluate the concept, ultimately improving our geologic understanding and knowledge. With this, I am referring to Keith Shanley’s presentation on low-permeability, basin-center gas systems in the Green River basin and his suggestion that many of the Green River Basin gas fields can be categorized as low-permeability, conventional traps, not basin-center accumulations as previously reported. A number of USGS geoscientists were notably disturbed by the content of Keith’s presentation and at the mid-session break I observed several groups of individuals discussing basin-center gas topics. At this time I have not formulated a personal opinion as to the conclusions of the paper, but I, along with many others who listened to the presentation, am reflecting on these Green River fields and the possibility of alternative explanations for these gas accumulations. Since so much of the gas in Rocky Mountain basins is considered to be contained in basin-center accumulations (Green River, Piceance, San Juan, Uinta), the renewed interest in basin-center gas, sparked by Keith’s presentation, should lead to further research and a better understanding of the prolific low-permeability gas in the Rockies.

And while on the topic of low-permeability, basin-center gas, I would like to remind you of RMAG’s upcoming Piceance Basin Field Symposium, being held at the Ramada Inn, Glenwood Springs, October 4-6, 2003. The meeting will consist of a field trip on Saturday, the 4th, that will be continued on Monday the 6th. A day of Piceance basin technical presentations is scheduled for Sunday. RMAG will be publishing a Piceance Basin Guidebook on CD, containing approximately 18 papers and the field trip guide, that will be available in time for the October Symposium. Mark you calendars, watch The Outcrop for further announcements, and plan on attending.