AAPG Presidential Lecture – August 1, 2002

Title: Thinking “Out of the Box” — The Role of the Geoscientists in Meeting Future Energy Demand

Speaker: Robbie Gries, Priority Oil & Gas, LLC

Date: August 1, 2002

Publication: The Outcrop, August 2002, p. 4-5

The demand for oil and gas in the next century will greatly increase in the next few decades and reserves are limited. Converting vast amounts of “undiscovered” resources into proven reserves will require geoscientists “to think out of the box. ” This means looking at methods no one has tried before, looking for accumulations previously thought unlikely, and looking in places where others have overlooked or thought impossible.

This has never been easy, but it has been the key to giant new reserves being developed. Overturning the ‘ dogma” that is currently favored by explorationists with a new ‘heresy” has a history of difficulty. From the “anticlinal theory” in the 1880s to sequence stratigraphy in the 1980s, geologists have had to persevere to get a new idea tested. Several recent plays that have convincingly converted former “undiscovered resources” into “proven reserves” are basin-centered gas, coal bed methane, and sub-salt exploration. Some older play successes, like the early offshore Indonesian exploration, required not only creative geology but unusual deal making.

Buying reserves or increasing reserves by merging with another company does not discover new oil and gas. Taking the risk to develop a new idea, to finance an unusual and to drill is what will provide the supply needed in the next century.

About the Speaker…

GriesRobbie Gries, President of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists for 2001 2002 made this presentation to the six new AAPG regions during her term—a message to encourage students to enter the petroleum industry and professionals to continue their pursuit.

Robbie is founder and President of Priority Oil & Gas LLC, a Denver-based natural gas production, petroleum exploration and development company operating in Kansas, Colorado, and Wyoming. Priority has also been instrumental in the development of a one-million acre “tight gas sand” project onshore in the cross-border region of Ireland and Northern Ireland, where there is no economic production to date. Evergreen Resources of Denver are currently testing the gas potential with a six-well pilot project.

Robbie has been active in the petroleum industry for 29 years, working initially for Texaco, Inc.; then Reserve Oil Inc. She has been independent since 1980. She has combined the business side of oil and gas with her passion for the science of geology, publishing over 30 professional papers. She has developed and published ideas about drilling beneath thrusted Precambrian rocks along the Rocky Mountain uplifts. In the 1980s she pioneered the discovery of a concealed and unexplored Cretaceous basin beneath the San Juan volcanic field in southern Colorado. Robbie is a Director for the Colorado Oil and Gas Association, an Honor Alumnus of Colorado State University and has a master’s degree in geology from The University of Texas at Austin where she currently serves on the Advisory Council for the Geology Foundation.

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