--> Professional Practices as They Apply to Petroleum Geoscience, by Daniel J. Tearpock; #90052 (2006)

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Professional Practices as They Apply to Petroleum Geoscience

Daniel J. Tearpock
Subsurface Consultants & Associates, LLC, Houston, TX

“Perfecting the Search – Delivering on Promise” is the theme of the 2006 AAPG convention. Professional practices, as they apply to petroleum geoscientists, are key and fundamental aspects of “Delivering on Promise”. Reliability in a geoscientists work is the cornerstone to building confidence in the product, whether it is a seismic interpretation, prospect map, resource or reserves estimates to name a few. Reliability is increased when managers, companies and investors have the assurance that the information they are evaluating was professionally prepared. This paper presents “Professionalism and professional practices” in petroleum geoscience and discusses the important factors such as educational background, experience, knowledge of recommended practices, the use of advanced technology, and last but not least, personal values - Ethics. There is, of course, always uncertainty and risk associated with the exploration or development of hydrocarbons. However, the proper use of technology, recommended practices, industry wide standards and ethical/professional conduct not only can reduce risk and uncertainty, but provide to companies and investors the confidence needed to move forward with an exploration or development plan or program. The area of “Reserves Estimation”, for example, has been in the negative limelight for several years now. The AAPG and SPEE are sponsoring an exploratory committee to investigate the reserves problem and evaluate the training and possible certification of geoscience and engineering reserves evaluators. This initiative is centered around three key topics: Training in recommended practices, industry wide definitions, and ethics. This paper also discusses the importance of applying similar standards to the other areas of Professional Geoscience Practices.