Aramco supports advancements in geosciences, recognized for leadership at AAPG conference

Aramco supports advancements in geosciences, recognized for leadership at AAPG conference

Houston — Nearly 120 professionals from Aramco and our worldwide affiliates last week participated in the world’s largest international energy geosciences conference, the American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG) Annual Conference and Exhibition (ACE), held virtually Sept. 29-Oct. 1.

Formed in the United States, AAPG is a truly international organization with about 40,000 members in 129 countries, with a mission to educate, innovate and support a sustainable future through advancements in geosciences.


building a better industry

Aramco geoscience professionals have varied backgrounds — geology, geophysics, and geomechanics — working on some of the largest reservoirs and industry challenges in the world. This experience gives us a unique vantage point and the opportunity to contribute to industry knowledge and advancements.   

This year was no exception, with Aramco giving technical presentations, chairing sessions and participating in panel discussions.  

As a tradition, Aramco supported AAPG’s Imperial Barrel Award, recognizing top geoscience graduate teams in a basin evaluation competition, with Abdullah Theyab, chief explorationist in the Eastern Area, serving as a judge for the annual event held earlier this year.


a leading voice in the field

Special awards and recognition were conferred to Sa’id Al-Hajri, manager of Aramco’s Geological Operations Department, who was named an AAPG honorary member, and Daniele Colombo, EXPEC Advanced Research Center senior geophysical consultant, who was recognized with the Robert R. Berg Outstanding Research Award for his research in surface to borehole electromagnetic methods for waterfront monitoring.

Al-Hajri’s honorary member award is in recognition for his visionary leadership in petroleum geoscience, business acumen, and active passion for enhancing the diversity, globalization, and success of AAPG.   


Aramco Americas Upstream professionals participated in technical panels on the application of data analytics, including:

  • Geological consultant Kathy Ball on a panel discussing “Where Should Machine Learning Go (and Not Go)?” 
  • Data scientist Giewee Hammond on “Digitization, Data and Knowledge Management.” 

Also, the topic of artificial intelligence (AI) was discussed by Kathy Hull at the opening session with the question asked, “Will a Fully AI Interpreted Prospect be Drilled in the Near Future?” 

Researchers from Aramco’s global R&D network gave poster presentations, and U.S.-based researchers in Houston and Boston centers presented during sessions related to Unconventional Plays Around the World and New or Developing Methodologies in Geochemistry.  

Aramco served as a diamond sponsor for the three-day online event.  


Aramco’s Gretchen Gillis takes the reins of AAPG

Aramco Americas Upstream geological consultant Gretchen Gillis, AAPG president-elect for the 2020-21 term, officially takes office on July 1. 

A member of AAPG since 1990, she is the fourth woman to be voted president-elect and serve as president in the organization’s 103-year history. Gillis is a member of the eight-person Executive Committee guiding the strategic direction of the organization. 

Top Page Photo Caption: Sa’id Al-Hajri is known for his dedication to cultivating future geoscientists, spearheading outreach programs at a university level and encouraging younger students to study geology by working to include geoscience in the high school curriculum. Here he looks for Eocene fish fossils during a field trip in the Green River Basin, near Salt Lake City, Utah, prior to the 2018 AAPG Annual Conference and Exhibition.

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