19 November 2009—The 79th Annual Meeting and International Exposition of the Society of Exploration Geophysicists (SEG) was one of the most successful in recent years. Attendance was nearly 9300, surpassing recent annual meeting delegate totals by nearly 1000 delegates. The increasingly international nature of SEG’s membership, now more than 32 000, was evidenced by delegates from 85 countries. The near sold-out exposition floor covered 375 000 square feet which was populated by booths from more than 360 exhibitors. In the words of Apache’s Klaas Koster, SEG president-elect, “The exhibition floor had booths from pretty much every significant player with an ambition to reach a global audience; major and national oil companies were recruiting, hardware and software were demonstrated, and services and education were offered. In short, a vibrant marketplace alive with buyers and sellers.”
The opening Honors and Awards ceremony kicked off with a welcome presentation from the Texas Railroad Commission Chairman Victor G. Carrillo. The ceremony honored many notable recipients such as David Strangway, Tom LeFehr, Kwok Chan, Samir Abdelmoaty, Don Steeples, Keeva Vozoff, Sally Zinke, and others. The Technical Program, which received a near-record number of submissions, accounted for almost 850 presentations, including the largest poster theater ever presented at an SEG Annual Meeting. The 79th Annual Meeting closed with a record 16 postconvention workshops attracting more than 1500 attendees.
The International Showcase featured Middle East oil exploration and development with 20 presentations and included a visit from H. E. Alain Tabourian, Minister of Energy and Water, Lebanon. The Applied Science Program was equally enthusiastic with astronaut selectee and professor of geophysics Rob Stewart explaining some of the alternative (and extreme) uses of geophysics, all of which were exciting to the more than 350 local high school students in attendance.
“With the quality and the amount of applied geophysical presentations that were ongoing throughout the conference, you would not have known that the industry has been in a downturn,” said Roy Clark, chairman of the 2009 Annual Meeting Steering Committee. “We’ve seen an influx of exciting technologies and methods that were presented at this year’s meeting.” Denver will host SEG’s 80th Annual Meeting and International Exposition in 2010, with plans already well under way.