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Discovery Thinking Forum – Giant Global Discoveries I and II

Monday, 27 September Tuesday, 28 September 2021, 1:20 p.m.–12:00 p.m.  |  Denver, Colorado

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The “Discovery Thinking” Forums will be the twenty-fourth and twenty-fifth presentations of the AAPG 100th Anniversary Committee’s program recognizing “100 Who Made a Difference.” These Forums, co-sponsored by AAPG’s Division of Professional Affairs (DPA), will feature invited speakers who will describe major and significant discoveries. We are pleased to announce this Forum will continue at IMAGE 2021 Denver with four (or more) extraordinary discovery presentations.

Each speaker and their colleagues overcame significant business, technical, and professional challenges. Topics to be discussed will include philosophy of exploration, stories from remarkable careers, professional insights, colorful anecdotes, and lessons learned on the path to success. As technology advances and younger geoscientists enter our profession, the organizers see continued interest in these forums. These forums provide a venue for explorers to discuss the personal side of success and what has been called the “art of exploration.” As always, the audience is fortunate to hear the speakers share much technical data and insights derived from costly and hard-won experience.

AAPG offers many technical sessions. “Discovery Thinking” forums fill an essential gap in how technical and professional skills combine to turn prospects into discoveries. Speakers are encouraged to share personal stories about discoveries they know well, bring forward appropriate technical data, and address the audience’s questions. Many previous Discovery-Thinking presentations are posted on the AAPG Search and Discovery website under the Special Collections tab as a resource to fellow explorers.

This year, AAPG is pleased to present “Giant Discoveries I and II”. Papers presented will be included in the new AAPG Giant Fields Memoir in May 2021. Denver is a center of pioneering spirit and well-positioned to feature significant exploration discoveries around the globe. We will focus on the science that brought about the discoveries and the prosperity they bring.

Dr. Charles Sternbach started Discovery Thinking forums in 2008 as a founding pillar of the then AAPG 100th Anniversary committee (which he chaired for many years). At the podium for every one of the 25 forums at ACE and ICE, Sternbach gives thanks to Ed Dolly, Paul Weimer, Bob Merrill, John Dolson, Chandler Wilhelm, Ted Beaumont, and other co-chairs over 13 years. Today, as we celebrate Discovery Thinking’s Silver Anniversary, we give thanks most of all to 150 great men and women speakers for leaving our Heritage better than they found it.

Giant Discoveries I

Monday, 27 September

1:20 p.m.–5:00 p.m.
Mile High Ballroom 2/3 – Colorado Convention Center


  • 1:20 p.m. – 1:40 p.m. – Introductory Remarks: Discovery Thinking and Giant Fields
    Charles A. Sternbach and Bob Merrill 
  • 1:40 p.m. – 2:20 p.m. – The Habitat of Super Giant Fields
    Richard S. Bishop
  • 2:20 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. – Liza Field, Guyana: The Finding of a Stratigraphic Giant, From Early Exploration to Production
    Linda M. Price, Randy A. Perkey, Erik J. Oswald, and Elizabeth A. Elkington
  • 3:40 p.m. – 4:20 p.m. – Zohr Giant Gas Discovery: A Paradigm Shift in Nile Delta and East Mediterranean Exploration
    Andrea Cozzi, Luca Assecondi, Luca Bertelli, Francesco Bertello, Stella Brandolese, Antonio Cascone, Francesco Cornaggia, Antonio Giovannelli, Pietro Guarnieri, Hamad Harby, Matteo Minervini, Paola Ronchi, and Roberto Ruspi
  • 4:20 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. – Genesis and Architecture of Buzios Field: A Giant Oil & Gas Field in the Santos Superbasin, Brazil
    James Deckelman

Giant Discoveries II

Tuesday, 28 September

8:00 a.m.–11:40 a.m.
Mile High Ballroom 2/3 – Colorado Convention Center


  • 8:00 a.m. – 8:20 a.m. – Introductory Remarks: What Have We Learned from 25 Discovery Thinking Forums?
    Charles A. Sternbach and Robert Merrill
  • 8:20 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. – Adding New Reserves and Production in Giant Fields
    John S. Sneider, Michael Rosen, and Dorothy E. Ballentine
  • 9:00 a.m. – 9:40 a.m. – The Zafarani and Tangawizi Giant Gas Discoveries: Two Very Different Play Openers Offshore Tanzania
    Clemens Pirker and Nadya Badmaeva
  • 10:20 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. – Mexico–Area 1–Amoca, Miztón, and Tecoalli Oil Discoveries, Sureste Basin, Gulf of Mexico
    Tito Andrea Bianco and Emanuele Tozzi
  • 11:00 a.m. – 11:40 p.m. – Seven Principles That Hold Back Geologists from Discovery Thinking: Seven Habits of the Effective Petroleum Systems Analyst
    Andrew Pepper


Discovery Thinking Forum – Giant Global Discoveries I and II
Colorado Convention Center
700 14th St
Denver, Colorado 80202
United States

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