Run to the mountains and go back to where it all started. As they say in yoga, "Get grounded." Literally...
Go back to the rocks, document what you see, describe geologic contacts and interpret with the latest well results and geologic play concepts in mind. These are a few of my key goals for my petroleum-based PhD field season.
What exactly do I do?
I describe and map rocks in the Flinders Ranges of South Australia. Why go to the Outback of all places? The rocks in the Outback provide field analogs for explorationists when drilling in various offshore salt basins such as the Gulf of Mexico, North Sea, Santos and Campos basins plus many more. All too often oil companies spend millions of dollars drilling wells and finding rocks that are completely the wrong age, wrong trapping configuration and contain absolutely zero hydrocarbons. The goal of my research is to help oil companies get creative, think outside the box while using technically sound geologic principals. Making discoveries, saving money and being kind to your colleagues is what it's all about.
As an explorationist one must always focus on the positive.
Finding your way through your early career is no easy task. Foraging into the unknown is exhilarating...might as well take a couple young, aspiring geologists along for the ride! I am a huge proponent of mentoring and passing on your best skills to the next generating in hope they will some day be better than you.
I am fortunate to have the opportunity to take Sarah Giles from Texas A&M (LEFT) and Asmara Lehrmann (RIGHT) from Trinity University with me to South Australia. Both women are geology-declared undergraduate students with a bright future.
Keep an eye on our adventure as we take on the Outback as a fearless trio!