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Houston SPE Auxilary Honors Sharon Rankin With Life Membership

When Sharon Rankin joined the Houston Society of Petroleum Engineers Auxiliary in 1990, it was a godsend because she did not just sit back and enjoy the fruits of the labor of others. In 1992–93, she took a special interest in a cook book project that included recipes from SPE members and Houston celebrities. Possibly this fund-raising project sparked Sharon’s interest in the scholarship goals of the SPE Auxiliary. (If you are fortunate enough to have one of these books, look for Sharon’s unparalleled Sweetheart Strawberry Pie recipe.) The following year, Sharon, a Ways and Means Committee member, sold more cook books than anyone else and, in May 1994, a check for $10,000 was presented to the SPE Auxiliary from the cook book project. In addition, Sharon headed up the Reservations Committee in 1993–94.As first vice-president in charge of programs …


SPEI Officer Nominations Being Accepted

December 15 is the due date for nominations for 2009 President, At-Large Director, five regional directors, and two technical directors including Central & Southeastern North America Region Director, Rocky Mountain North America Region Director, Mid-Continent North America Region Director, North Sea Region Director, Northern Asia Pacific Region Technical Director, Drilling & Completions Technical Director, Projects, Facilities & Construction. Information on the nomination and election process can be found on the SPE website at http://www.spe.org/spe/jsp/basic/0,,1104_1820,00.html. SPEI members are invited to submit nominations for 2009 President and At-Large Director. Nomination forms are available on the website noted above and can be submitted directly to Katie Simonds of the SPE staff (ksimonds@spe.org or Fax: +1.972.952.9435). The deadline for receipt of President and At-Large Director nominations is 15 December. Nominations for Regional and Technical Directors are coordinated by the incumbent Directors in each position …


Then and Now - December 2006

December 1956 For the first time, an analog computer will be used to automatically compute refinery process data such as pressure, temperature, flow rate, etc. and alert operators of any deviations from normal operating conditions. Will it be located in Texas? California? New Jersey? Would you believe at Esso Standard Oil’s refinery near Havana, Cuba. (If you answered correctly, please let us know, and we will send you a cigar.) The blockade of the Suez Canal is reportedly costing the world’s oil industry $25 million per month. Enter multimillionaire shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis (more widely known as Jackie’s second husband), who is proposing to build an emergency oil pipeline that will parallel the canal and carry 500,000 bbl of oil daily. What’s more, he proposes to build it in 6 months using borrowed pipe. East Texas crude oil - $2.90/bblU.S. …


Then and Now - November 2006

November 1956 The mysterious Russian turbodrill is unveiled in the In secret tests conducted at Dresser, the turbine-powered drilling system was reported to have made hole at a rate of 500 ft per hour. A symposium in explores the commercial applications of atomic radiation in refineries and petroleum product processing. (Wo now!) British and French forces enter Egypt to begin unblocking the Suez Canal, a ploy by to gain a stranglehold on oil traffic through the canal. Because of the Suez crisis, WW II ships are brought out of mothballs to transport crude-oil from the Gulf Coast to other U.S. ports and to European allies. East Texas crude oil - $2.90/bbl November 1981 What operators made the $200 Million-in-Earnings-for-the-Third-  Quarter-1981 Club? The group includes some names that are slowly fading from memory, including Standard Oil of , Gulf, and Getty. …


Chairman''s Corner November 2006

Public Perceptions of Energy Although gasoline prices have relaxed a bit recently, easing the pain for most folks, there remains a strong need for educating the general public on our industry.  The dominant impression most people seem to have is high gasoline prices, large profits and pollution.  Nothing positive!   The truth is our industry provides a valuable public service, one we should all be very proud of and brag about.   Energy plays a vital role in our civilization.  If you don’t believe it, think back a century or so.  At the dawn of the 20th century, our grandparents’ lives were very different from what we enjoy today.  Travel was by horseback.  Work was done largely by animals and food and clothing were by-and-large grown locally.  Light was provided by kerosene lamps or by fireplaces and hot baths were …


Chairman'' s Corner - October 2006

In August, the SPE Gulf Coast Section board adopted a set of goals for the new program year: Maintain a strong financial position—Not too many years ago our Section was in a weak financial condition. At one point our bank account was actually negative, and we had to sell investments to cover our expenses. To correct the situation, the board adopted some strict cost-cutting measures and took steps to increase revenue. The actions were successful, and our Section is once again very healthy financially. Our assets have grown significantly and are now about 75% of our annual expenditures. I''m not sure what that ratio should be ideally, but the current level seems quite good to me. (If anyone knows of best practices for a nonprofit organization like ours, please let me know.) SPE Gulf Coast Section Assets In 2005, the …


Then and Now - October 2006

October 1956 Dowell pumps the first “flood frac,” consisting of 250,000 gal of fresh water carrying 200,000 lb of sand at 52 bpm in a West Texas Spraberry well. The production results for what is believed to be the largest frac treatment on record had not yet been reported. The cost was a whopping $14,000. Overworked industry executives who think that there are just too many monthly activities to keep up with these days announce the formation of a new association, APSAMMOA (Association for the Prevention of Scheduling Any More Monthly Oil Activities). Would anyone out there like to resurrect this association? Here is an interesting after-hours phone call that arrived at one of the industry’s publications office…”Is Clea there?“ When told that the answerer was an after-hours security guard who did not know Clea, the caller responded, “Aw shucks. …


Chairman'' s Corner

On the important news front, Allen Shook, SPE GCS vice chair, represented the Gulf Coast Section at the Public Energy Education Summit on July 26, facilitated by the Global Energy Management Institute at the University of Houston. In light of increased public focus on energy companies, there is a growing need and desire for educating the general public on our industry. The cost of continued widespread ignorance and poor image is very real and manifested in greater unnecessary government interven


Then and Now - September 2006

September 1956 It’s 1956—This country’s oil industry is approaching 60,000 new wells yearly; 36% of them are dry; it gathers over 7 million barrels of oil daily from more than 525,000 wells and delivers it to more than 300 widely scattered refineries; its principal product, automotive motor fuel, is made available at the refinery gate for a delivered price of $0.02 or less per pound. No other large industrial operation in the country can match the low price of its finished product. Our present-day border security folks could use the skills of the pipeline aerial patrol pilots of the 1950s. These WWII veteran flyboys could fly hedgehoppers at slow speeds and low altitudes and spot pipeline oil leaks (oil sheen on water or oil-stained soil) or gas leaks (gas bubbles in water or discolored vegetation on land) with remarkable precision. …


New Faces in the Gulf Coast Section

Please welcome several new faces to the Gulf Coast Section. Our new Section Liaison Kathy MacLennan comes to us with a varied background, including part-time teaching at the Houston Community College. Next time you are in the SPE Houston office, take a moment to say, “Hi,” and introduce yourself. Catch Kathy’s enthusiasm! The smiling face you first see as you enter the SPE offices is Aishat Adamu-Oneal, our new administrative assistant. Aishat graduated from Lagos State University with a degree in mass communication. She worked seven years as confidential secretary to the chief executive of Petroleum Equalization Fund (Management) Board, a parastatal group of the Nigerian Ministry of Petroleum Resources. She also worked with the auditing department as an audit officer before joining her husband in the United States. Ask her anything. She’ll do her best to help in any …