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From the Chair - Lean Forward

Are you slumped in your seat as you read this column? Are you leaning forward or sitting back in your chair? Are you excited because it''s spring, or are you dejected about all the work you have to do? Can you remember a time when your excitement literally had you on the edge of your seat, leaning forward, eagerly anticipating what might be coming next? Spring is a time we associate with new growth. Picture a little flower in a meadow, leaning forward, stretching towards the sun, trying to grow. The flower eagerly soaks up every bit of the sun it can get, trying to grow and expand. I think this is how we should treat our lives and our careers. Lean forward, soak it all in, and try to grow! There have been times in my career when I’ve …


SPE Technical Interest Group (TIGs) & Membership Contest Promotion

Dear Section Officers,   SPE is initiating a new marketing campaign to promote our online Technical Interest Groups (TIGs) to encourage more members to join and participate in the online discussions. We would appreciate your assistance in this campaign by incorporating a banner ad on your website and/or one of the print ads in an upcoming meeting announcement. There are two versions of the banner ad depending of the location and size you prefer given the website format. These can be downloaded with other ad options at ftp://tigs.spe.org   The link to attach to the TIG banner ads should be http://www.spe.org/spe/jsp/basic/0,,1104_1603,00.html. Also, if you have questions on how to post these electronic ads on your website, go to our helpsite at http://helpsite.spe.org/section.cfm?id=53 or contact sectionwebs@spe.org for additional assistance.   Further, we have also posted two PowerPoint slides on the ftp site with similar benefits …


From the Chair - Do You Feel Lucky?

Can you be an engineer and also believe in luck? Does luck play a role in your life, or is everything a statistical probability? Can you believe in a higher power and still be a scientist? Have you ever had a drilling operation hit a pay zone that you didn’t know existed or had a well take a kick when it encountered unexpectedly high pressure? Does luck play any role in these situations? Assessing project risk is very important to most companies. Each company responds differently to that assessed risk, however. Whether it’s through computer simulation or simply wisdom and personal experience, most companies run through multiple scenarios on every project in an attempt to assess risk. Understanding this risk helps determine the probability of success or failure. Once this risk has been identified and quantified, should companies then calculate …


January Board Meeting Highlights

Publicity Chair Needed The board set a list of roles and responsibilities for a proposed publicity chair position and is actively searching for interested volunteers with public relations skills. If you can help with our internal and external PR, contact Communications Chair Pat Lawrence, ConocoPhillips, at (832) 486-2315 or pat.k.lawrence@conocophillips.com. Emerging Engineers Conference The Emerging Leaders Program’s conference and golf tournament on March 30–31 has an impressive lineup of speakers and already more than $8,000 in sponsorships from Anadarko Petroleum Corp., Chevron Corp., ExxonMobil Corp., and Occidental Petroleum Corp. The board unanimously approved the budget for the conference. Workshops Approved The board unanimously approved two upcoming workshops and a joint study group meeting planned for April. The Drilling Study Group will host its fourth annual symposium at the Petroleum Club on April 12. Each of the past symposia has been …


Board of Directors Changes

Revised Slate of Incoming Board Members Vice Chair Allen Shook, Blackrock Energy Capital Ltd Secretary Russ Neuschaefer, Schlumberger Vice Treasurer Hiep Vu, Shell International E&P Director Sally Thomas, Conoco Phillips Directorr Jim Montagna, Baker Hughes Director Larry Foster, Schlumberger After the February newsletter went to press, we learned that SPE Gulf Coast Section Vice Chair and Chair-Elect Robbin Jones, Mid-Con Energy Corp., has accepted a transfer with his employer to Tulsa. While we are pleased for Robbin to have this opportunity to return to his hometown, we’re sorry to see him leave! He has done so much for our Section, and we all thank him tremendously. We offer best wishes to Robbin and his family. We’re happy that we had already done our succession planning so we can fill his position. Roger Hite, Business Fundamentals Group, who has served since …


Then and Now - March 2006

March 1956 Some confused customers show up at service stations in the Orlando area not expecting to participate in Sun Oil Co.’s experiment with a revolutionary new method of selling gasoline. The stations are selling five grades of Sunoco gasoline dispensed from the same pump. The different octane mixtures are blended in the nozzle of the hose before entering the auto fuel tank. (Displacing the age-old controversy over how much vermouth should go into a martini will now be a debate over how much high-octane juice to add to basic gasoline.)  Quite a few research labs of the larger oil companies are reportedly entering the atomic age by experimenting with betatrons, cyclotrons, neutron accelerators, and space guns to see what happens when their emanations are blasted at hydrocarbons in various combinations.  A once- waste petroleum product is being used to …


SPE Award Nominations Due February 15–Hurry!

The SPE Gulf Coast Section has many members who should be considered for recognition as part of the Society’s Honors and Awards Program. The SPE awards program recognizes significant technical and professional contributions to the worldwide oil and gas industry and to the petroleum engineering profession. SPE members have made many outstanding and significant professional and technical contributions to our industry, yet many deserving individuals have not yet been recognized for their work. Please take a few minutes to identify professional associates and consider nominating them for the relevant awards. Information on all the Society’s awards, nomination criteria, processes, and former recipients can all be found online at www.spe.org. The deadline for receipt of nominations by the SPE office in Richardson, Texas, is February 15. You can complete the forms and submit your nomination for a candidate independently, or you …


From the Chair - Engineers as Leaders

On February 20, we will celebrate the birthday of the United States’ first president, George Washington. The official name of the holiday is Washington’s Birthday, yet many people also include the February birthday of our sixteenth president, Abraham Lincoln, on this holiday. For me, this holiday is interesting because both Washington and Lincoln were engineers. Washington was often described as our nation’s “first engineer.” He was a surveyor who firmly believed in using innovative technology. Washington promoted the construction of roads, canals, docks, and ports. He pushed the development of waterworks and manufacturing resources, as well as new efforts to extract coal and ores. As a general in the Revolutionary War, he advocated the use of many new war technologies, such as hand-operated submarines. As president, Washington enacted the first U.S. Patent Act in 1789 and actually signed the first …


November Board Meeting Highlights

Emerging Leaders Program The Emerging Leaders Program presented its proposed budget for the March golf tournament with a $75 entrance fee, to be held in conjunction with the 2-day Emerging Engineers Conference at Anadarko Tower in the Woodlands. The group requested and received a $1,000 deposit to secure a golf course. The ELP plans to solicit more industry sponsorships to help offset costs and provide more door prizes. Succession Planning The Succession Planning and Nominating Committees nominated Past Chair James Pappas, Devon Energy, to be considered as the Texas Society of Professional Engineers (TSPE) engineer of the year. The nominating committee is currently considering names for the TSPE young engineer of the year. E-Mail Blasts The board approved a one-time e-mail blast for the November Northside Study Group luncheon meeting to improve attendance. The board tries to keep e-mail blasts …


Passing the Torch

Melissa A. Schultea (former Gulf Coast Section Liaison) has been promoted to Student Activities Manager at SPE headquarters in Richardson, Texas. She will oversee all SPE student chapter activities worldwide. Although she will leave our Section, with many friends who are accustomed to working with her daily or weekly, we will still be able to see her and work with her from time to time on projects involving Gulf Coast area universities. Melissa’s absence will certainly be felt and she will be missed, but we are happy and proud to see her move on to pursue more opportunities within the organization. Sydsil A. Monroe, Melissa’s assistant, has been promoted to the role of SPE Gulf Coast Section Liaison. Syd has worked closely with Melissa for many months and will continue to build on the successful job she has done for …