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Chairman's Corner May 2008

Finishing Fast May is usually the last month with a full events calendar before most of our study groups and committees take a well-deserved break during the summer. That does not mean we taper, rather we finish with a flourish! Check out our events—a major conference, continuing education courses, and study group opportunities to learn about a new (or new to you) technology, expand your knowledge, teach students about our profession, and network with your peers: Digital Energy Conference — "More Bytes and More Barrels" The 8th annual SPE Gulf Coast Section Digital Energy Conference will be held May 20–21 at the Marriott Westchase. This major conference focuses on leading edge applications of computing and communications technology specifically for the upstream oil and gas business. The packed agenda is very impressive, so if you sometimes feel like a "digital explorer …


Chairman's Corner April 2008

Last year, SPE GCS Chair Roger Hite introduced you briefly to the Houston Community College Energy Institute’s Petroleum Engineering Technology (PET) program. The program was in its infancy with initial meetings being held by an industry steering committee. The goal of the program is to provide in-depth education and training and award two-year Associate of Applied Science degrees or Certificates in Applied Science for field and office technicians for the E&P industry. In addition, it is expected some of these students may also matriculate into a four-year university engineering program. Either way, it is hoped the graduates will be well-trained individuals for our industry. In May 2007, the SPE Gulf Coast Section board of directors, upon the recommendation of the Ad-Hoc Education Committee, approved $20,000 in pilot scholarship funding to the HCC System Foundation for award to students enrolling in …


Chairman's Corner March 2008

GOT HELP? Enrollments are up in almost all petroleum engineering departments across the country and K-12 outreach programs like those conducted here in the Gulf Coast Section are stimulating increased interest for future engineering and geosciences students. However, the growth of one of the most important components of attracting and retaining students in our profession is lagging – internship programs. Summer internship programs serve many vital functions, especially providing the students real-world application and thus greater understanding of their rigorous classroom work. This makes them better students, motivates them to continue, and enhances their interest in our industry. I am sure many of you can testify to this fact. In turn, our companies receive better-trained graduates who make a rapid transition from student to productive engineer or geoscientist. Not to mention the very valuable work product they can offer during their internship! Many larger companies in the …


Chairman's Corner February 2008

We're a Sporty Group Here we are in the dead of winter, and, of all things, I want to talk about golf, tennis, and shooting. Of course, in Houston our winters are not really very “dead,” we are fortunate to get the chance to participate in these and other outdoor activities almost all year long. I would like to highlight those special SPE GCS events that take us outside and give us the chance to socialize with our fellow SPE members while also enjoying one or more of our hobbies. Social interaction is an explicit component of the Gulf Coast Section’s by-laws, mission statement, strategic plan, and three-year plan. While certainly every study group meeting, continuing education course, workshop, or conference you attend in the GCS has a social component, the sporting events are usually what we refer to when …


Chairman's Corner January 2008

Calling All Scouts "Happy New Year!" to everyone—I hope that each of you was able to take extended time off to be with family and friends and recharge for 2008. Last year was certainly an interesting time for our profession, with oil prices approaching $100 per barrel. Opinions on where prices will go are numerous; most people tend to agree we have entered a new regime in which the lowest forecasts are higher than any of us would have guessed 10 years ago. I am proud to be part of a profession and industry that, despite the historic commodity prices, continues to take a cautious, technically-based, and generally conservative approach to investment and personnel decisions. Your membership and active participation in SPE is testimony to your commitment to helping our industry maintain the highest standards of technical expertise and professionalism. …


Chairman's Corner November 2007

I want your story. Read on and I will tell you why. Many of you may have recently watched all or partof Ken Burns’ new 15-hour documentary on PBS about World War II (The War). The format of this excellent program was similar to his previous projects including The Civil War, Baseball, and Lewis & Clark. What make these programs so compelling are the personal stories and first-person accounts of both the famous and the front-line individuals who played large or small parts in the subject covered. It is the stories of the ordinary men and women that have the most effect in making the events real to the viewer. In my day job, I am fortunate to meet many small E&P company owners and engineers as we review projects. Most of these folks have been in our business for …