As we enter the new year, I will continue my series of columns addressing long-term and short term goals for the Gulf Coast Section and update you on our progress.  We have placed financial responsibility and oversight high on our list of both long-term and short-term priorities for the section committees and groups, and the GCS board has implemented several methods to maintain accurate accounting with thorough checks and balances.  During the past few months, we have incorporated specific rules to encourage good stewardship of our resources by the board of directors, study groups, and committees.  Additionally, our treasurer established excellent means to measure the financial standing of our section as we progress through the operating years.

These metrics track our asset performance, actual net cash flow vs. budget cash flow, cumulative net cash flow vs. budgeted cash flow, and net income in a chart to monitor the individual performance of each study group, special event, and committee.  Armed with these tools, our board can actively review performance against budgets –essentially instantly- and adjust any programs accordingly.  We can alter courses quickly to maximize income and reduce expenses, resulting in more economical programs, lower cost to the members, and more money to the scholarship fund.

On another note, I’d like to recognize and congratulate an SPE-GCS member, Stephen Holditch, who has accepted the position as new department head of petroleum engineering at Texas A&M University.  Holditch was the Society of Petroleum Engineers International president in 2002, served on the SPE board of directors from 2001 to 2003, was the SPE vice president-finance, and was a member of the SPE board of directors from 1998 to 2000.  We wish him all the best and encourage him to keep sending all those great Aggie petroleum engineering graduates to the Gulf Coast Section!

All the best,
Sid Smith, Schlumberger
SPE Gulf Coast Section Chairman