Finishing FastAllen Shook photo

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 stuck in analog roam" (Jimmy Buffett lyric), then you should attend this important conference. Last year more than 750 people attended the conference, with 50 companies exhibiting new technologies. A Real-Time Optimization TIG Workshop will be held on Monday May 19th in conjunction with the conference.

Continuing Education

The ever-popular Oil Patch Orientation Course will be held on Thursday, May 22 at the Wyndham Greenspoint. New employees (or family members!) will benefit from this course which provides an interesting overview of all the aspects of E&P, at a very inexpensive rate. Register quickly as this course typically sells out.

Study Group Topical Luncheons

As always, there is a study group topic to suit just about any taste during May.

  • The General Meeting on May 8 at the Petroleum Club is a joint meeting with the MIT Enterprise Forum of Texas.
  • The Petro-tech Study Group offers a presentation on The Big Crew Change by Gerry Ross of Petroskills on May 13 at the Sheraton Brookhollow.
  • Also on May 13, Dick Leonard with ProTechnics speaks on Barnett Shale Completion Diagnostics to the Northside Study Group. This group always meets at the Wyndham Greenspoint.
  • The Completions and Production Study Group meets on May 15 at the Wyndham Greenspoint.
  • The Health, Safety, and Environment Study Group meets on May 20 at the Petroleum Club with a presentation on the successes and challenges of implementing safe-driving programs across our industry. Providing the perspectives of two large producers and a service company will be Daniel Garstang, Hess Corp.; Duane Kortsha, BP; and Derek Tate, Schlumberger. Location is the Petroleum Club.
  • John Murray with FloaTEC LLC speaks on Enabling Ultra Deep Water Production with Dry Trees to the Projects, Facilities, and Construction Study Group meeting on May 20.

OTC Student Tours

If you would like to join the grassroots effort to introduce young minds to our industry, consider being a tour guide for middle and high school students at OTC on Thursday, May 8. SPE GCS guides are needed, and I encourage you to contact Gary Harrison, BP, at Also contact him if you would like to make a special invitation for the groups to visit your exhibit.

PE License Review Short Course

I would also like to highlight a free opportunity SPE is offering in College Station on May 17–18. The SPE professional engineers license and SPE certification exam review short course normally costs $650 for members and $750 for nonmembers, but it is being offered at no charge. This session will be videotaped and a large, involved audience is desired to provide increased interaction between the instructors and attendees. Instructors will be Bill McCain of Texas A&M and Richard Hughes of LSU.

For more information and to register for these events, please visit the