Every member of the SPE Gulf Coast section is privileged this year to honor and celebrate the section’s 75th anniversary. Plans are underway to celebrate this momentous occasion at Minute Maid Park on Saturday, November 6th. This is a tribute to thousands of section members who came before us. Through the years of their dedicated service, they built programs and educational venues for the growth of our section, the largest SPE section in the world. This service has been noble and honorable because it helped provide the foundation for making America the great country it is today. By helping to provide the framework to share world-class technology over time within our section, we helped make our city the energy hub of America and the world. Each of us participates in the process of supplying energy to meet our country’s needs, sometimes, it does not seem so noble to those outside our industry, but is a vital link in the strength of America’s economy.

As we celebrate this milestone in the history of our section, we continue to be actively involved in advancing ways in which we can distribute technology throughout our membership, industry, and community. We are working closely with SPE International to create more formal and informal educational opportunities within the section that are world-class venues. SPE has provided a new resource, Ken Leonard, Senior Manager of Global Training, into the SPEI Houston office in order to help strengthen our training programs. Formal training opportunities are now being provided through the new training facility located at the Houston SPE office. Informal training opportunities are advancing as we pursue the use of the internet to provide technical content using webinars, podcasts, and hybrids. The goal of these new communication mediums is to provide our members more up to date information on technologies within our industry at their fingertips. Study groups continue to provide support for monthly programs and workshops that provide a more in-depth focus on special topics. Our members are reaching out to engage other professional societies within the oil and gas industry in order to leverage our knowledge and resources. A great example of leveraging resources involves the reformatted GCS newsletter. The newsletter committee evaluated the need for a format change for our newsletter, which resulted to switching vendors to RR Donnelley, a larger publisher that publishes the SPE Journal of Petroleum Technology. By aligning ourselves with SPEI, the section ended up with an upgraded newsletter for the same cost, $1.43 per copy. The upgraded newsletter is full color, better paper, and can be printed from numerous locations.

The new format had a strong response among advertisers, and I heard many compliments from members. In closing, I believe the competitive advantage of the Gulf Coast section is in the strength, quality, and commitment of its members. Many great men and women have championed and pioneered technology within our industry and have been associated with the Gulf Coast Section over the past 75 years. Today, we are 14,000 members strong, approximately 20% of SPEI membership. It is you, the volunteer, who has played an integral role in the success of our section, and it is you who has the opportunity to play a hand in our future success. So I encourage each of you to make a commitment to become more involved in our section, because it is our commitments that make us what we are. See you at the 75th anniversary celebration!