Chair's Corner - December 2020

Chair's Corner - December 2020

¡Adios 2020! and Scholarship

Endowment Fund Update

When we rang in the new year and the beginning of a decade back in January, no one anticipated that 2020 would turn out to be the year it has been. It is typical around the world for people to hope for a new year full of blessings, good health, prosperity and happiness. There is no question that 2020 has been a challenging year because of the pandemic and industry downturn. I could write this entire article about the year’s challenges, but as we enter the holiday season, I will focus on the positive side of 2020 and provide an update on our SPE-GCS Scholarship Endowment Fund (SEF) efforts.

Here are some of the unexpected benefits that 2020 brought: Since around March, some companies in our industry have allowed employees to work full time and remotely from home. This has allowed employees to have a better work-life balance, spending more time at home with family and less time commuting to and from work. Families are connecting virtually more frequently with relatives who are unable to travel or visit. Working from home has also allowed professionals to be more intentional with their connections and use virtual platforms to reach local and international colleagues more regularly.

Within SPE, our members have benefitted from attending SPE events, conferences and Distinguished Lecturer presentations worldwide via webinars and virtual platforms. In previous years, international SPE conferences and events were harder to attend for members not willing or able to physically travel to the event locations. The resilience that we have shown as humans in these unprecedented times has been unbelievable.

In my October Connect "Chair’s Corner" article, I promised I would provide an update on the Scholarship Endowment Fund. As of November 1st, 2020, SPE-GCS members have raised a total of $570,246! These funds are from donations from individual SPE members, former scholarship recipients, company matches and a few company donations. In 2015, the SPE-GCS Board of Directors launched the SEF to ensure that we will always be able to fund an adequate number of scholarships, even during industry downturns. The goal of the SEF is $6 million. While we understand that the energy industry has been going through challenging times the past few years, we are committed to continuing to fundraise toward this goal. More information can be found at scholarship-fund/.

The recipients of our scholarships are the future of energy. They are the bright minds who will find creative solutions and assist the industry in the multi-decade transition to a less carbon-intensive energy environment, while also meeting huge future energy demands around the world. The SEF Committee has been actively reaching out to our GCS members to ask those who are able to give to consider donating to the SEF as they start their gift-planning season. To reach our goal, we will also need more support from companies and major corporations. I ask that you consider including the SEF during your business planning cycle.

There are no donations too small; anything will help toward our fundraising goal. You can donate at scholarship-donation-one-time/.

In the US, Election Day is now behind us, but the impact of US election results on the energy industry and the world is still uncertain. Baker Hughes reports 296 rigs in the US, an increased number compared to previous months. The US Energy Information Administration (EIA) shared the International Energy Outlook 2020 (IEO2020), which indicated the pandemic will lead to "market transitions" for the US. In 2019, the US became a total energy exporter–net trade importer for crude oil, but a net trade exporter for natural gas, coal and petroleum products. The EIA report also showed that IEO2019 projected that petroleum and other liquids will be the most-used energy source until approximately 2050, when renewables will become the most-used energy source.

Within SPE-GCS, event highlights this month include: Oil Patch writing by Jeanne Perdue, organized by the Continuing Education Committee; and the HSE&S Webinar: Guidance to improve the effectiveness of process safety management systems in operating facilities hosted by the HSE&S Study group. Check the events calendar for more information and to register. I wish you all a happy holiday season!

Until next month,