Chair's Corner - December 2021

Chair's Corner - December 2021

Adios to 2021, the Membership Taskforce Report and a Scholarship Endowment Fund Update

What an interesting year it’s been. We started the year not knowing how it would end, but things are getting back to normal. There have been trials this year, but overall, it’s been a positive one. It’s a blessing to see most of our colleagues and loved ones who lost their jobs getting back into the workforce and providing for their families. In this month’s edition of the “Chairs Corner,” I will focus on two main things: the report from the membership task force and the Scholarship Endowment Fund (SEF).

One of the key things I mentioned in the August “Chair’s Corner” was creating a task force to review and discuss the decline in membership. I want to thank John Vozniak and the membership task force team for doing a tremendous job reviewing the current state of the section membership and coming up with actions steps. During the kickoff meeting for our 2021-2022 SPE-GCS, we discussed creating a committee to poll the members of our section to 1.) solicit ideas to strengthen our section and 2.) conduct a membership drive to renew and recruit members that had been lost to the pandemic or the downturn in the industry.

John Vozniak volunteered to lead the task force with Jeannie Purdue, Amy Timmons, Jon Giebrecht, Aaron Burton, James Rodgerson, Edwin Ennin and Tran Nguyen. This team worked together to send out a 10-question survey to over 1000 members of the section. They also created a flyer to encourage current members to recruit new and old members alike.

We included QR codes for both the survey and recruiting to make these tasks user-friendly. The survey has been released, so please check your email and complete the survey if you haven’t done so already. A report will be delivered to the board of directors by Jan. 15 on the results of the survey. It will assist the board in determining ways to strengthen the section and continue our outstanding services to the oil and gas industry, especially the Gulf Coast area and the community and schools of Harris County and surrounding counties.

The flyer will be distributed via this newsletter and introduced at each study group meeting for the rest of the year. A membership drive and a happy hour may also be in the works! 

The Gulf Coast section is healthy and working to get back to collecting, disseminating and exchanging technical knowledge across the oil and gas value chain. We also keep providing opportunities for professionals to enhance their technical competence.

In 2015, the SPE-GCS board of directors launched the Scholarship Endowment Fund to make sure that we will always fund enough scholarships, even during industry downturns. The goal for the SEF is $6 million. While we understand that the energy industry has been going through challenging times over the past few years, we are committed to fundraising toward our goal. The SEF Committee has been reaching out to our GCS members and asking those who are able to consider donating to the fund to start off the 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 small donations; anything will help toward our fundraising goal.

You can find out more information here and donate here.

In the US, inflation is at an all-time high in 31 years, and the reasons are complicated. It would seem a few primary factors are driving this, including the pandemic, its global ripple effect, and our attempts to stave off a recession. How inflation relates to energy markets will be quite interesting to watch in the next few months. With the price of BRENT a little over 80 dollars and rig count reported by Baker Hughes in the mid-500’s, we can see the see the effect at the gas pump. In reviewing the Q3 earnings report, it’s clear exploration and production companies are back to making profits. In listening in on a few of the earnings calls, it appears profits from the increase in oil and gas operations and production will be directed to energy transition initiatives. That brings up a lot of opportunities for professionals in our industry to transfer their skill sets and help meet the world’s energy demand.

Within SPE-GCS, I will highlight a few events this month: “Oil Patch Writing” by Jeanne Perdue, organized with the Continuing Education Committee; “Talos Energy’s Diversification Strategy,” including carbon capture and storage, with the Westside Study Group; and “CycleHouston Bicycle Build” with the Young Professionals. Check the events calendar for more information and to register.

I wish you all a happy holiday season! Nii Ahele Nunoo