Chair's Corner - January 2021

Chair's Corner - January 2021


It is the beginning of a new year and I want to wish all our SPE-GCS members and affiliates a Happy New Year 2021! I hope everyone had safe and joyful holidays. Like many people, I hope this year brings the end of the pandemic, full recovery for the energy industry and the return to normal life. This month also symbolizes the halfway mark of the Gulf Coast Section’s fiscal term. I will share a progress update on a few of the initiatives planned for the fiscal year, including the Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) initiative and the Mobile App proposal.

The SPE International Diversity and Inclusion Committee launched during ATCE in 2020 with the vision of advancing the society’s commitment to diversity and inclusion within the oil and gas community through advocacy, collaboration and education. SPEI transitioned the Women in Energy (WIN) committee, established in 2016, into the broader Diversity and Inclusion Committee.

In November 2020, the SPE-GCS Board of Directors approved the creation of a diversity and inclusion committee in the Gulf Coast Section to support the mission and vision of SPEI and promote diversity and inclusion locally. A GCS D&I standing committee comprised of SPE advisors, GCS board members and study group and committee leaders was formed to help stand up the committee and brainstorm how D&I could be effectively promoted in a large and diverse section like GCS. The standing committee met for a few months and came up with the following section-specific mission and vision:

  • Vision:

An inclusive community that values diversity in talent, experiences, background and contributions to inspire, engage and motivate members to reach their highest potential through belonging to SPE.

  • Mission:

Create awareness by providing resources to facilitate the discussion of and education on diversity and inclusion principles for engagement in professional relationships as described in the SPE Code of Conduct.

Potential activities for the committee include organizing events with industry D&I leaders to share lessons learned and best practices from their companies and corporations; the encouragement of diversity in technical speakers and panelists; the encouragement of diversity in the makeup of committees and study group leaders; the development of plans to encourage more diversity in section membership; award nominations and scholarship applicants. The committee also has plans to help promote diversity and inclusion in local communities and schools through education. The committee plans to use Data Analytics of our section programs and events and frequent surveys to our members to quantify its impact, for feedback and improvement recommendations. For more information or to volunteer, please attend the January D&I Informational Session. (

The GCS Mobile App proposal was presented to the board after the completion of a cost-benefit analysis and the proposal was approved. The communications committee is looking for Mobile App sponsors to help execute this vision. If you or your company are digitally minded and would like to promote your company to about 11,000 section members plus affiliates, and directly in the palm of our members' hands, please contact our Communications Team ( for sponsorship opportunities.

In the energy industry, there is optimism that COVID-19 vaccines could help bring the end of the pandemic. WTI Crude and Brent Crude oil prices have been in the mid to high 40s with a slight increase in recent weeks. Baker Hughes reports 323 rigs in the US, an increased number compared to previous months.

Within SPE-GCS, we thank all our members for their resilience and continued support of the events organized by hardworking section volunteers and leaders. Event highlights this month include "Controlling Injection in a Horizontal Waterflood Utilizing Flow Control Devices," by Westside Study Group, and "The National Petroleum Council Study on Carbon Capture, Use and Storage" by the Reservoir Study Group. Check the events calendar for more information and to register.

Until next month,