Chair's Corner - July 2019

Chair's Corner - July 2019

“…You have to experience the depths of the valley to appreciate the views from the peak.” – STEVE WAUGH

It’s been an absolute privilege and an honor to serve as the chairman of the world’s biggest SPE section. I would like to thank the board of directors, our advisors and every single volunteer in our section for having made my job easy and enjoyable. The relationships that I’ve built over the course of this journey will last forever!

In 2018-19 we saw the birth of many new initiatives and the growth of our existing programs and committees. Some notable achievements include:

  • A New Website – We finally launched our new website with the help of our Communications chairperson, Karin Gonzalez, and our website administrator, Lindsey After several months of careful planning, this effort was executed very smoothly and efficiently. I’m hoping our members are happy with our new website.
  • Programs
    • We saw the growth of our webinar initiative when a few study groups embraced this idea. I’m very confident about the expansion of this initiative in 2019-20.
    • The Completions and Production study group found some new energy with the infusion of younger volunteers who helped host the highly successful inaugural Completions and Production
    • The Westside study group hosted the inaugural “Operators Forum” that focused exclusively on operators and their case studies.
    • The Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) study group hosted their inaugural event that enlightened our membership about modeling challenges and integrated the chemical and mechanical engineering domain with the petroleum engineers in our
    • Women in Energy (WIN) hosted their sellout inaugural event that focused on aspects and challenges of gender diversity in our
    • The inaugural congress of the Digital Transformation study group featured some highly renowned speakers in this domain.
  • The Innovation and Entrepreneurship Symposium (IES) continues to be a highly popular event and has begun to attract an international audience!
  • The Data Science Convention enjoyed another successful year with a sellout crowd.
  • Scholarship Endowment Fund (SEF) – Under the leadership of Education chairperson Mohammad Tabatabaei, we launched the SEF campaign. This campaign will be very important in sustaining and growing our scholarship program, and I request the help of all of our members in supporting this campaign in the coming
  • Scholarship Program – We added two additional Communities in Schools of Houston (CISH) scholarships and increased the amount of the SPE-GCS Petroleum Engineering
  • SPE-GCS Ambassador Program – We selected ambassadors from various corporations in our section to help educate and extend the reach of our section activities within every organization.
  • Young Professionals (YPs) – The YPs hosted around 60 technical, social and community outreach events. They also hosted our inaugural inter-corporate TopGolf event, which featured around 300 This event is expected to grow in 2019-20 and beyond.
  • Financial Targets – The SPE-GCS exceeded its financial targets and is on course to finish 2018-19 as one of the organization’s strongest years!

When I look back at 2015-16, we were at the peak of our industry’s downturn. Oil prices had plunged to $26/bbl and there was global chaos, with several professionals losing their jobs. With our section finances taking a severe hit, our board of directors was forced to make a highly painful decision to cut scholarship numbers and amounts. Under the leadership of then-chairperson Ivor Ellul, we made some important adjustments to the operations of our section and implemented best practices toward efficiently managing our finances. We also launched the SEF, which would act as a failsafe mechanism if we encountered a similar financial situation in the future.

After four years, with all our best-in-class volunteers supporting these changes and initiatives, we are in a very strong position – arguably at our strongest. Technical offerings have been continually increasing, our volunteer base keeps growing and our finances are very healthy.

Every volunteer who has played a part in this journey should be very proud of their efforts to uplift our section and ensure we are among the best in the world!

I would like to thank my good friends and mentors, Ivor Ellul and Deepak Gala (2016-17 SPE-GCS Chairman) for all their advice and guidance throughout my leadership journey with the SPE-GCS. When I was offered the position of chairperson of the section two years back, there were many questions in my mind. I’m glad Ivor and Deepak convinced me to take up this role; it’s one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I will end my term as chairperson on July 31, 2019 and will hand over the gavel to Gabby Morrow. Gabby is one of the best leaders in our section and I’m very confident that SPE-GCS will continue to thrive under her leadership! I’m expecting even greater things to happen in 2019-20!

Wishing you all the very best!