Chair's Corner - November 2019

Chair's Corner - November 2019

Distinguished Lecture Series

The Permian Basin Study Group will host the first Distinguished Lecture of the year on Tuesday, November 5, at Core Laboratories. The discussion topic, “Data Analytics with Human Intelligence: Outlier Analysis for Decoding Unconventional Plays,” will be presented by Distinguished Lecturer Ben Stephenson.

A link to the registration page can be found at

Ben Stephenson is a geoscience advisor on the Completions Effectiveness Team for Unconventionals at Shell. He holds a BA in natural sciences from Cambridge University and a PhD from Oxford University on Himalayan tectonics and metamorphism. In his 20-year career with Shell, Stephenson has worked worldwide as a subject matter expert in fractured reservoirs on conventional carbonate and geothermal fields. He now specializes in the interaction between hydraulic stimulation and the subsurface for field development decisions. Stephenson has authored more than 30 external publications on a broad range of topics, and the SPE-GCS is honored to have him present as a Distinguished Lecturer.

Two case studies will be presented: the Montney play in Canada and the Marcellus play in the US. In both plays, statistical analysis of large datasets did not suffice, forcing the creation of a novel technique called “outlier analysis” in which specific hypotheses are systematically scrutinized against the production data. Emphasis is placed on understanding the very best and worst wells within the range. The outcome was a step-change improvement in well performance in both plays, which provided confidence for a major investment decision.

HSE & Sustainability Mini Symposium: Oil and Gas Environmental 101

The Health, Safety, Environmental & Sustainability Study Group will be holding a mini symposium this month on November 12 at Marathon Oil Tower in the Galleria area. Led by experienced industry professionals and environmental subject matter experts, it will provide a refresher on:

  • Air permitting and air emissions management
  • Water and wastewater management
  • Environmental sustainability
  • Regulatory risk and liability prevention

The symposium will benefit new-to-industry personnel, emerging engineers and professionals, and leaders seeking to improve their awareness and understanding of the environmental considerations in E&P operations planning and execution. Registration includes refreshments, lunch and a certificate of attendance. A link to the registration page and speaker line-up can be found at

One of the utmost priorities of the Gulf Coast Section is to deliver technical education at the highest level. I encourage you to check out our online calendar for all upcoming events.


Until next month,

Gabrielle Morrow