We kicked off the 2021-2022 SPE-
GCS year in person and virtually at the Core Laboratories facility. We had the opportunity to thank the outgoing board for their time and for helping us navigate the challenges of the pandemic. I want to take this opportunity to congratulate Simeon Eburi, past chair, for his excellent leadership during his term and wish him the best in his new role, Regional Director, North America Region, on the SPE International Board of Directors.
The event at Core Laboratories was also an opportunity to welcome new board members. I had a chance to discuss and engage with them during the kickoff, review the section's financial health and share my section goals for the upcoming year, including:
- Establish a committee to examine and analyze the decline in SPE-GCS membership, and report to the SPE- GCS Board of Directors.
- Appoint a board liaison to help study groups think about how they can best incorporate energy transitions topics in their offerings and presentations.
- Outline and boost the section’s communications marketing strategy and engagement.
- Increase membership and retention by reaching out to corporations and members in transition.
- Re-introduce a quarterly executive
The kickoff was an excellent way to connect with board members, address some of their concerns and discuss new ways to engage. I look forward to taking part in more face- to-face section events this year.
Unfortunately, the pandemic isn’t over yet. With the new wave of the more contagious Delta variant, particularly in the Houston metroplex, we’ve taken precautionary measures to address the upsurge during section-related events. We’re currently monitoring and abiding by CDC measures. We still plan on having in-person events, and each committee is advised to comply with CDC guidelines – or any guidelines provided by the event location. I will update the section on our strategy and approach this month.
The SPE-GCS Annual Awards and Scholarship Banquet was held last month and was well-received by the attendees. It had both in-person and virtual options.
It was great to see everyone and to engage in face-to- face interactions. Vicki Hollub, CEO of Occidental, was interviewed during the fireside chat session.
We recognized and congratulated our hardworking volunteers, regional and section award winners, our bright student scholarship recipients and the SPE Legion of Honor (50 years of SPE membership) during the event. I would like to recognize the Awards Banquet Committee for its outstanding job.
We now see a nascent recovery in our industry, with the rig count passing 500 for the first time in over a year, better growth potential about fracturing and completions of a backlog of uncompleted wells. Things are looking bullish for the industry and we’re getting back to work.
On the SPE-GCS front, we’ve seen an uptick in in-person industry events and people are beginning to come out for section-related professional events. This is good news for the section and our colleagues currently in transition. Companies are back hiring, and engagements with recruiters are positive. The leadership team's goal is to continue to provide forums that allow members to upgrade and maintain professional competence, and offer social interaction that increases member participation in section activities, while striving to preserve the integrity of the section.
The Offshore Technology Conference, which has historically drawn 60,000 people representing 100+ countries (including exhibit personnel), was canceled last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic. This year's event was held last month, with a new format providing both in-person and virtual options. The conference attracted attendees and exhibiting companies worldwide to showcase leading-edge technology for offshore drilling production and environmental protection. Section members were able to attend, network and interact with industry colleagues.
Here in the Gulf Coast Section, our volunteers have been creative in providing technical content and training to our members. This month, I’ll highlight the Drilling Study Group's technical section on “Drilling Automation: Will Its Rising Tide Sink Your Ship or Lift It Higher than Ever?” I will also highlight the Research and Development Committee’s “Protecting Innovation: Intellectual Property and the US Patent Process.” I encourage you all to review the calendar and register for relevant upcoming events.
Until next month,
Nii Ahele Nunoo, SPE-GCS Chair 2021-2022