The SPE governance model is based on the concept of “think global, act local.” The model connects local sections and student chapters and consolidates to the regional directors. On the technical side, technical sections report to the technical directors. It is a model that is recognized among professional societies as providing the combined benefits of proximity to members along with technology-focused networking capacity.

Technical sections/communities of SPE members share ideas, promote competence, and develop projects related to their technical interest. Technical Sections tend to be more task-oriented than discussion-oriented. They meet virtually for the most part but are encouraged to hold a face-to-face meeting at least once a year.

Technical sections (TS) evolve with the industry’s current and foreseeable trends. There are nearly 20 technical sections, and over my tenure as president two new sections were approved.

- The Geothermal Technical Section (GTTS) builds on the synergies between the geothermal industry and the knowledge from the oil and gas industry, especially for enhanced and advanced geothermal systems. GTTS has been off to a great start with the organization of several virtual events, and recently, its participation in physical events such as the SPE EuropEC held last month.

- The Management Technical Section. As the previous Management & Information technical discipline was split with the creation of the Data Science and Engineering Analytics discipline, the emergence of a standalone TS provides continued focus on the Management side. The latter covers several major topics, including energy economics, strategic planning, etc.

Two other sections are being created on hydrogen and on management of greenhouse-gas emissions, in particular methane.

Technical sections may also be recombined, when needed, to provide maximum efficiency to our members. The consolidation of the Digital Energy TS and the Petroleum Data-Driven Analytics TS has been proposed. A committee has been tasked to evaluate the options moving forward, including the potential creation of new focused sections that would cover emerging areas such as quantum computing.

In last month’s column, I mentioned that the SPE Board of Directors and leadership is undertaking reviewing and updating the SPE Strategic Plan. It is a regular, periodical positioning guide for the Society within a context that has evolved significantly over the past 4 years due to the pandemic crisis, the industry cycle, and the perspectives of the energy transition. With the help of consultants, we have undertaken a number of member interviews that reflect different geographical and business perspectives. These are conducted either through one-on-one discussions, town halls with targeted groups, or smaller focus groups. Regular updates on the strategic plan are provided at SPE Strategic Planning.

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