Your SPE: Travels Highlight Diverse Needs and Approaches
- Leo Roodhart (2009 SPE President)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Journal of Petroleum Technology
- Publication Date
- July 2009
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 12 - 14
- 2009. Copyright is retained by the author. This document is distributed by SPE with the permission of the author. Contact the author for permission to use material from this document.
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My grandmother used to say that everything comes to an end. This goes for my presidency (this is my second to last column) and also, I hope, for the worst of the global economic crisis, which has coincided quite by accident with my term of office.
News from the economic front in late May: the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development announced that the decline in economic growth is bottoming out, while the president of the European Central Bank stated that economic indicators are reaching an “inflection point.” While this only means that things are getting less bad, it is heartening nonetheless.
SPE membership remains strong, as our total number of members now is higher than this time last year. Our conferences, workshops, and Forums continue to attract a good, high-quality attendance. It seems that senior management in our industry still values SPE’s offer when it comes to technology dissemination and learning. Our strategy of placing conferences and workshops close to major petroleum operations to help reduce or eliminate travel expenses seems to be working. SPE’s numerous and varied online resources, which I have described in previous columns, are also proving especially popular at this time.
My visits to local sections continue. Recently I have been to Japan, Vietnam, South Africa, and the Middle East. What different places, with different approaches and needs. We may think that Japan, for instance, has few hydrocarbon resources of its own. Nevertheless, it has a relatively mature SPE section in Tokyo, an active student chapter at Kyoto University, and a recently established student chapter at Waseda University. The country conducts some very sophisticated research and development and many of the high-tech tools and steel we use in our operations originates in Japan. The Japanese national oil companies are global players with global interests, which will be reflected in future workshop topics. We will organize an Applied Technology Workshop with the Japanese Association of Petroleum Technology and major Japanese oil companies in Hokkaido in July 2010. Kyoto in springtime is magical—not just the university, with its wonderful people like Matsuoka-San, the student chapter faculty advisor, and student chapter past-president Henry Garcia, but also the cherry blossoms make it a place to remember
Vietnam has a relatively young section (1994) and a vibrant student chapter at the Ho Chi Minh University of Technology, in Ho Chi Minh City. The Vietnam Section, chaired by Hugh Sykes, is a great example of how SPE can support and encourage students who are still attracted by our industry. The Vietnam Section has a vibrant social events calendar, including golf tournaments and barbecues. These events, which are sponsored yet those attending still pay a fee, generate a very healthy income—half of which is currently donated to the student chapters in the form of scholarships. I had the pleasure of handing out these welcome envelopes to at least 25 students when visiting both Hanoi University of Mining and Geology and Ho Chi Minh University of Technology. The other half of the section’s revenue is donated to local charitable organizations, such as an orphanage.
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