Interview with 2011 SPE President Alain Labastie
- Alain Labastie (Total) | John Donnelly (JPT Editor)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Journal of Petroleum Technology
- Publication Date
- September 2010
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 12 - 15
- 2010. 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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Alain Labastie is engineering adviser, EOR Technologies, for Total and is based in Pau, France. He began his career in 1976 at Elf and has held numerous positions in reservoir engineering, primarily in R&D and technology development. His positions have included R&D Program manager, head of R&D Operations, and head of Advanced Reservoir Techniques. Labastie also served on committees awarding public research funding for the French administration and the European Union.
Labastie served on the SPE Board as director for the South, Central, and East Europe region and is a former chairperson of the JPT Editorial Committee. He has been involved in numerous SPE committees, including the Distinguished Lecturer, Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition, International Petroleum Technology Conference and Exhibition, Europec Technical, and Forum Series committees. Labastie also chaired the SPE France Section and has been an SPE representative for the Offshore Technology Conference. He earned an engineering degree from Ecole des Arts et Métiers and a petroleum engineering degree from Institut Français du Pétrole.
How did you get involved with the oil and gas industry?
After graduating as a mechanical engineer, I decided to also earn a degree as a petroleum engineer. I was taken by what is sometimes called the romance of the petroleum industry. I wanted a wide diversity in my activities and in my career, with the possibility of discovering different countries and cultures around the world. And I have never been disappointed. I have always had fun in my career, and enjoyed many opportunities to discover new things and new people.
How did you get involved in SPE?
I started out as a young engineer in the headquarters of my company in France, and at that time SPE was not well known there and had no local section. But I had a position in R&D and used SPE literature as a reference, and I found it extremely valuable and it made a real difference in my everyday work. After a few years and some conclusive work, I submitted an SPE paper, which was accepted for the 1980 SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition. It made a big impression on me and I made my first trip to the US to deliver the paper.
Then my company transferred me to Houston, and I naturally joined SPE and the Gulf Coast Section. I enjoyed attending the section meetings, where I had opportunities to discuss with colleagues almost everything in a neutral place: the start of the SPE networking experience! My interest in SPE then grew rapidly, and I volunteered for several tasks with SPE. One of my SPE mentors was Jacques Bosio, who later became the first non-US SPE president.
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