Interview with 2012 SPE President Ganesh Thakur
- Ganesh Thakur (Chevron Energy Technology Company) | John Donnelly (JPT Editor)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Journal of Petroleum Technology
- Publication Date
- October 2011
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 12 - 16
- 2011. 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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Ganesh Thakur, vice president, global adviser, and fellow of Chevron Energy Technology Company, is the 2012 SPE president. He will take office during the 2011 SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition in Denver.
Thakur is a recognized leader in reservoir engineering and simulation, secondary recovery, reservoir and well productivity improvement, heavy oil, horizontal well technology, and enhanced oil recovery. He is also known for his work in the emergence of reservoir management, particularly waterflooding, as a key interdisciplinary practice. Thakur has published and taught widely around the world. He has designed and operated reservoir management programs, mentored technical professionals, and served as an ambassador of technology to national oil companies and government ministries.
Thakur is an SPE Distinguished Member and has served as technical director of Reservoir Description and Dynamics on the Board of Directors. He is an SPE Distinguished Lecturer, past chairman of the SPE Reprint Series Committee, and served on the SPE Editorial Review and Forum Series committees. Thakur was also a short course instructor on integrated reservoir management and waterflood management. He received the SPE Reservoir Description and Dynamics award in 2005, Pennsylvania State University Outstanding Alumni Achievement award in 2006, and Orange County (California) Outstanding Engineer of the Year award in 1994.
Thakur earned a BS degree in petroleum engineering from the Indian School of Mines. He earned MS and PhD degrees in petroleum and natural gas engineering, and an MA degree in mathematics, all from Pennsylvania State University. He also earned an MBA degree from Houston Baptist University.
How did you get involved in SPE?
It was as a student member, in the late 1960s, when I was going to school in India at the Indian School of Mines (ISM). I became a student member, although I do not think the student chapter was even formalized yet by SPE.
I became more involved when I went to graduate school at Penn State. I have remained active in student member-ship, local sections, the Editorial Committee, Distinguished Lecturer Committee, Forums, Applied Technology Workshops, the program for the SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition, and more.
I have been working since 1973, the first four years for BP/Amoco and SSI and 34 years for Chevron. I was with Gulf Oil when it was acquired by Chevron in the 1980s.As an undergraduate, oil prices were low and people asked me, “Why are you studying petroleum engineering? You are a good student.” They got me scared and they thought oil and gas would run out in 30 to 40 years. They were wrong, and today we will still have 30, 40, 50 or more years of oil remaining, especially as we go from conventional oil and gas to unconventional oil and gas. The sky is the limit, and we may have a whole new era coming up.
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