Comments: Industry Legends
- John Donnelly (JPT Editor)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Journal of Petroleum Technology
- Publication Date
- November 2006
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 14 - 14
- 2006. Society of Petroleum Engineers
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- 47 since 2007
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Often overlooked, some of the pioneers responsible for significant advancements in this industry have been getting recognition recently. At last month’s SPE Russian Oil and Gas Technical Conference and Exhibition in Moscow, the closing session was devoted to “Legends of the Russian Oil and Gas Industry.” Fourteen individuals representing industry, academia, and government were recognized. Russia has made numerous contributions to upstream technology development, from the invention of the electrical submersible pump to innovative applications of subsurface imaging and fracturing techniques.
Among those honored was Rern Ivanovich Viakhirev, who was Chairman of the Board of Gazprom for almost a decade and who managed the company’s growth through the Yeltsin presidency and the early years of the Putin presidency. A former First Deputy Minister of the Gas Industry of the Soviet Union, Viakhirev led the company through its privatization. Also honored was Anatoly N. Dmitrievsky, Director of the Inst. for Problems in Oil and Gas at the Russian Academy of Science. He helped found the institute, the leading Russian academic organization that studies how science and technology can benefit oil and gas production and development.
During the 2006 SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition in San Antonio in September, tribute was paid to “Legends of Hydraulic Fracturing.” Receiving the honors were Claude E. Cooke Jr., Jacques L. Elbel, C. Robert Fast, Robert R. Hannah, Larry J. Harrington, Thomas K. Perkins, Michael Prats, H.K. Van Poollen, Francis E. Dollarhide, George C. Howard, J.L. Huitt, and Ronald P. Nordgren. The one-time-only reception was conceived of by an SPE committee formed by Carl Montgomery, Engineering Fellow for ConocoPhillips, and Mike Smith, President and Cofounder of NSI Technologies.
Some estimate that hydraulic fracturing has increased recoverable oil and gas reserves in North America by as much as a third. “These pioneers, in essence, raised the current generations of hydraulic fracturing engineers,” Montgomery said. “Their combined expertise represents the technology from its inception. Their legacy is a thorough comprehension of what came before and what might lie ahead. Debatably, I can’t think of a single technology that has had a greater impact on the bottom line of every production company.”
And last month, a celebration was held marking the 30th anniversary of the Peng-Robinson equation of state at the birthplace of the mathematical milestone: Edmonton, Canada. Hosted by the Schlumberger Reservoir Fluids Center, the event included technical presentations, a commemoration ceremony, and the announcement that the center would change its name to the DBR Technology Center in honor of the late Donald Baker Robinson. It was Robinson who, as a professor of chemical engineering at Edmonton’s U. of Alberta, developed the formula along with then-research associate Ding-Yu Peng, now a professor at the U. of Saskatchewan. The equation, published in 1976, enables engineers to make accurate predictions about the behavior of materials in variable pressure and temperature conditions, information critical in reservoir decision making. The formula quickly became known around the world.
Robinson went on to form DB Robinson and Assocs. in 1980, a firm Schlumberger bought in 2003. Among those making presentations at the anniversary event chaired by Schlumberger New Venture Project Manager Ahmed Hammami were Jeff Creek of Chevron Energy Technology Co., Alan Mather of the U. of Alberta, John Carroll of Gas Liquids Engineering Ltd. of Calgary, Sanjoy Saha of Honeywell, Peter Englezos of the U. of British Columbia, Harvey Yarranton of the U. of Calgary, and Dan Zhang, Fluid Modeling Software Manager at the DBR Technology Center. Also on hand were Peng and members of Robinson’s family.
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