SPE Canadian Regional News – January 2015

Regional Awards Presented at 2014 Unconventional Resources Conference

Exceptional service and leadership within SPE and significant professional contributions within a certain technical discipline does not go unnoticed. Each year, five technical, three service, a faculty, and a young member award are handed out to worthy recipients.

Based on nominations from peers and colleagues, these technical awards recognize singular devotion of time and effort to the programs and development of technical expertise in a certain discipline. A committee of six then makes the final selections.

This year’s winners of the Canada regional awards were 10 E&P professionals who have demonstrated outstanding talent and dedication.


Regional Distinguished Achievement Award for Petroleum Engineering Faculty: Hassan Hassanzadeh, University of Calgary
Regional Drilling Engineering Award: David White, Nexen
Regional Formation Evaluation: Ian Cameron, Quantum Petrophysics Solutions
Regional Production and Operations Award: David Sask, EnCana
Regional Reservoir Description and Dynamics Award: Daniel Potocki, EnCana
Regional Service Award: Don McClatchie, Sanjel Corporation, and Kelly Edwards, Harvest Energy Corporation.
Regional Young Member Outstanding Service Award: Hassan Dehghanpour, University of Alberta
Regional Service Award: Lijs Francine Groenendaal, Shell Canada Limited.

Awards were distributed at the BMO Centre 30 September–2 October 2014 during the Unconventional Resources Conference.

Best Paper Awards of SPE Canada Heavy Oil Conference 2014 Presented

Daniel Yang of Laricina Energy and Bruce James of Suncor Energy took home the gold and silver awards, respectively, for the top papers presented at the SPE Canada Heavy Oil Conference recently.

Conference Chairman Subodh Gupta of Cenovus Energy presented the awards.

Unique this year was that these awards were given out in memory of Neil Edmunds, who contributed to numerous SPE conferences and papers over the years.

 “Neil was one such individual who used to not only produce very high-quality work, but also through his numerous presentations, he made a lot of effort to make sure that the audience appreciates and understands what he is talking about,” Gupta said. “In his untimely passing away last November, we were once again reminded of the importance of such individuals.”

Because of that reminder, the organizing committee of the conference named award in his memory.

“Neil often told many good stories, and many of them in technical papers,” said Laricina President and CEO Glen Schmidt. “It’s really the honour that SPE is awarding to Neil’s memory, is his sense of pioneering—not just in the oil sands but the application of SAGD in its theory but most importantly its practise.”

The awards were handed out at the 9 October 2014 Calgary Section’s Distinguished Lecturer luncheon at the Calgary Petroleum Club.

2014 Unconventional Resources Conference Deemed a Success

Organizers are attributing the success of the 2014 Unconventional Resources Conference to the partnership with Canadian Society for Unconventional Resources (CSUR), bringing together two leading industry associations and satisfying member requests to hold a co-located conference.

Co-Chair Lyle Burke relayed that the SPE and CSUR Co-Chairs were in unanimous agreement that the co-organization activities went very well as result of the full support of both organizations, with the intent to produce an innovative conference for the members of both associations being certainly accomplished. 

Over the three day conference held 30 September–2 October, 937 attendees from 18 countries took in 5 plenary sessions, 12 technical sessions, a Young Professional workshop, an Energy4Me workshop, and an exhibition.

2015 SPE President Helge Haldorsen co-opened the conference along with CSUR President Kevin Heffernan and Lyle Burke, followed by a keynote presentation delivered during the awards luncheon.

Attendees were pleased with the exceptional keynote speakers and panel sessions, organized by the CSUR conference committee, which delivered a high level industry overview each morning and set the stage for the detailed SPE technical paper presentations that followed in the afternoons.   

Equally impressive were the over 70 high quality papers presented at the conference, that were carefully selected by the SPE conference committee who reviewed more than 500 abstracts to identify high quality, interesting and relevant papers.

New to SPE conferences this year was the speed networking session. It was so successful it had to run twice.