Intersociety Cooperation

SPE places great importance on establishing and maintaining good, healthy relationships with other professional societies active in the petroleum industry. Why? Our goal is to give our members easier access to a broad range of technology, introduce SPE to potential members, avoid wasteful competition, and enhance the effectiveness of volunteer resources.

As an SPE leader, you are encouraged to develop and maintain active contacts with local societies or chapters active within your section boundaries, and to be on the lookout for mutually beneficial joint initiatives.

Caution should be used to ensure that SPE organizational units are not committing SPE to arrangements that have not been approved by its Board of Directors. Furthermore, SPE staff should not be put into a negotiating role with members or other societies. It is strongly suggested that your Regional Director be consulted as to plans for intersociety initiatives before they are implemented, to learn from earlier mistakes, and to help us move forward as One SPE. After a decision is made to move forward with a joint initiative, your Regional Director should be kept apprised of progress and will, in turn, keep SPE staff informed.

All SPE sections are asked to include in their Annual Report a description of their activities and relationships with other local professional societies (see the SPE Section Annual Report Form, Item 5). Specifically, sections are asked to provide the following information:

  1. Describe your relationships with other professional societies (national or international) that are active in petroleum engineering or related areas. Describe any joint activities and initiatives.
  2. Do you see ways to change your relationships with other societies to improve the benefits to members? Can SPE assist in any way?

It is planned to discuss relationships between societies at future annual Section Officers Meetings.

Cooperation Between Societies

Professional societies in areas related to petroleum engineering can be roughly categorized into three groups:

  • Large internationally oriented societies, such as SPE, AAPG (American Association of Petroleum Geologists), SEG (Society of Exploration Geophysicists), EAGE (European Association of Geoscientists and Engineers), and the Society of Professional Well Log Analysts (SPWLA).
  • Local technically based societies in related disciplines, sometimes affiliated to larger international organizations. Examples of such societies are IAG (Indonesian Association of Geophysicists), PESA (Petroleum Exploration Society of Australia), GSTT (Geological Society of Trinidad & Tobago) and DPS (Dutch Petrophysical Society).
  • National petroleum engineering societies or sections of national “Mining & Mineral Resources” societies. Examples of such societies are PS-CIM (Petroleum Society of the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum), IPA (Indonesian Petroleum Association, IAPG (Argentine Institute of Petroleum & Gas), and NPF (Norwegian Petroleum Society).

Good relationships with other societies should be maintained at all levels of the SPE organization.

SPE sections are encouraged to develop and maintain active contacts with other societies and to be on the lookout for mutually beneficial joint initiatives. Sections are urged to regularly evaluate their relationships with other professional societies to determine if these can be improved. SPE officers, regional directors, and staff are available to help in this process if appropriate.

In particular, relationships with the national societies should be regularly evaluated. These societies often cover a range of activities that is much broader than the SPE, including petroleum engineering as well as G&G, downstream activity, petrochemicals, and finance. However, they share many of the goals of SPE, including that of dissemination of technology.

SPE members are not served by weak or competitive relationships between their national society and the SPE, as is the case in some areas. This results in wasting of resources and energy by both societies.

In the long term, the strength of the SPE and its membership numbers will depend on its ability to ensure that members function effectively in their professional environment, and derive benefit from all available sources. In this respect, cooperation with National Societies has the potential to increase SPE membership and effectiveness by enabling non-member petroleum engineers to interface actively and positively with the SPE.

Ways to Improve Cooperation

Because of cultural diversity, initiatives to improve cooperation with other societies are likely to be based on specific local needs and tailored to meet them. A “one-size-fits-all” policy will not be successful. However, the following few guidelines have been prepared, based on the experience of various sections.

  • Among other appropriately qualified SPE members, consider those members who are strongly involved with local societies as candidates for SPE positions. It is desirable that Section Boards, Conference Organizing Committees, the SPE Board, and other SPE committees should contain a healthy proportion of people with active links with other societies.
  • SPE staff has experience in organizing joint activities with other societies. The offices in Calgary, Dallas, Houston, London, Kuala Lumpur and Dubai will be happy to give you advice on how to set up activities with particular societies and the nature of the contacts with them.Your Regional Director will also be able to offer advice and help on how to establish cooperation, or to help you in discussions with other societies.
  • In setting up joint activities with other societies, it is important to establish from the start the responsibility of each society, including financial responsibility. In particular, distinguish between situations in which SPE is merely endorsing or sponsoring an activity from those in which it has joint responsibility.
  • If you have no experience of cooperating with other societies, simple joint meetings or joint social events with limited financial implication are a good way to start.
  • If you plan to cooperate on larger meetings, such as conferences, remember that different societies have different traditions. For example, there are different ways of handling written proceedings. Do not overlook such issues in the early stages of setting up a joint meeting. Seek advice from an SPE office.
  • If a section is jointly responsible with another society for organizing an activity, the SPE logo can be used prominently. If the SPE is merely endorsing or sponsoring an activity, the logo should appear less prominently, in such a way that makes clear that SPE is not fully responsible for the organization. Read our SPE Logo Use Policy for more information.
  • Make sure that the SPE name and logo are protected. It is a valuable trademark of the Society. The logo should include the name of the local section, as shown below, to emphasize the role of the local section.