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Technical Section Events

All events are ticketed. The price is NOT included in registration.


Sunday, 27 September, 1300–2130

Special Event: Drilling Systems Automation Technical Section Symposium and Reception

George R. Brown Convention Center, Room 362 ABC

Sponsored by:

DSATS, SPE’s Drilling Systems Automation Technical Section, will hold a half-day symposium focusing on the human aspect of automation.  There is tremendous interest in automation and robotics within college circles, with many students pursuing these subjects.  To attract talent and raise awareness of the challenge of drilling systems automation within academia, DSATS created the first student contest in drilling automation – Drillbotics.  Students from several universities created prototype drill rigs to automatically drill a block of “pseudo rock.”  The 2015 contest winner and other innovative entries will be presented at the symposium.

Continuing to focus on the human aspect of automation, three experts in their fields will address training of rig crews in an environment where automated or highly mechanized systems are increasingly present.  Education of rig crews is a very important step in systems automation, and care must be taken to keep drillers and other rig personnel in the loop.  The presentations cover the implementation of the first registered journeyman trade for drilling rig workers, training and competency development for automated equipment operators, and training of rig crews to handle high levels of systems automation.

Please join DSATS in this thought provoking and educational symposium.   Space is limited so be sure to register early.  The meeting will be followed by a sponsored reception.


 Tony Beebe
Blue Ocean Drilling





Egill Abrahamsen
Sekal A.S.

Gunnar DeBruijin
P.E., Standards and Knowledge Development Manager, Well Integrity (Cementing), Schlumberger Principal



Nancy Malone
Vice President (Former), Canadian Association of Oilwell Drilling Contractors (CAODC)

Robert W. Rose
Contract Drilling Professional


Sunday, 27 September, 1830–2100

Research and Development Technical Section Dinner

Hilton Americas, Ballroom of the Americas C

Sponsored by:

Manufacturing for Oil and Gas

Attend this event which features keynote presentations followed by an intimate discussion about modern materials and manufacturing technologies, their revolutionary impact on rapid prototyping, and their application to oil and gas development.


 Mariano Gurfinkel
Hess Corporation, Global Onshore

SPE R&D Technical Section Chairman





Keynote Speaker

Nathan Meehan
2016 SPE President
Senior Executive Adviser,
Baker Hughes


Sha-Chelle Manning
Director, Corporate Innovation
Pioneer Natural Resources

William H. Peter, PhD
Deputy Director,
Manufacturing Demonstration Facility,
Advanced Manufacturing Office
Oak Ridge National Laboratory

George Dodan
Consulting Engineer/Technologist,
GE Oil & Gas,

Sunday, 27 September, 1900-2130

Digital Energy Technical Section Dinner

Hilton Americas, Room 335 AB

Sponsored by:

Sustainable Innovation in the Oil and Gas Drilling Industry:  A Strategy to Build a Bridge to Cross the Chasm

"Creativity is about creating new ideas. Inventions is about implementing those ideas, Innovation is about turning inventions into a commercial product. Innovation is then a business activity which strongly relies in technology to address a customer need."

This keynote presents a path to address these challenges. The approach is based on Reliability Centered Engineering, Safety Integrity Processes, and Human Centered Design principles to enable the definition of a transformative vision to bring sustainable innovation to the offshore drilling technology.

Join fellow professionals and Digital Energy Technical Section members to hear a keynote presentation from Jose Gutierrez, Director of Technology at Transocean about Sustainable Innovation in Oil and Gas.  Come network, share technical information and exchange ideas through informal discussions.



 Yanni Charalambous
VP and CIO, Occidental Petroleum Corp.;
Chair, Digital Energy Technical Section (DETS)

 Kemal Farid
CEO, Farid Ventures;
Vice-Chair, Digital Energy Technical Section (DETS)



Keynote Speaker

Jose Gutierrez
Director of Technology and Innovation





Monday, 28 September, 1830–2100

Petroleum Data-Driven Analytics Technical Section Dinner

George R. Brown Convention Center, Room 372 CF

Sponsored by:

"Strategic Challenges in Data Science:  Taking a Full Lifecycle Approach"

Big Data challenges have become more than familiar across many industry sectors and the government in space exploration, oil and gas and healthcare and biomedicine, to identify only a few examples.  At NASA and JPL, we are building on a tradition of strong stewardship of the data sets returned from space missions in service of the Space Science, Earth Science and Astrophysics scientist communities.  The core challenge for all is one of scalability and we are recognizing that a full lifecycle perspective of Big Data challenges is essential for achieving a scalable and effective approach

The technical section is under new leadership. Attend this annual event to hear updates and upcoming activities planned for this dynamic SPE group. Join fellow petroleum analytics professionals and technical section members to hear and hold discussions on an exciting keynote presentation from Richard Doyle, Program Manager for Information and Data Science for the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.


 Amr El-Bakry
Production Optimization Analytics Advisor,
ExxonMobil Production Co.;
SPE Petroleum Data-Driven Analytics (PD2A) Technical Section

 Mohamed Sidahmed
Data Analytics Scientist,
Upstream Technology, BP;
YP Outreach Chair,
SPE Petroleum Data-Driven Analytics (PD2A) Technical Section




Richard Doyle
Program Manager for Information and Data Science,
Jet Propulsion Laboratory





Tuesday, 29 September, 1215–1345

Research and Development Technical Section Topical Luncheon

George R. Brown Convention Center, Bush Grand Ballroom C

Technology Transfer from other Industries to Oil and Gas E&P

The SPE Research and Development Technical Section will host a special topical luncheon to facilitate focused dialogue on adaptation of new technologies from industries outside Oil & Gas to reduce cost, improve efficiency and return on investment in Exploration and Production for Oil & Gas.  In a series of informative and thought-provoking presentations, a panel of industry experts will show examples of technology transfer and adaptation into Oil & Gas E&P applications.

A panel of speakers will discuss technology impact on cost reduction and improving return on investment, with a question and answer session to follow.


 Mariano Gurfinkel
Global Onshore
Hess Corporation
SPE R&D Technical Section Chairman

John Hallman Manager, Strategic Technology Weatherford



John Barratt
Oil & Gas Innovation Center

Richard Byrd
Industry Executive –
Oil and Gas,
Lockheed Martin
Commercial Cyber

Rick Lucas
ExOne Company

Partha Ganguly
Director of Technology Innovation
Baker Hughes


Wellbore Positioning Technical Section Topical Luncheon

George R. Brown Convention Center, Bush Grand Ballroom B

Proper Wellbore Positioning Improves Reservoir Value

Known bore hole position and surface location uncertainties are often ignored in the development of sub surface models, leading to unnecessary errors in both the models themselves and the reserves volumes they are expected to contain.

While these position uncertainties may have little impact in the early exploration stages of an asset life-cycle, understanding of the reservoir can be seriously impacted as the field development matures.
The expert panel will explore the scale of the problem, and discuss questions from the audience.


Robert Wylie




Panel Members

Dan Diluzio


Ed Stockhausen

John de Wardt
De Wardt and Company