About Oil and Natural Gas

SPE members are engaged in all facets of exploring for and producing oil and natural gas ("upstream"). SPE members are not engaged in refining or product distribution (e.g., gasoline) and you will find little information about these "downstream" segments of the oil and gas industry on SPE's websites.

Our members are employed to locate hydrocarbon deposits hidden beneath the earth's crust and oceans and retrieve them from their underground reservoirs so that they can benefit mankind. The oil and gas produced as a result of the efforts of SPE members gives people the freedom to drive their cars and to heat, cool, and light their homes. Oil and natural gas are also the source materials for a wide range of products that touch everyday life, including many medications, cosmetics, plastics, and fabrics. Without oil and natural gas, many of the things that are part of your everyday life would no longer exist.

SPE is dedicated to educating the public about how oil and natural gas are found and produced. Energy4me answers important questions such as:

  • How Does the Industry Find Oil and Natural Gas?
  • Where are Oil and Natural Gas Found?
  • How Much Oil and Natural Gas is Left?
  • What is the Role of Technology in Oil and Natural Gas Production?
  • How is the Industry Working to Protect the Environment?

To safely and efficiently locate and produce oil and natural gas, SPE members employ highly sophisticated technologies. To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Journal of Petroleum Technology in 1999, SPE published a review of how technology has changed since the early days of the industry. Written for a non-technical audience, this series of articles celebrates technological achievement. With permission from the American Petroleum Institute who produced them, SPE also offers a series of video clips on Technology Transforming an Industry, providing a visual look at the advanced technologies currently in use.

SPE members are engaged in energy education. We want the public to understand how oil and natural gas affect the world economy and the important role that petroleum engineers (and other industry professionals) play in improving the quality of their lives. SPE maintains a separate website, www.energy4me.org, that includes resources to help students learn about energy and guide teachers and parents to other useful resources. SPE also offers schools and civic organizations the opportunity to request a speaker on energy topics. We encourage young people to explore the many career opportunities available to them in the upstream oil and gas industry.