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Special Events

Monday, 16 March, 1300–1700

DSATS Symposium

Moderator: Paul Francis, M-I SWACO, DSATS Programme Chairman Europe

The SPE Drilling Systems Automation Technical Section (DSATS) and the IADC Advanced Rig Technology (ART) Committee will hold an exciting half-day symposium on advances in drilling systems automation.
The program includes 3 speakers supplying valuable insight into technology and methods from automation fields outside the drilling industry:

  • Luca Save of DeepBlue will discuss the ACROSS Project (Advanced Cockpit for Reduction Of Stress and Workload)
  • Ian Scott, Head of Aircraft Services, Shell, will discuss Aviation Automation
  • Jon McMillen of Lockheed Martin will discuss Autonomous Logistics

In the second half of the program a distinguished panel will describe advances within the industry, as well as the next steps in realizing drilling systems automation, especially with respect to automation of well control, well barriers, and well integrity:

  • Brian Tarr of Shell will discuss Automated Well Control
  • Mel Whitby of Cameron will discuss Cameron cognition, smart BOP technology.
  • Randy Lovorn of Halliburton will discuss MPD Well Control

The symposium will briefly review activities and progress of the SPE DSATS, IADC ART and DSA-Roadmap Initiative, and election of the 2015 committee and board of DSATS.

A sponsored reception will follow the symposium (1700 – 1800)

You must register to attend (limited capacity).

Registration: You can either (a) select to pay for the DSATS event during the registration event, or (b) add it to your registered events after registering for the main event, or (c) pay at the door (subject to availability)

Sponsored by


Tuesday, 17 March, 0800–1800 (exact times tbc)

2015 PetroBowl Europe Regional Qualifier

The PetroBowl Regional Qualifier for the Europe Super Region includes Chapter teams from the South, Central & East Europe, North Sea, and Russia & Caspian SPE regions. Teams will battle it out in fast-paced rounds, answering both technical and non-technical industry related questions. The top two teams from the Regional Qualifier win a sponsored trip to ATCE in Houston, and sponsorship for their travel and accommodation costs. Any enquiries please see www.spe.org/students/petrobowl or email petrobowl@spe.org. The tentative times of this event are 08:00-18:00, exact times will be confirmed in due course.


Opening Session: Welcome Address and Award Presentation

Room 11, Capital Suite

This session will include welcome addresses, a presentation of the SPE Drilling Engineering Award and a keynote address.

Welcome Addresses:

Jan Brakel
Conference Chairman

Ed Jacob
IADC Chairman

Nathan Meehan
2016 SPE President

SPE Drilling Engineering Award Winner 2015

The SPE Drilling Engineering award was established in 1984 and recognises outstanding achievement or contributions to the advancement of petroleum engineering in the area of drilling engineering technology. Candidates are nominated by their professional colleagues and selected by committees appointed by the SPE board of Directors. The SPE Drilling Engineering Award winner is recognised at the annual IADC/SPE Drilling Conference and the SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition (ATCE).

2015 Award Recipient Neal J. Adams

A 40-year  industry  veteran who has worked  in 33 countries,  Neal Adams  has been a leader and innovator in the field of  drilling operations, well control, training,  and research and development. Adams   has been  an active  member of the Society of Petroleum Engineers  for  more  than 38 years.

Mr. Adams will be presented with his award during a special ceremony which will take place during the opening session. 


Keynote Address: Does oil and gas have a future in European energy supply?

Malcolm Webb will reflect on the differing views of the industry, NGOs, Governments and the General Public regarding current and future energy supply. He will consider how these differences have arisen and how they are affecting policy formation in nation states and in the EU. After discussing if and how these differences might be reconciled or overcome he will conclude by giving his thoughts on what the future could and should hold for our industry in Europe. 

Malcolm Webb is the CEO of Oil & Gas UK. A graduate of Liverpool University and a solicitor by profession, he has extensive senior management experience in both the upstream and downstream oil industry.

Malcolm began his oil industry career with Burmah Oil in 1974, and went on to work in a series of senior roles for the British National Oil Corporation, Charterhouse Petroleum Plc and PetroFina SA. Immediately prior to joining Oil & Gas UK in February 2004 (when it was called UKOOA), Malcolm spent three years as Director General of the UK Petroleum Industry Association, representing the UK oil refining and marketing sector. Since joining Oil & Gas UK he has led the organisation through a major change process to make it the leading and only trade association open to all companies working in the UK offshore oil and gas industry.

In 2012 Malcolm was awarded an honorary Doctorate by Robert Gordon University in recognition of his services to the UK oil and gas industry and in 2013 he received an award for Significant Achievement from the Society of Petroleum Engineers.

Wednesday, 18 March, 1100–1300

Plenary Session: Successfully Delivering Wells in a Changing World

Session Moderator:  Eithne Treanor, MD, E Treanor Media


  • Gary Jones, BP
  • Arne Lyngholm, Statoil
  • Steve Kaufmann, Schlumberger
  • Ivan Tan, Shell
  • Jack Winton, KCA Deutag

Submit questions you would like the panel to consider answering during the plenary session.

The world demand for energy is robust and growing, and energy delivery is of fundamental importance for the support, advancement, and sustainability of societies worldwide. Safe, efficient, and effective well delivery in this context is imperative. However, in many areas, escalating cost trends may threaten the economic recovery of various hydrocarbon resource bases. This session will examine the opportunities in these challenges and the appropriate strategies to meet them.

This distinguished panel will discuss their views on how the drilling industry is affected by, and should respond to, these challenges. Technological advances, process developments, economic considerations, and resource strategies all play a role and will be highlighted.


Young Professionals Programme

This year’s conference will host a dedicated ½-day programme incorporating the young professionals
luncheon. Attendees can experience the full conference plenary and technical sessions in the
morning, and then engage in an afternoon of young professionals events including:

  • The young professionals luncheon
  • Poster sessions where the brightest young professionals and students present their innovative
    solutions and insights to modern-day challenges
  • Presentations on chartership and career “soft skills” from industry leaders
    The day will close with an announcement of poster session winners and a social networking event.

Young Professionals Luncheon

BP is sponsoring this luncheon, from 1300 to 1415 hours on Wednesday, 18 March. Attendees will have
the chance to discuss industry and career topics with experienced professionals in a relaxed setting.
Simply indicate that you are a young professional when registering to receive information about the luncheon.

Keynote Speaker:

  • Catherine MacGregor, President of Europe and Africa, Schlumberger

Catherine MacGregor started her career as a rig engineer and over the past 20 years has worked
in various operational management and technical development roles. With her strong drilling
background and corporate personnel experience, MacGregor is considered one of Schlumberger’s
highest profile executives.