SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition 9 - 11 Oct 2017 Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center San Antonio, Texas, USA


Session Type
  • Panel, Plenary, and Special Sessions

Monday, October 09

10:30 - 12:00
Opening General Session: Sustainable Oil and Gas: Improving People's Lives Stars at Night Ballroom
Moderator(s) Eithne Treanor - ETreanor Media
Speaker(s) Lynn M Orr - Stanford University, David Hager - Devon Energy, Lorenzo Simonelli - Baker Hughes, a GE company, Khaled Abdullah Al-Buraik - Saudi Aramco SAOO, Deborah Wince-Smith - Council on Competitiveness

The United Nations' Bruntland Commission defined sustainability as " ... meeting the needs of today without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs."

In this panel, senior executives address the industry's role in delivering a sustainable future in two broad areas – affordability and the environment. These leaders will discuss elements of a sustainable decision making process and facing industry challenges in the decades to come.

Affordability includes the economic viability of development and exploitation of oil and gas resources along with their affordability to consumers. We must continue to leverage new technologies and develop new ones to improve unit drilling and completion costs, increase recovery efficiencies, lower operating costs and total risks. It is essential that we remain competitive and commercially viable no matter what the price of oil or gas. As renewable and alternative energy sources improve their economics, increased efficiencies will be critical to retain market share and maximize profitability. 

Environmental sustainability is essential to retain our Social License to Operate. Growth in unconventional and other well activity can bring large scale industrial activity in proximity with many stakeholders with challenges including noise, air pollution, spills, water use and concerns about potential contamination and induced seismicity. Other concerns include wellbore integrity, gas venting and flaring and well control events. Carbon emissions from oil and gas use and their impact on the climate remains a focus of global concern. 

Our industry must be part of the solution and not just perceived as the problem. Safe, affordable energy improves people's lives and raises living standards around the world.



Lynn M Orr
Stanford University

David Hager
Devon Energy

Lorenzo Simonelli
Baker Hughes, a GE company

Khaled Abdullah Al-Buraik
Saudi Aramco SAOO

Deborah Wince-Smith
Council on Competitiveness



Eithne Treanor
ETreanor Media