Event Types

SPE offers a variety of events to meet the needs of petroleum professionals.


Conferences enhance the exchange of technical information on projects and applications. Program Committees solicit technical paper proposals and develop topical sessions for conference programs. Panel or plenary sessions, where attendees can hear from experts on a topic, are also typically part of the conference program. Technical papers presented at conferences become part of the SPE permanent literature in the eLibrary after presentation.


Exhibitions, held in conjunction with conferences, provide attendees with the opportunity to see products and services available from potential suppliers.  Exhibitions can range in size from small (20 exhibitors using table-top displays) to huge (hundreds of exhibitors filling an entire convention center).


Workshops are typically 1-3 day meetings that focus on a very specific topic or technology. SPE offers several different types of workshops described below.

Applied Technology Workshops – ATWs focus on discussion of a very specific technology or application. ATWs showcase technologies that are just getting their initial field applications or provide a practical overview of a technology. Those who have tried the technology or are considering it are encouraged to bring their experience and issues to the discussion.  ATW Guidelines  

Emerging Technology Workshops – ETWs focus on emerging technologies just moving from research into the field. The technologies featured in an ETW appear to have substantial potential for enhancing industry operations once the initial challenges can be overcome. These workshops help those involved in early application to share their experiences and work toward solutions that will allow broader application of the technology.

Regional Technology Workshops – RTWs are similar to ATWs, but adapted to regional conditions, challenges, or applications. An RTW on a particular topic may be offered in several different locations, adapted to the prevailing concerns of that region.

Talent & Retention Workshops – These workshops focus on the "softer" side of the industry – the human resources, management, and work-life balance challenges of recruiting, training, and retaining a highly qualified workforce in today's environment.

Young Professionals Workshops – These events expose young professionals (35 and under) to new skills and ideas, giving them the opportunity to learn while beginning to build a network of like-minded professionals that will serve them later in their career.


Forums are 5-day, intensive, in-residence events, typically with 75-80 participants. The organizing committee accepts applications for attendance, then selects a group that it believes reflects the appropriate mix of expertise to stimulate discussion. Forums are intended to generate new ideas and approaches from the open discussions of problems and possible solutions. Participants lead specific discussion sessions, facilitating the exploration of new concepts. The results of forums are typically shared only with those who participate to encourage the open exchange of ideas.  


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