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President’s Column

100,000-Member Milestone: It’s All About Service

picture of SPE PresidentSPE is celebrating a milestone: our association has reached 100,000 members!  From its beginnings as a society within the American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical, and Petroleum Engineers (AIME) in 1957, SPE has grown to the largest individual-member organization serving managers, engineers, ­scientists, and other professionals worldwide in the upstream ­segment of the oil and gas industry.  Because of its mission to collect, disseminate, and exchange technical knowledge and provide opportunities for professionals to enhance their technical and professional competence, SPE is still the source the industry turns to for the latest technical ad­vances.  But the organization has changed a lot in the past 50 years.

So what does the SPE of today look like?  It is no longer just the US-centric association it began as; it is a very diverse global organization.  If we made a composite of the several people who joined SPE on the day we hit 100,000 members, the “SPE member” would be from Stony Plain, Alberta, Canada;  Dacono, Colorado, and Hattiesburg, Mississippi, United States;  Singapore;  Al-Khobar, Saudi Arabia; and Perth, Australia.  Spanning over 10,000 miles with a median age of 47, this member has a background in production and operations, service and manufacturing, and academia.

Our membership is growing in nearly every SPE region, including those in North America, although our greatest growth is outside North America. Many years ago, SPE’s leaders had the foresight to see the expansion of the oil and gas industry globally and adapt our services and reach when other North American associations did not. Membership has doubled in just the past 10 years, driving SPE to offer more programs and services to a truly diverse industry hungry for information.

With that diversity comes the challenge of how to reach and serve all of our members. To better extend our member services, SPE now operates offices in Calgary, Dallas, Dubai, Houston, London, Kuala Lumpur, and Moscow, and offers technical conferences and workshops in locations across the globe.  SPE has also expanded to reach new segments of members, from young professionals with programs including global workshops and a dedicated magazine, The Way Ahead, to new technical areas such as projects, facilities, and construction with a new magazine, Oil and Gas Facilities.

SPE also made it easier for its members to access data.  Members can access more technical information online than ever before, including electronic books and the ability to view presentations from more conferences.  The development and expansion of OnePetro has given SPE members access to technical information from 14 associations and more than 120,000 articles.

Our society has an impressive legacy, and a bright future. Together we will continue to make it a society of achievement and respect in the industry.  But we must be disciplined in what we want and be selective in what we do. We will pave the path to be a high-performance organization and position ourselves to reach our potential.  I am looking forward to the new year and the great milestones we will achieve together.  I will work tirelessly to do my part in ensuring our continued excellence in existing programs and in developing new programs and services to meet member needs.