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SPE Student Chapter Tours Barnett Shale Sites

In April, the University of North Texas SPE Student Chapter (UNT SPE) toured four well sites located in the Justin, Texas, area of the Barnett shale. Tour host was J-W Operating. Three of the sites each operated with a different type of artificial lift system. At the final pad on the tour, students saw a workover rig in action. Michael Warren, SPE, senior operations engineer at J-W Operating, organized the event, with assistance from the company’s district engineers Shane Haberman and John Lacik. The tour lasted roughly 4 hours with about 30 minutes at each location. Additional time was spent in the field office, where the host company team showed students plunger lift valves and other equipment.

Improve Your Technical Writing Skills: New SPE Course

“Technical Writing and Publishing: Tools, Philosophies, Strategies, Methods, Pitfalls, and Tricks”—a new SPE course for industry professionals who want better writing and publishing skills, especially for technical papers—will be held 19–20 August at SPE’s Houston training center. Kevin Mahrer, chief scientist at geophysical firm Sigma3, will teach. The course covers many topics, including document goals, writing to your audience, and merging your goals with reader needs. The training center is at SPE’s Houston office. Registration is available online at

Leadership Program Targets Young Professionals

SPE is developing a new program called the “SPE Leadership Academy” to instruct young professionals in soft—or nontechnical—skills critical for career advancement. Engineering graduates enter the workforce with strong technical skills, but often lack nontechnical skills vital to success in the oil and gas industry. For many early career professionals, finding the skills that will help transition them from an individual contributor to a leader can be difficult. The program will sharpen communication skills, help participants learn how to handle issues such as dealing effectively with difficult coworkers, teach them how to relate to management, and give them the tools to influence coworkers through means other than formal authority. SPE plans to hold the first sessions of the “SPE Leadership Academy” in Dubai and Houston in September. Announcements about the program will be available on SPE’s website,

SPE Partners With Offshore Media Group

SPE and the Offshore Media Group (OMG) announced a multiyear, joint partnership to develop a series of SPE technical conferences, workshops, and training courses at Offshore Technology Days (OTD), an annual energy trade show exhibition organized by OMG and held in Norway. OTD2013 attracted 510 exhibitors and around 27,000 visitors. Founded in 1982, OMG is a Norwegian energy communications company. Starting at OTD2014, SPE and OMG will host a series of technical workshops and training courses, designed to foster knowledge transfer and provide a platform for discussion of regional issues. OTD2014 is OTD’s 16th edition, to be held during (14)–15–16 October in Bergen, Norway. In 2016, SPE will launch a biennial technical conference, to be held alongside the OTD exhibition, focusing on technical knowledge, best practices, new technologies, and specific challenges faced by the North Sea offshore E&P industry. For more information, go to