Gustavo Inciarte, SPE’s first president from Latin America and a former member of the board of directors of Petroleos de Venezuela S.A. (PDVSA), died 27 January in Norman, Oklahoma, after a short illness. He was 71.
Inciarte’s 45 years as an SPE member was highlighted by his selection as 1999 SPE president. During his tenure, SPE made progress on several issues that would bear fruit in the following decade, including developing reserves and resources definitions, forging cooperation with other professional societies, and laying the groundwork for SPE’s website. He also served on the SPE Board of Directors as regional director for the South America and Caribbean Region.
“He was a gentleman, a brilliant person, and a good friend. This is a great loss for SPE and for all of us,” said Jacques Bosio, 1993 SPE President. Bosio was the first SPE president from outside the US and Inciarte the second.
Active for four decades in the Venezuelan oil industry, Inciarte eventually became a senior consultant to the president of PDVSA in Caracas and a member of the PDVSA Board of Directors in 1995. His career was marked by a devotion to research and development. He became president of the Instituto Tecnologico Venezolano Del Petroleo (INTEVEP), the R&D and technology development center for PDVSA, in 1985 and would serve in that position for 10 years. Reflecting on his SPE presidency during the Society’s 50th anniversary celebrations, Inciarte expressed pride in raising the profile of R&D while on the SPE board.
He began his professional career with Shell Venezuela after earning a BS degree in petroleum engineering from the University of Oklahoma. He worked in positions in both Caracas and The Hague and became E&P manager of Shell’s Venezuelan operations. When the Venezuelan oil industry was nationalized in 1976, he joined the Shell successor company Maraven.
Inciarte was long active in SPE, serving on numerous committees. He was also active in the Gas Processors Association, serving on its Board of Directors as the first non-US member, and later founded the Venezuelan chapter. He was also a member of the Board of Sarkeys Energy Center at the University of Oklahoma and the Industry Advisory Board to the School of Petroleum and Geological Engineering there. He was named to the University of Oklahoma College of Engineering Distinguished Alumnus Society in 1992.
Inciarte resided in Norman, Oklahoma, where he continued to serve as a consultant to the oil and gas industry.