Local news from the Society of Petroleum Engineers


Marietta Student Chapter Visits Drake’s Well

On April 10 and 11th, a group of Marietta College Society of Petroleum Engineers visited the Drake Well Museum. The chapter was shown a short video about Drake’s well and how it indicated the beginning of the modern petroleum industry in Titusville, Pennsylvania in 1859.

Along with visiting Drake’s well, the student chapter attended a Universal Well Services Hydraulic Fracturing seminar.  The topic of the seminar was the drilling and production process in the industry.


University of Oklahoma Student Chapter Stays Busy in April

April is always a busy month for members due to finals just around the corner. Everyone is gearing up for the last few rounds of tests and the summer. That is why OU SPE has worked hard to fit in social events that ease the strain on students. The annual OU SPE Graduate BBQ and Thunder Game Social were great events. The chapter wants to develop  members who become well-rounded professional engineers who communicate and relate to their colleagues effectively. One of OU SPE’s goals is for members to become excellent industry professionals, and that includes being effective leaders by being considerate of the many different personalities of fellow colleagues.

Ending the month was the MPGE Awards Banquet that recognized outstanding students and faculty members. Craig Koontz, an alumnus of MPGE, was a guest speaker. His speech focused on “Personal Attributes You Find in a Successful Leader”.  Chapter President and Vice President presented awards to four outstanding members and a check for $500.


Kazakh National Technical University Student Chapter Continues 10-Year Tradition

Each year, Kazakh National Technical University Student Chapter organizes a leisure and teambuilding event for its members. This year, in celebration of their 10-year anniversary, KNTU SPE SC decided to visit the Turgen waterfalls.

Each year, members of SPE celebrate the student chapter’s birthday and election of new officers in the open air. This year, the chapter visited the mountains to rest, play football, volleyball, ride horses and admire the magnificent scenery. Also, winners of “Study Project” were announced and awarded with diplomas and valuable prizes.


Middle East Technical University Students Enjoy Land-to-Sea Field Trips

The Middle East Technical University-Cyprus (NCC) and the Middle East Technical University-Ankara student chapter members visited the only underground gas storage facility set up by TPAO in Turkey. The trip was invaluable for teaching the students about production, storage, filtration, usage and the future of the industry in Turkey. Members also benefited by bonding with another university chapter that has a similar focus.

On May 6, over 50 attendees watched “live” drilling operations at Turkyurdu in Northern Cyprus.

Wearing their chapter’s newly designed T-shirts, the students celebrated the arrival of a sucker rod pump on campus at the university in Northern Cyprus as over a 100 people participated in the celebration. They are the only university in Cyprus to have installed such equipment on campus. The pump was donated by Turkish Petroleum Cooperation, TPAO.


Montana Tech Holds Annual Symposium in April

This year, with almost 200 in attendance, the Montana Tech SPE student chapter held its annual Symposium on April 19-21. Included were two days of lectures from petroleum industry professionals, such as the keynote speaker Mark Sonnenfeld from Whiting Petroleum. Other presentation topics included: Technical Advancements in Horizontal Multi Stage Fracturing Completetions, North Slope Casing Drilling Results- How to Plan and What to Watch Out For. The other events that accompanied the technical presentations included a trap shoot and an evening social on April 19th, banquet dinner on April 20th, and golf tournament at Old Works Golf Course on April 21st. The funds raised during these events helped to offset the expenses for the student chapter and contribute to student scholarships.

The 2012 Invitational Little Digger Days was a series of science and mathematics workshops designed for grade school children in hopes of stimulating an interest in science and mathematics at a young age. Montana Tech’s SPE student chapter was able to interact with around 50 grade schoolers. This activity was a school-wide event in which all clubs that desired funding from the Associated Students of Montana Tech had an opportunity to participate in a community outreach event.


SPE Middle East PetroBowl Hosted by British University Student Chapter

The annual SPE Middle East Students PetroBowl was held in March 2012 at the British University in Egypt for the first time. Petrobowl is a college-bowl-style student competition which brings together the most outstanding students from universities around the Middle East and North Africa. Competing teams were challenged to answer both technical and nontechnical questions relating to the petroleum industry. Students got opportunities to network, exchange knowledge, develop relationships and establish partnerships.

The questions challenged the engineering skills of the students while at the same time fostering an interest in the unique and rich history of the oil industry.


Petroleum Day Held at Pontificia Universidad Catolica do Rio de Janeiro Student Chapter

“Petroleum Day” is a bi-monthly event established by the SPE PUC-Rio Student Chapter where invited special guests talk about their work and industry experience. It is also an opportunity to talk about SPE, and, recently, the Pascoal Action. The lecturer was Ruben Caligari, former Regional Director for South America and the Caribbean. Record 88 students attended the event, and there was tremendous positive feedback from the students.

The chapter is also taking part in the HSBC Volunteer Project. The goal is to reach the Millennium Objectives as promoted by the United Nations through social enterprise. The chapter achieved their newest record in gathering 95 items in chocolate eggs, bars and candy for the cause.

Great job!


SPE President and Middle East Sections Meet in Mumbai During 2012 OGIC

2012 SPE President Dr. Ganesh Thakur released SPE New Delhi section newsletter during the section officers’ meeting held on March 30 in Mumbai alongside 2012 OGIC. Nearly 50 officers representing all the Indian sections were present. Sections shared their best practices, and SPE President Dr. Thakur gave an elaborate presentation about SPE to the officers. SPE Staff from the Middle East also gave an informative presentation about SPE programs, regional awards, scholarship program, website hosting and membership builder tool. SPE New Delhi section shared that they were the first section to adopt the new website hosting service. Great job, New Delhi section!

From left: Ashutosh Pasricha, Sukhvinder Sodhi, 2012 SPE President Ganesh Thakur, Jayant Malhotra, Rahul Bali



East Texas Section Awards James L. Ellis Memorial Scholarship

Mr. Clay Austin Pollard (center) receives the James L. Ellis Memorial scholarship. Presenting the award is Mr. Robert Ellis (right) and Mr. Phil Pongetti (left). Photo by Mr. Dudley Vann.

University of Texas student Mr. Clay Austin Pollard recently received the second annual James L. Ellis Memorial scholarship for the 2011-2012 school year. Clay is a senior at the University of Texas at Austin majoring in petroleum engineering and is from Tyler, Texas. He is a past recipient of the East Texas Section of the Society of Petroleum Engineers Scholarship and has worked as an engineering Intern for EXCO Resources Inc. Clay will be employed with EXCO as a drilling engineer upon graduation.

About the scholarship

The East Texas Section of the Society of Petroleum Engineers administers the scholarship. Perspective candidates must maintain a minimum GPA of 3.0 and be pursuing a career in the petroleum industry. The family of the late James L. Ellis established the James L. Ellis Memorial SPE Scholarship in 2010 in Jim’s memory. Mr. Ellis worked for over 55 years in the oil and gas business, both overseas and domestically, after graduating from Rice University in 1950. In 1961, he moved to Tyler to work for a local independent oil producer, then as a consulting petroleum engineer. In 1983, he founded Ellis Exploration, Inc. which is still operated by his two sons and daughter-in-law. Mr. Ellis was a registered Professional Engineer in the State of Texas and an active member of the East Texas Section of SPE, receiving the Legion of Honor Award for 50 years of continuous membership and service in 2005.