SPE Technology Updates

Industry and Society news grouped by SPE technical discipline


Understanding Communities: A Key to Project Success

Many factors can influence public perception of the oil and gas industry and the projects we develop. Increasingly, public acceptability can make or break our license to operate. Engineers and other technical leaders frequently view the problem as one that can be overcome with public education.

But education can only be successful if we first achieve a level of trust within the community. Building trust requires developing an understanding of the community. One of the most important approaches is for operators to understand the needs and expectations of the communities where we operate, and for project teams to educate themselves about the expectations of the local community that will be impacted by a project.

Each community is unique; the challenges are multifaceted. Join Trey Shaffer (SPE HSSE-SR Technical Director) and Howard Duhon (SPE PFC Technical Director) during this session at ATCE 2015 as they explore some notable industry efforts in community engagement and education as well as critical success factors for effective community engagement. Learn more about ATCE and register here.


Director’s Note: Mark Your Calendar for “Getting to Zero”

Greetings! Please make plans to attend our upcoming SPE HSSE-SR Study Group Meeting on 30 June at the Petroleum Club of Houston. We are pleased to host Jack Hinton, Vice President of Health, Safety & Environment (HSE) for Baker Hughes, and John Karish, Corporate Director of Safety, Health & Environment (SHE) for Ensco plc, who will be discussing “Getting to Zero,” the journey to achieve zero workplace incidents. This event is the first in a series culminating in the “Getting to Zero” Global Integrated Workshop at the 2016 SPE International HSE Conference in Stavanger, Norway. Please circulate this invitation to your personal network and mark your calendar to join us on 30 June.

Topic: “Getting to Zero,” a journey to achieve zero workplace incidents, is not a new initiative in the oil and gas industry. For the past five years, SPE has taken a leading role in organizing conversations around this initiative beginning with a workshop series in 2010. At the time, “Getting to Zero” progress was, or at least perceived to be, hindered by the lack of “alignment to the vision,” industry leadership, and human behaviors; while progress was perceived to be dependent on industry leadership, culture, and a common language of communication. Five years after this conversation began, the industry needs to recommit to “Getting to Zero,” as the trend of continual improvement appears to have recently plateaued.

SPE is hosting an interactive session, the first in a global series culminating in a Getting to Zero Global Integrated Workshop at the 2016 SPE International HSE Conference in Stavanger, Norway.  During the session, participants will hear a summary of the outputs from the 2010 and 2011 workshops. In addition, Baker Hughes will present an overview of its Perfect HSE Day, which enabled remarkable results, including quadrupling the company’s number of incident free days in only two years and achieving the equivalent of a perfect quarter in 2014.

This session’s participants will help frame subsequent “Getting to Zero – The Road to Stavanger” events leading to the 2016 Stavanger workshop, which is intended to produce a way forward for the industry; as well as create a summary of current thinking that will be published and tracked in SPE Now.  Your experience and ideas are needed to help shape the industry moving forward; and to answer and provide context to the following questions: one, what’s our baseline, and two, what’s our path forward?

Be a part of the next generation of conversation!

Speaker: Jack Hinton, Vice President of Health, Safety & Environment (HSE) for Baker Hughes. He has 38 years of industry experience, which includes 26 years with Texaco as Vice President and Director of HSE, and 10 years with Baker Hughes, ensuring strategic directions drive efficiency, effectiveness and step-change to address industry HSE challenges. He holds a BS in Biology/Chemistry, a MS in Environmental Science, and a DrPH in Occupational Health; and is a Certified Industrial Hygienist. He has been an Adjunct Professor at the University of Texas since 1984 (his alma mater), presently serves on the Management Committee of the International Oil & Gas Association (IOGP) and SPE HSSE-SR Advisory Committee, and has served as the Chairman of the Board of Advisors for the Southwest Center for Occupational and Environmental Health since 2006.

Speaker: John Karish, Corporate Director of Safety, Health & Environment (SHE) for Ensco plc, based in Houston, Texas, a position he has held for the past 9 years. He is responsible for ensuring continuous improvement in Ensco’s SHE performance. Prior to that, he served in a number of drilling, assurance and HSE roles with BP and its legacy companies. Mr. Karish has been actively involved in SPE Global E&P HSE Conferences as an author, Program Committee Co-chair and panel moderator since 2004. He was also the Steering Committee Co-chair for the 2010 SPE Forum Series – “Getting to Zero – An Incident Free Workplace: How Do We Get There?” Mr. Karish was awarded the 2013 SPE Global HSSE & SR Award. He is also a Senior Member of SPE and presently serves on the SPE HSS-SR Advisory Committee.

Date/Time: 30 June 2015, 11:30am – 1:00pm

Petroleum Club of Houston
1201 Louisiana Street, 35th Floor
Houston, Texas  77002

Event Pricing:
Members (pre-registered): $40
Non-Members / Walk-ins (registered at the event): $50
Unemployed/ Students: $10

Best regards,

Trey Shaffer
SPE Gulf Coast Section: HSSE-SR Study Group Chairman
SPE International Board of Directors: HSSE-SR Technical Director



Research & Development Technical Section Dinner at ATCE: Manufacturing for Oil and Gas

On Sunday, 27 September at ATCE, join us for this special dinner event, “Manufacturing for Oil and Gas,” featuring keynote presentations followed by an intimate discussion about modern materials and manufacturing technologies, their revolutionary impact on rapid prototyping, and their application to oil and gas development. The keynote speaker will be Sha-Chelle Manning of Pioneer Natural Resource. Learn more about ATCE and register here.


Research & Development Technical Section Plans Topical Luncheon for ATCE

The SPE Research and Development Technical Section will host a special topical luncheon at ATCE 2015 on Tuesday, 29 September, to facilitate focused dialogue on new materials, techniques, and their applications to oil and gas. In a series of informative and thought-provoking presentations, a panel of industry experts will discuss current uses and future opportunities for these technologies as well as outline the various R&D challenges and needs that must be addressed to overcome their present limitations. A panel question-and-answer session will follow the presentations. Learn more about ATCE and register here.


Explore the Impact of Cost Cutting at an ATCE Special Session

The start of this year saw most oilfield companies cut back significantly their spending plans in response to the dramatic drop in the oil price. The SPE Technical Directors have arranged a special session titled “Managing the Future Impact of Current Cost Cutting” to explore what the industry could and should be doing to minimize the impact this cost cutting will have both now and in the future. Plan to attend this special session at ATCE on Tuesday, 29 September. Register today!

Web Events

Web Event: Crew Resource Management – Rescheduled for 2 September

Listen to a web event on “Human Factors/Crew Resource Management: Perspectives for Inputs to Risk Management Framework” presented by Phil Grossweiler on 2 September. Oil and gas industry interest in applying human factors concepts in managing risk has grown significantly since the Macondo spill. The range of literature, industry studies, workshops, and presentations covering human factors (HF) topics is extensive. Crew resource management (CRM) is one of the elements of human factors also getting a lot of recent attention. This presentation will discuss and suggest several key takeaways — potential “low-hanging fruit” where human factors and CRM can help manage enterprise risk.


Montana Tech Wins Student Challenge at SPE HSE Conference


The winning team from Montana Tech.
The winning team from Montana Tech.

Students from Montana Tech took the top spot at the inaugural Student Challenge at the 2015 SPE E&P Health, Safety, Security and Environmental Conference—Americas in Denver, which ran 16-18 March. The contest, which was sponsored by ExxonMobil, pitted six teams of five students against one another. The competition was modeled after the annual PetroBowl, held at SPE’s Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition.

“The HSE Student Challenge pilot‎ enabled SPE to connect with a new group of environmental engineering students who were unfamiliar with SPE, and it provided an exciting, dynamic alternative to a traditional student paper competition,” said conference committee member Trey Shaffer.

Student teams from Oklahoma State University, Texas Tech University, Montana Tech, Colorado School of Mines, the University of Colorado Boulder, and the University of Oklahoma squared off in three rounds of questions about the oil and gas industry. Each round consisted of two sets of quick-answer questions separated by a series of questions requiring written answers. After some minor technical glitches and some discussion about rules, Montana Tech pulled ahead to victory. The members of the team each received iPads and were invited to sit on a discussion panel. At a movie night event, held in the evening after the Student Challenge, attendees watched Energy’s Crossroads: Pinedale, WY, a film from the Rational Middle series. The students from the winning team joined Jennifer Cross, sociology professor at the Colorado State University, and Gregory Kallenberg, the director of the film, on a discussion panel after the film.

Speaker Source

SPE Speaker Source

Are you willing to share your knowledge with an audience of SPE members? If you are, we invite you to join Speaker Source, an online directly of E&P professionals who share expertise and experience with SPE Sections and Student Chapters.

Learn more and create your profile today.

Web Events

Web Event: Managing Project Complexity

Hear a web event on “Managing Project Complexity” presented by Howard Duhon on 23 June. Most projects overrun their budget and/or schedule significantly and/or produce less oil/gas than promised. The complexity of our projects and project design teams is at least partially responsible for project failure rates. An SPE Work Study group is presently addressing the impact of complexity and its contribution to project failures. This presentation will include preliminary findings from that study.

CCUS Technical Section

New SPE Technical Section: Sustainable Development

The SPE Health, Safety, Security, Environment, and Social Responsibility Technical Discipline is pleased to announce the formation of a new technical section to give its members, regardless of discipline, an increased awareness and opportunity to network in the area of sustainable development.

This section seeks to:

• Exchange sustainable development technical information
• Support members in acquiring sustainable development competencies
• Raise awareness of the role sustainable development plays in the oil and gas industry
• Improve performance through better application of sustainable development principles and practices
• Liaise with and learn from other industry organizations

Deepen your learning and share your insights on the subject during discussions at monthly virtual meetings, forums, and workshops. Join now to engage in discussions with other SPE members. Enjoy the convenience of online collaboration and the benefits of at least one face-to-face meeting each year. Learn more and join today!