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Welcome to New Technical Director: Projects, Facilities, and Construction

Howard DuhonI am very honored to serve as your new Projects, Facilities, and Construction (PF&C) Technical Director. There has never been a more exciting time to be a facilities engineer. Our projects are technically and socially complex and this complexity makes them the most interesting projects on the planet.

When I first joined SPE about 15 years ago, SPE was mainly focused on the reservoir, but that has changed dramatically. Thanks to the efforts of directors who proceeded me in this role (Ken Arnold, Paul Jones, and John Walsh) and those of many other volunteers, SPE now offers a host of services to the men and women who design, construct, and operate facilities.

I have spent the past 23 years in the oil industry (with 15 years in chemical plants before that). Much of my experience is in topsides process design. In recent years I’ve worked mainly in commissioning and initial startup planning. It will be my mission as the PF&C Director to use that background to guide SPE in the development of more services to facilities engineers. I will highlight some of those initiatives in future notes here. But for now, just a few words about what SPE already does for the PF&C community:

  1. Oil and Gas Facilities Magazine. This bi-monthly periodical, started two years ago, includes peer-reviewed articles, feature articles on a variety of topics, regular columns on water management and engineering culture. Expect much more in the way of how-to articles beginning early to mid-2014.
  2. Three Technical Sections on Separations Technology, Water Management, and Flow assurance (effective Jan 2014).
  3. A variety of workshops on topics such as Final Commissioning and Initial Startup, Water Management, Chemical Systems, and Flow Assurance.
  4. SPE recently rolled out Petrowiki. It contains the entire seven-volume Petroleum Engineering Handbook series including Volume III: Facilities and Construction Engineering.
  5. Social media tools to connect with other professions including the SPE LinkedIn site and SPE Connect.

We have come a long way and there is still a long way to travel.

  • Our projects are complex and we sometimes fail (on cost, schedule, and performance). We must do better.
  • I don’t think that we are training the next generation as well as my generation was trained. We must do better.
  • We have made great strides in personnel safety; perhaps less so in process safety. We must do better.
  • The local communities in which we install facilities frequently resist these developments. We must do a better job of engaging with local communities.

I look forward to serving as PF&C Director for the next three years and look forward to hearing your ideas on how SPE can better serve our community.

Popa

Join us in congratulating Andrei Popa on his distinguished achievement

2013 SPE Management and Information Technical Award

The Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) bestowed technical awards on members whose outstanding contributions to SPE and the petroleum industry merited special distinction. Recipients of the 2013 SPE international awards were recognized at the SPE Annual Reception and Banquet held Tuesday, 1 October at the 2013 Annual Technical Conference & Exhibition in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Andrei PopaAndrei S. Popa, technology advisor at Chevron in Bakersfield, California, began his career at Petrom Romania in 1995. He joined Chevron in 2002 as a petroleum engineer and has progressed through various managerial roles, including subsurface team lead and i-field reservoir management program manager, to his current position. The author or coauthor of 27 technical papers and one book, Popa is serving as an SPE DL during 2013–14. Popa has received several honors, including the 2008 SPE Outstanding Young Professional Award and the 2013 SPE Western North American Region Regional Service Award. He earned a BS from the University of Ploiesti, Romania, and an MS and PhD from West Virginia University—all in petroleum and natural gas engineering.

View all 2013 International and Regional Award winners.

Killough

Join us in congratulating John Killough on his distinguished achievements

2013 Reservoir Description and Dynamics Award

The Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) bestowed technical awards on members whose outstanding contributions to SPE and the petroleum industry merited special distinction. Recipients of the 2013 SPE international awards were recognized at the SPE Annual Reception and Banquet held Tuesday, 1 October at the 2013 Annual Technical Conference & Exhibition in New Orleans, Louisiana.

John KilloughJohn Killough, currently Michael and Heidi Gatens development professor of petroleum engineering at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas, started his career as a senior research engineer at Exxon Production Research. He joined Arco Oil and Gas Research and Development in 1976 and became an associate professor of chemical engineering at the University of Houston in 1988. In 1997, Killough moved to industry as a senior research fellow at Landmark Graphics, and then worked as a technology fellow for reservoir simulation at Halliburton Energy Services starting in 2005. He joined Texas A&M in 2012. The author or coauthor of 50 technical papers, Killough is the recipient of two American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical, and Petroleum Engineers awards: the Rossiter W. Raymond Award and the Alfred E. Noble Award. He has chaired or been a member of several SPE committees. Killough earned BA and MS degrees in chemical engineering and a PhD in mathematical sciences—all from Rice University.

View all 2013 International and Regional Award winners.

Cipolla

Join us in congratulating Craig L. Cipolla on his distinguished achievement

2013 Completions Optimization and Technology Award

The Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) bestowed technical awards on members whose outstanding contributions to SPE and the petroleum industry merited special distinction. Recipients of the 2013 SPE international awards were recognized at the SPE Annual Reception and Banquet held Tuesday, 1 October at the 2013 Annual Technical Conference & Exhibition in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Craig L. CipollaCraig L. Cipolla is senior completions engineering advisor at Hess in Houston. Before this, he was chief engineering advisor for Schlumberger–Hydraulic Fracture Monitoring and Optimization, vice president of stimulation technology for Carbo Ceramics, and vice president of engineering for Pinnacle Technologies. His prior positions were with Union Pacific Resources, CER Corporation, and Dresser Titan. Cipolla has coauthored more than 65 technical papers and served as an SPE DL during 2005–06. He earned BS degrees in engineering and in chemistry from the University of Nevada–Las Vegas and an MS in petroleum engineering from the University of Houston.

View all 2013 International and Regional Award winners.

Alhanati

Join us in congratulating Francisco J. Alhanati on his distinguished achievement

2013 SPE Production and Operations Award

The Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) bestowed technical awards on members whose outstanding contributions to SPE and the petroleum industry merited special distinction. Recipients of the 2013 SPE international awards were recognized at the SPE Annual Reception and Banquet held Tuesday, 1 October at the 2013 Annual Technical Conference & Exhibition in New Orleans, Louisiana.


Francisco J. AlhanatiFrancisco J. Alhanati,
managing director at C-FER Technologies, in Edmonton, Canada, began his career in 1983 as a petroleum engineer at Petrobras. In 1997, he joined C-FER Technologies (originally the Centre for Frontier Engineering Research) and became director of exploration and production in 2006 and managing director in 2013. The author or coauthor of 16 SPE papers and coauthor of a chapter in the SPE Handbook on PCP (progressing cavity pump) Systems, he also served as an SPE DL during 2008–09. He served as chair of the SPE Brazil Section during 1993–94, served on various SPE committees and subcommittees, and taught several courses throughout the world on PCP and ESP (electric submersible pump) systems. Alhanati currently serves on the JPT Editorial Committee. He earned a BS in civil engineering from Instituto Militar de Engenharia, an MS in mechanical engineering from the Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, and a PhD in petroleum engineering from the University of Tulsa.

View all 2013 International and Regional Award winners.

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Technical Director’s Notes: Productions and Operations

Shauna Noonan

Welcome to Production and Operations (P&O).  I am honored to serve as your SPE 2013–2015 Technical Director for the P&O discipline.  I have spent 20 years of my career doing all aspects of production engineering around the globe and as Technical Director have the responsibility for ensuring that P&O has quality coverage across SPE meetings, publications, and member services programs.  I am also looking for new events, programs, and training that will meet the needs of SPE members with interest in the P&O topics. To see the latest discussions and to converse with other  P&O peers, check out SPE Connect and join the Production Technical Community.

Below are the four primary topics covered under the P&O technical discipline within SPE, with exception to that used for the SPE P&O International award*. Please note that most of the surface (or seafloor) equipment and facilities used for production is now covered under the Projects, Facilities, and Construction technical discipline.

Enhanced Operations—Artificial Lift
This includes:

  • beam and related pumping techniques
  • electric submersible pumps
  • hydraulic and jet pumps
  • plunger lift
  • gas lift
  • progressing cavity pumps
  • hybrid lift technologies
  • gas well deliquification methods

Well Operations, Optimization, and Stimulation
This includes:

  • well candidate recognition
  • downhole intervention and remediation including wireline and coiled tubing
  • hydraulic fracturing (design, implementation and optimization)
  • acidizing
  • downhole produced sand/solids management and control
  • downhole produced water management and control
  • downhole fluids separation and disposal
  • well performance modeling and tubular optimization
  • well lifecycle management and planning

Well/Reservoir Surveillance and Monitoring
This includes:

  • production logging
  • borehole imaging and wellbore seismic
  • downhole and wellsite flow metering
  • downhole monitoring and control
  • production data management
  • integrated modeling

Production Chemistry and Metallurgy
This includes:

  • downhole inhibition and remediation of hydrates, scale, paraffin/wax and asphaltene
  • well fluid analysis
  • downhole corrosion inhibition and management (including H2S and CO2)
  • downhole chemical treatments and fluid compatibility

*The SPE International Production and Operations Award does not include the topics of hydraulic fracturing, acidizing, and downhole sand control. These are covered under the SPE International Completions Optimization and Technology Award, which was first awarded in 2009.

Shauna Noonan
Completion Technology Manager, Global Wells; ConocoPhillips