Health, Safety, Environment, and Sustainability


SPE Climate Change Task Force Recommendation

On March 7, 2016, the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) Board of Directors formed a Climate Change Task Force to develop and recommend a strategy for the SPE regarding climate change. The Task Force has completed its work and proposes that SPE adopt a climate change strategy to maximize alignment with the existing mission and vision of SPE, while positioning SPE to expand its mission and vision should the landscape change further during the 21st Century.

Activities in scope under this strategy might include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • JPT articles identifying public policy developments related to climate change and associated public perceptions which could impact SPE’s ability to deliver its mission;
  • Knowledge-sharing (e.g., case histories) to promote energy efficiency in oil and gas exploration and production
  • Knowledge-sharing to promote reduction of planned and unplanned emissions and releases in E&P operations
  • Knowledge sharing about physical risks associated with changing climate (such as risks resulting from high temperature extremes, heavy precipitation events, sea level rise, etc.) and the successful management of such risks
  • Supporting development of CCUS technology and practices for use within and beyond the E&P industry
  • Discussion of new technical opportunities for members (current/future) related to climate change.

While several of these activities are already underway in some form within SPE, the recommended strategy would enable and prioritize this broader set of activities.

Given that SPE does not have technical expertise or mandate for assessing climate science or guiding policy, the Task Force does not recommend that SPE develop a public position statement on climate science and climate change. SPE’s mission comprises the collection, dissemination and exchange of technical knowledge concerning the exploration, development and production of oil and gas resources, and related technologies. To inform its members on relevant developments in climate science and policy, which are outside of SPE’s core competency, SPE is recommended to draw on information from other competent sources.

View the complete recommendation on SPE Connect.