Energizing Our Lives

Even as the global energy mix is in transition, oil and gas will continue to supply more than half the world's energy for decades to come. From lifting people out of poverty, innovating more efficient technologies, and addressing community needs to reducing environmental impacts, providing energy to support a growing world economy and population, and finding new non-combustion uses for petroleum, SPE members are making major contributions that add value to people's lives.

As part of SPE's 2018 Strategic Plan we want to share the stories of our members and their companies about all of the ways that what we do improves the lives of regular people across our planet. This page and the "Fueling Progress" blog are our starting point for increasing understanding of the positive aspects of the oil and gas industry. 

Have a story you'd like to tell? Email us at stories@spe.org.

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Photo of the author, Karen Olson

Sustainability and Verb Tenses:  What Do They Have in Common?

Karen Olson, Olson and Associates
1 June 2020


The English language uses different verb tenses to indicate a verb's status; these are referred to as past, present, and future tenses.  Tenses refer to time and to something that has happened, is happening, or will happen. Examples are: done, to be done, and will do. Along this line, many areas of sustainability that began as mere concepts are now either done, being done, or planned to do. I want to focus on many of these areas that are not insurmountable and can be accomplished in a relatively short time.

You might consider some of these as "low hanging fruit," colloquially speaking, but these are actions we can all do now. Naturally, many additional significant sustainability challenges will take substantial time and effort to complete. Today, our focus should be on the things we have done, and things that can be done relatively quickly.  

My take on what sustainability means at a high level is that we provide reliable, responsible, and affordable energy to the world. As an industry, we should take justifiable pride in doing so. 

Additional blog posts   

What We're Reading/Listening To

2020 Sustainability reporting guidance for the oil and gas industry  

A world first: Offshore oil and gas platforms to be powered — by wind

Reduction in gas flaring benefits producers and environment, says GlobalData

Past SPE Presidents Weigh In on Decarbonization

Shell's carbon emissions drop in 2019 to four-year low

SPE Panel Discussion on COVID-19 in Oil and Gas  

Exxon Mobil to reduce methane emissions at 1,000 Permian Basin sites

How the oil and gas industry is helping fight coronavirus

ExxonMobil Field Testing New Comprehensive Methane Monitoring Technologies


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Have an interesting story to tell? Have you or your company had a positive impact on people's lives through innovation, energy efficiency, environmental protection, community engagement, building infrastructure, or myriad other ways? We'd like to hear your story and possibly feature it on this blog. Please email us at stories@spe.org.

The Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) is a global, individual membership professional society organized as a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization in the US. SPE membership is not just petroleum engineers, but includes professionals of all backgrounds and education working in the upstream oil and gas industry.