Fueling Progress Blog

Telling Our Stories

Mark Rubin
30 October 2019

Welcome to SPE’s new blog, “Fueling Progress.” For more than six decades, the Society of Petroleum Engineers has been the established leader in sharing upstream industry knowledge and connecting oil and gas professionals across the globe. We are proud of our many programs that center on technical excellence, innovation, volunteerism, and stewardship. But our greatest asset and the cornerstone of our organization will always be our members.

In my 18 years at SPE, I have been fortunate enough to travel the world and meet thousands of talented energy professionals. What always leaves the biggest impression on me is their creativity in solving extremely difficult challenges. SPE members prove their remarkable dedication to meeting the world’s demand for oil and gas on a daily basis. However, too often, the societal contributions from our industry are overlooked and even criticized.

As climate change awareness has grown, our industry has been loudly blamed for rising CO2 emissions and their impact on climate change. Further, policy and decision-makers often view the oil and gas industry through a dated lens. Many leaders and key stakeholders are unaware of the significant strides made by the industry in terms of operational efficiency, occupational safety, and environmental sustainability. Concerns about the impact of oil and gas on global climate change alter the policy landscape and threaten our industry’s license to operate. Too many people believe that our industry lacks innovation and that the best days of oil and gas industry are over. This is simply not true, and we are committed to explaining why.

As upstream energy professionals, our contributions to society are significant, and the work we do is essential to people all around the world. As engineers, our natural tendency is to deliver facts to counter the negativity. We are proud to explain the contributions to a region’s thriving economy, advancements in medicine, agriculture, and transportation, along with hundreds of newly developed technologies that have improved the lives of millions of people. However, the facts do not tell the whole story of the impact we make.

At our recent Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition, we had a distinguished panel that discussed the challenges we are facing and the future of our industry. One of the panelists, Leigh-Ann Russell, proclaimed that, as professionals, our job is to bring “heat, light, and mobility” to the world. Profound words, and I could not agree more.

With that backdrop, we are excited to start this blog and provide a platform to share the inspirational stories of our members and their companies. We want to tell the stories that go beyond facts and figures, that connect with people on a personal level, and share the significant positive aspects of oil and gas with the world.

Do you or your company have a story to tell?  Reach out and let us know, and you may see your story in a future blog post.  Submit your stories to stories@spe.org , and we will contact you if we need more information.

Thank you for reading and check back often!


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?  Then 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.