Message from North Sea and South, Central, and East Europe Director

November 2019

Jean-Marc Dumas
SPE North Sea and South, Central and Eastern Europe Regional Director

Last month's JPT Technology Focus was about Petroleum Data Analytics, the science of analysing raw data in order to make conclusions using algorithms… Expectations from data analytics in the upstream sector continue to evolve at a steady pace. Although the number and diversity of applications continue to increase, the adoption at the asset wide level faces well-known barriers and challenges. Big Data, Automation, Advanced Analytics and the Industrial Internet of Things has profoundly affected the energy industry including oil and gas with the “digital oilfield”, the convergence of OT (operational technology) and IT (information technology) systems, but also the supply chains and utilities with the smart grids for instance.

With more data available from field, process instrumentation and control systems for detailed analysis to improve decision making at all levels, from the field to the board room, the digital revolution is now a reality, and lower commodity prices have added the need to improve efficiency of operations. But massive data collected from field instrumentation remain unexploited to the full potential because of misalignment between people, processes, and technologies. We all understand today the importance of being at the forefront of a major discipline, and last month the SPE Board of Directors, under the guidance of Birol Dindoruk, Technical Director for M&I, approved important changes to address growing needs, splitting Management and Information Discipline, with Management having its own discipline and Information refocused and renamed Data Science and Engineering Analytics. The Board agrees this change is necessary to remain relevant and to recognize the importance of digital transformation among our members’ responsibilities and the industry as a whole.

Another major topic is the role of our industry in society - we are at the heart of the sustainable development challenges facing humanity and all life on this planet. The SPE has a pivotal role to play in ensuring the industry is on the right side of history.

Johanna Dunlop, SPE Technical Director for HSE and Sustainability, in her wishes for the year 2019, enjoined all of us to be change drivers by actively supporting the integration of HSE and Sustainability practices in our industry. She was then proposing an ambitious but realistic program on the way to go to engage and commit ourselves to the energy transition - the Gaia program which started as an SPE Summit in June, assembled 55 individuals representing 8 stakeholder groups to work on the mobilizing the individuals of the oil and gas industry in the service of sustainable development through their professional societies such as SPE and AAPG which participated actively. Six execution pathways and four Gaia Principles emerged from this collective effort: Mobilisation, Aggregation, Engagement and Collaboration.

This week more than 11,000 researchers from around the world issued a strong warning of the suffering that will be caused by climate change if humanity doesn’t change its ways… SPE, through its HSE & Sustainability community and increasingly all other disciplines and sections is working hard serving SPE members and non-members and by extension the oil and gas industry, significantly contributing to help our industry meeting the new challenges – even anticipating them.

ATCE in Calgary was a wonderful example of what sustainability integration can look like at a key event and how quickly our brainpower can work the topics in effective and technical ways. Sustainability may be the new Safety, but let’s make the journey shorter and learn the lessons faster. Sustainability is now a regular feature in the JPT editorial columns and it was Sami Alnuaim – 2019 SPE President, signature theme for his presidency and the theme continues to receive leadership support.

On a more regional basis, I would like our members to prepare for next Awards season, nominate talents and make recognized by our scientific community the great commitment and expertise of our colleagues around the world. 

2019 was amazing, 2020 with the engagement, commitment and contribution of all, will be outstanding!

With my best regards.

Jean-Marc Dumas
Director for Europe