Message from SPE Regional Director Europe

April 2021


Image of Laura Precupanu

Dear SPE colleagues and friends,

It is April, and in Europe, activities are picking up and so is the time for positive thinking about the future as vaccination programmes are rolled out. With the oil price increasing, we need to be mindful and remain vigilant and responsible, as the activity level picks up and operations become more intensive. Safety is still our watchword going forward.

Last month, I emphasised the importance of collaboration on my blog. This month, I want to build on that and share how the SPE is facing challenges, as approaching normal life resumes. Last week, the SPE Board of Directors met over four days to discuss a range of topics, from the FY2022 budget to membership retention, flagship events and capitalisation of virtual events. 

For me, the most important is what are we doing as SPE for our members – how can we restore confidence in our business and motivate people to collaborate and work for the greater good.

COLLABORATION among members, committees and even sections is the key to a sustainable future for our SPE community.

March was filled with many important SPE events and I would like to touch upon two of them. 

The PetroBowl Regional Qualifiers took place on March 16 and 17. It was an integral part of the 8th Annual Student Energy Congress. The SPE Croatian Section and SPE University of Zagreb Student Chapter organised the congress. 

The PetroBowl competition was hosted virtually using the software developed by the members from the Latin America and Caribbean Region. This was the first European Regional Qualifiers to take place online, and it was full of interaction, fun and yes, there were many lessons learnt as well.

In this context, I am also announcing with great honour the three winning teams that will be representing Europe at the PetroBowl Championship, which will take place online in September:

  • 1st place - Petroleum-Gas University of Ploiesti Team, Romania 
  • 2nd place - University of Stavanger Team, Norway
  • 3rd place - University of Zagreb Team, Croatia

I learned that PetroBowl is a competition that calls for collaboration, mutual understanding, fair play and support offered in due time. I want to express my gratitude to all the volunteers and SPE staff who made this European event possible: question writers across the region, moderators, IT support, judges, professors who supported the teams, SPE students and professional members who engaged online during the broadcasting of our event.

We will do better and brighter next year and I wish our teams the best of luck at the international championship!

At the end of March (23 March - 1 April) took place virtually the International Petroleum Technology Conference (IPTC). IPTC is the flagship multidisciplinary technical event in the Eastern Hemisphere, with SPE being one of the four organisations and societies sponsoring it. Eight days full of sessions and you can go online, check the technical programme, and eventually register to access the content on-demand. 

As part of the conference, the four presidents of the sponsoring societies are traditionally part of a panel discussion. The full video with the panel of this year’s edition can be accessed via YouTube. I would particularly like to emphasise Tom Blasingame’s answer (our 2021 President) when asked to propose ‘one-word description for 2021 in the context of the petroleum industry’. He chose OPPORTUNITY. This year is our opportunity in terms of engagement with the public to build local and regional collaboration. We must face our challenges and embrace the present and evolving opportunities, because it matters what we do and how we do it. 

Please allow me to remind you that later this month, on April 27, the Data Science and Engineering Analytics (DSEA) initiative in Europe will hold its first event: SPE London Section Digital Science Evening open to all European Sections. You can register online. The story will continue with SPE Netherlands in May and SPE Italy in June and I invite you to attend the events and engage in planning the best possible event under the DSEA initiative.

I would like to wrap up and wish you all good health, lots of energy and resilience. Please keep working together to make the SPE stronger and more inclusive. 

Best Regards

Laura Precupanu
SPE Regional Director Europe
Senior Expert Stimulation Engineering, OMV Petrom