A Lot to Be Proud Of
Last year, the SPE Board of Directors approved a new 5-year Strategic Plan, a blueprint to provide guidance on how the association can meet the needs and expectations of its members and the industry over the next several years. The plan identified four strategic areas of emphasis to advance its vision in the near term: lifelong learning, knowledge transfer, membership engagement, and professional pride. It is the professional pride piece of that document that this issue of JPT is built around.
The professional pride segment identifies objectives such as helping SPE members better understand and become more inspired by the industry’s contributions to society, demonstrating the benefits of oil and gas so members can communicate that positive value to the public, and highlighting industry achievements as well as contributions to sustainability and social responsibility.
With that backdrop, the 45-page special section in this issue covers three main areas:
- What satisfaction do petroleum engineers receive from the work they do?
- What value does oil and gas bring to individuals and to society?
- What trends and challenges will help define the future work of petroleum engineers?
JPT invited a variety of engineers to participate to ensure a broad perspective. In these pages, you will read about what practicing petroleum professionals value about their careers and what brings them the most reward; what specific contributions the industry is making to society, including some you might not regularly hear about in the media; some great individual and technical achievements; how to communicate these successes and contributions to an often skeptical public; and what issues the industry will confront in the coming years.
One of these issues is climate change, and no report on the oil and gas industry’s future would be complete without some discussion of this topic. But there is not universal agreement—in the public, in the industry, or in these pages—on the best approach to take in addressing this issue.
Nor is there agreement throughout the industry on future hydrocarbons demand and what role oil and gas will play in the global energy mix a decade or two from now. Industry reports from companies and consultancies often lay out different scenarios about hydrocarbon demand in the future and the “transition” to renewables. Some predict declines in crude demand for transportation because of the increased use of electric vehicles, while others see almost insatiable appetites for all forms of energy, both traditional and new.
The oil and gas industry will likely look a lot different 10 or 20 years from now. But the role of petroleum engineers may not. The job of solving problems, figuring out how to get the most oil and gas out of the ground with the smallest environmental footprint, and ensuring that the world has sufficient energy to improve quality of life will continue.
A Lot to Be Proud Of
John Donnelly, JPT Editor
01 March 2019
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