R&D Competition Focuses on Industry’s “Grand Challenges”

Officers of the new Myanmar Section. Standing from left: Program Chairperson, Bertrand Jean Daniel Brun, manager, Total E&P; Program Chairperson, Gagan Singhal, former country general manager, Schlumberger Asia Services; Section Activities Chairperson, Sahawit S. Vorasaph, senior manager Myanmar operations, PTT Exploration and Production; Membership Chairperson, Sean Danley, senior business development manager, Halliburton; Treasurer, Ahkar Aung, legal supervisor, Daewoo E&P.Seated from left: VC-Secretary, Aung Kyaw Min, director industry and university relations, Schlumberger Logelco; Chairperson, Ahmad Lutpi Haron, country chairman, Pentronas; Student Chapter Liaison, Zaw Htet Aung, head of Petroleum Engineering Department, Yangon Technological University.Pictured separately: YP Chairperson, Sithu Moe Myint, technical manager, MRPL E&P.

The oil and gas E&P industry faces big challenges to meet the world’s growing energy needs and the solutions are uncertain. For that reason, SPE is holding a Research and Development (R&D) Competition to encourage researchers from the basic sciences and other engineering disciplines to engage these challenges. The competition focuses on six Grand Challenges identified by the SPE R&D Committee:

  • Increasing recovery factors from oil and gas fields
  • In-situ molecular manipulation
  • Carbon capture, storage, and sequestration
  • Produced water management
  • Higher-resolution subsurface imaging of hydrocarbons
  • Minimized environmental impact

The competition is open to academia, research institutes and organizations, companies, and individuals. Proposals submitted should include the following requirements:

  • Address one of the six Grand Challenges listed above
  • Involve ideas and/or technologies not previously used in petroleum engineering
  • Propose application of technology not already used commercially in the oil and gas industry

The top finalists will be invited as guests of SPE to the 2014 SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition in Amsterdam on 27–29 October, where they will present their proposal in a special session to a panel of industry judges. Awards of USD 30,000 for first place, USD 20,000 for second place, and USD 10,000 for third place will be announced at the SPE President’s Luncheon on the last day of the conference.

Submissions for the competition are being accepted online through 1 June 2014. Those who submit by 31 March will have the opportunity to be assigned an industry mentor to provide advice on how to improve the proposal before the final submission deadline.

For more information, please go to


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