What's Ahead

The Technology Issue: Carpe Technology

Max Medina Editor-in-Chief The Way Ahead

Old technology? New technology? Future technology? The truth is it really does not matter. It will all boil down to how we are able to become more efficient and get the most value by using the best technology available at the right time. It is up to us, the young professionals, to seize the opportunity and rise to the challenge! Failure to do so could mean becoming firsthand witnesses to our industry falling behind in the energy race. Now, more than ever, we have a responsibility to maximize technology use so our industry can become leaders in the vision of achieving sustainable development for our planet.

Making the required step-change in oilfield technology development and implementation is easier said than done. There are all sorts of technical, financial, regulatory, leadership, and cultural obstacles. But it would be naïve to think that we can change our industry without starting with ourselves. My proposal is that more of us need to search deep into our technical engineering roots and be proud of being energy and oilfield nerds. Yes, you did not misread. We need to embrace the technical spirit of our profession and emerge as petroleum geeks! Please do not worry about your image; nowadays, being a geek is as cool as it gets. The technical-vs.-managerial dilemma is solved!

The good news is that you are not alone in this paradigm change. SPE has been paving the way for technological advances from day one. Technology and technical knowledge management are the heart and soul of our society. Most of SPE’s programs and activities are tailored toward disseminating technology, through such means  as the online paper library (www.onepetro.org), technical conferences, publications (journals, books, and magazines), and more. Only our continuing support and volunteering will ensure that SPE continues to be a reference and a key enabler in the technology game. I encourage all of you to get involved at www.spe.org/participate.

 In this issue, we take a look at those technologies that seem intangible, but will be part of the standard oilfield tool box in years to come. We are talking about nanotechnology, the expansion of the digital era, automation solutions, and the exploitation of “new” resources in harsh environments. Ten years from now, we will be the leaders and engineers fueling the speedy uptake and development of technologies that now seem distant. Can we do something today to be one step ahead and shift into an extra gear in the technology development and implementation race? Carpe technology.

The Way Ahead continues to evolve. Our latest readership survey shows that the magazine is on the right track and that our stakeholders are increasingly recognizing the value of our publication. Thanks to all of you who took a few minutes to participate and share your feedback with us. We have grown into a strong editorial team of almost 40 volunteers, made up of a dynamic group of young professionals from around the world. Our reward is the satisfaction of being part of TWA. As part of our evolution, we also need to embrace the past and acknowledge all the volunteers who have been part of the magazine in the past seven years. They took it from a “dream” initiative into a unique, successful reality. Thanks to all of you, you know who you are!

 In TWA we are walking the talk by expanding our digital presence. There is no more appropriate theme than technology for launching our new digital versions and our presence on the most popular social media outlets. You can join the discussion on our LinkedIn group and Facebook page. To avoid missing a single piece of content from TWA, follow us on http://twitter.com/spethewayahead. We have also launched a new app, so you can carry your downloadable TWA copy on your iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad.

The app for the Android is also in the works and will hit your handheld device very soon.TWA is a two-way communication medium. Today, we provide a platform of content on trendy themes that are part of our careers in this industry. You give us your feedback and share your perspective with our global professional community. In the near future, it will be the other way around. For now, let the discussions begin. Speak up, my friends!