In Memoriam: Juan V. Roger

Juan V. Roger, SPE Distinguished Member and the first SPE South America and Caribbean Regional Director, died 5 August in Caracas, Venezuela. He was 88.

Roger was instrumental in the growth of SPE in the Latin America and Caribbean region through his active participation, both at the international and regional levels. He became an SPE member in 1956 after graduating with a BS degree in petroleum engineering from the University of Oklahoma. He was a member of the SPE Oil and Gas Reserves Committee in 1987, which produced the first version of what is currently well known as the Petroleum Resources Management System.

In 1989, Roger was elected the first SPE South America regional director from 1990 to 1993. During his tenure, he supported the move to adopt the word “International” to the SPE title, as SPE is currently known. He also promoted adding “Caribbean” to the name of the South American region. Major SPE events were launched in the region during his term, including the Latin American and Caribbean Petroleum Engineering Conference (LACPEC). Currently in its 17th edition, the first LACPEC was held in Brazil in 1990, and the second one in Caracas in 1992. Roger nurtured leadership participation from the region in SPE. Among the SPE leaders he promoted was Gustavo Inciarte, who was the South America regional director from 1994 to 1996 and the first Latin American SPE President in 1999.

Roger began his career at Creole Petroleum Corp., an affiliate of Petróleos de Venezuela (PDVSA), and worked in eastern and western Venezuela oil fields before being transferred to Caracas in 1971 as chief of reserves evaluation. He became chief petroleum engineer of the company in 1975, and was later in charge of the Lagoven production department in Houston. He returned to Caracas in 1984 as corporate manager of technology for drilling and exploitation for PDVSA and retired from the company in 1993.

Roger was awarded the SPE Regional Service Award for the South America and Caribbean in 1992 and 1995, and became an SPE Distinguished Member in 1996.

Honored as a Century Club Member for recruiting more than 100 new members to SPE, in recent years Roger was part of the board of the SPE Caracas Petroleum Section, a strong supporter of local student paper contests, and helped guide other Venezuelan SPE sections. He was the Caracas Petroleum Section Scholarship Chairperson from 2008 to 2011, and the treasurer of the section at the time of his death. He was also a member of the SPE Young Member Outstanding Service Award Committee and the Public Service Award Committee at various times. His plaque of acknowledgment from the SPE Caracas Petroleum Section reads, “For his 60+ years of unconditional, extraordinary dedication and leadership for the SPE in Venezuela, and South America and the Caribbean.”