Society of Petroleum Engineers Membership Increases to 88,000 Worldwide at 2008 Year-end

CONTACT: Margaret Watson (+1.972.952.9304 or

RICHARDSON, Texas (9 February 2009) – Total professional and student membership in the Society of Petroleum Engineers reached a record 88,000 members worldwide in 2008, up 11 percent over 2007. The number of members age 35 and under also increased to 23 percent of total membership.

SPE membership includes engineers, scientists, technicians, managers, operators, educators and other professionals who work in the global upstream oil and gas industry, as well as students who are studying petroleum engineering or a related field.SPE membership has grown 46 percent in the last five years.

Membership Category

2008 Membership

2007 Membership

Professional members



Student members



Membership increased in every region of the world during 2008. The greatest percentage of growth occurred in the Middle East region, up 16 percent; Northern Asia Pacific region, including China, up 16 percent; and Africa, up 23 percent.

The number of young people entering the upstream industry continues to increase, helping to reverse the aging of the profession. In 2008, the number of SPE members under age 35 increased 30%. The average age of SPE members was 46, the same as in 2007.

“We are pleased that young people are coming to the industry to replace E&P professionals who will be retiring in large numbers over the next decade. Although the current global financial crisis has slowed the demand for energy, the world will need more oil and gas in the longer term, and these young people will be the ones who will help find and produce it,” said Leo Roodhart, 2009 SPE president.

SPE offers free membership to university students enrolled in petroleum engineering programs and related fields, and programs to help accelerate their transition into the industry. Chevron Corp. sponsors the SPE student membership program.

About SPE

The Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) is a not-for-profit professional association whose members are engaged in energy resources development and production. SPE serves 88,000-plus members in 118 countries worldwide. SPE is a key resource for technical knowledge related to the oil and gas exploration and production industry and provides services through its publications, conferences, workshops, forums, and website at