2009 ATCE Attracts 8,000 Professionals to New Orleans


Dana Otillio
email Dana

RICHARDSON, Texas, USA (8 October 2009)—The Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) 2009 Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition (ATCE) was held this week in New Orleans, Louisiana, USA, and brought together approximately 8,000 oil and gas E&P professionals from around the world.

ATCE 2009 featured technical sessions with approximately 375 papers on innovative technologies, case studies and best practices. More than 390 exhibiting companies, utilizing 88,800 sq ft of exhibit space, featured the latest products and services in the E&P industry.

Working Together

Panelists in Monday morning’s Opening General Session, “Innovative Collaboration: What’s next for IOCs, NOCs and SCs,” discussed how international oil companies, national oil companies and service companies will work together to develop new opportunities to meet global energy demand. They offered examples of how collaboration between companies has helped them meet the technical challenges of finding new resources in remote fields and complex reservoirs and producing more oil from existing fields.

Also on Monday at the ATCE Chairman’s Luncheon, Rich Kruger, president of ExxonMobil Production Company, shared his thoughts on the importance of maintaining a balance between satisfying rising global demand of oil and gas while minimizing the impact on the environment. Kruger credited deepwater and ultradeepwater resources for making major contributions to world supply; he also said he sees a bright future for LNG, tight gas, shale gas and oil sands.

“The solutions range from producing hydrocarbons more effectively, to using them more efficiently, to improving existing alternative sources of energy, to developing completely new sources,” Kruger explained. “Success will be determined by how well we bring together industries, governments and people in a shared vision.”

A topical breakfast on Tuesday, “The Future of Unconventional Gas Resources,” offered US and Canadian perspectives on the opportunities and challenges of unconventional gas exploration and production. Among the subjects discussed were achieving the best fracture treatment to minimize the complexity and risk of shale gas
E&P, and utilizing new gas-plant technology that integrates carbon capture and storage.

Future Trends

In Tuesday’s special panel session, “Challenges in Reservoir Management,” leading industry experts emphasized the current status and future trends in reservoir management and covered the activities’ operational components and their interface with drilling, completions and production operations.

This year’s young professionals workshop, “Dieting After the $147/Barrel Bonanza—The Return to Efficiency,” showed young professionals how to navigate cost pressures that drive our industry in the short- and mid-term future. Industry professionals shared their experiences and inspired young professionals to follow suit.

ATCE offered an encore presentation on Tuesday from SPE Distinguished Lecturer Anthony Martin of BJ Services. Martin discussed how hydraulic fracturing is not just for new wells in tight formations. In focusing on mature formations, he emphasized the primary need for understanding the reservoir, getting value for money in the fracture treatment implemented, and selecting the right techniques for specific assets.

A topical breakfast on Wednesday offered a keynote presentation from Carlos Morales Gil, director general of Pemex E&P. Gil presented a history of the Cantarell Field as well as the challenges and successes during the development of the field, including its first simulation efforts and its very successful pressure maintenance project using nitrogen injection.

Special Events

Also on Wednesday, SPE and the National Energy Education Development (NEED) Project presented a teachers workshop to facilitate energy education in grades K-12. The workshop provided 100 New Orleans-area teachers with lessons and activities that they can immediately start using in their classrooms. This workshop is one component of SPE’s energy education program, Energy4me. Energy4me is a public outreach program and web resource (energy4me.org) designed to help students and adults become more educated consumers of energy.

University students, which represent approximately 1,400 of ATCE’s attendees, had the opportunity to participate in events and sessions specifically for them, including the Student Recruiting and Networking Fair and the PetroBowl, where student chapter teams compete in a tournament-style contest that tests their knowledge of SPE and the E&P industry.

ATCE’s time-honored events included the Annual Awards Banquet, which recognized individuals for their significant contributions to the oil and gas industry, and the President’s Luncheon, which offered the “State of the Society” address from 2009 SPE President Leo Roodhart, who passed the presidential gavel to 2010 SPE
President, Behrooz Fattahi.

Looking Ahead

For the first-time in its 85-year history, the SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition will be held outside of the United States on 20-22 September 2010 in Florence, Italy. For more information, please visit the 2010 ATCE website.


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.