Challenges Met With Optimism in Houston at the Second-Largest Society of Petroleum Engineers Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition

Houston, Texas (30 September 2015) — Registration totals exceeded expectations as 13,500 global exploration and production professionals gathered at the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) flagship event the Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition (ATCE) at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston over three days this week 28-30 September.

“2040: The Journey and the Destination—Diverse Perspectives” was the Opening General Session theme on Monday. ATCE 2015 General Chairperson, Gustavo Hernández-García, director of operations for PEMEX E&P, introduced a distinguished panel of industry experts who discussed current trends and the recent challenges faced by the oil and gas industry. However, discussion stressed the resilience of the industry, the continued importance of fossil fuel energy to the world economy, and reassurance the industry will come through a difficult period and be stronger. Panel member Scott Tinker, director of the Bureau of Economic Geology said the energy mix has changed little in the past 35 years. “It’s driven by security. Is energy affordable, available, reliable, and sustainable? A lower price over a long time extends the future of oil.” He adds, “I continue to believe that energy is the greatest industry on the planet. It underpins everything.”

2015 President Helge Hove Haldorsen focused his comments on “the new normal.” At the Opening General Session he said, “We need to continuously adapt, strengthen, and reinvent our industry because oil and gas will be needed for decades to come.” On Wednesday he wrapped up his presidential term saying, “We will see what the new normal will be.”

Nathan Meehan began his term as SPE 2016 president with his vision stating, “We are on a mission to educate and provide safe, affordable energy to improve people’s lives.” Meehan said his priorities for the year ahead will focus on stressing public benefit; mentoring the next generation; sustainability; as well as health, safety, and environmental issues.

The more than 400 technical presentations provided break-through and improved efficiencies for best practices for the oil and gas industry. The 500 exhibits offered promising new and enhanced products and services. Networking opportunities were expanded due to the Open Access Day on Wednesday where more than 400 people took advantage of the complimentary registration. The conference featured more than 45 technical sessions, 34 training sessions, and young professional and student events and activities.

Some new features of the conference included the ENGenious program, which resulted in standing room only presentations from innovative technology companies. Another new feature was the opportunity to access live-stream and virtual sessions for those who could not attend the conference.

Participating in ATCE were engineers, operators, scientists, managers, and executives involved in all aspects of the global petroleum industry. ATCE offered unique opportunities for people at all career levels – including young professionals and students – to meet industry experts, network with peers, and access new technologies.

ATCE 2016 will be held in Dubai 26-28 September at the Dubai World Trade Centre.


Photos from ATCE are available at


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 more than 143,000 members in 147 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, events, training courses, and online resources at


Society of Petroleum Engineers

Samantha Sipowicz, APR

Public Relations Manager