All posts by Kevin Higgins

Attend the special session on Advancing Automation in Well Construction

SPE Drilling Systems Automation Technical Section (DSATS) and IADC Advanced Rig Technology (ART) Committee will offer a special session on Advancing Automation in Well Construction by learning from the experience of other industries

When: 5 March 2012, 1300 – 1700 PST
Where: Town and Country Resort and Convention Center  |  San Diego, California USA
Sponsored Reception by Integrated Drilling Equipment from 1700-1900 PST

There is no charge to attend this important meeting.  However, due to limited seating you must register to attend.Registration for spouses attending the reception is also required.

Register now »

You are invited to attend this special session immediately preceding the IADC/SPE Drilling Conference (6-8 March 2012).   This half-day event features three exciting speakers addressing innovative applications of automation:

  • Mike Withers, VP Ride Engineering, Disney Imagineering
    Developing Automated Rides – Automation successfully applied in environments with high safety and reliability requirements without specialist operators.
  • Bertrand du Castel, Fellow, Schlumberger
    The Driller’s Brain: Human-Centered Oilfield Automation – The development of rig-state and drilling-state activity definitions that create the basis for understanding, implementing, and enhancing drilling systems automation operations
  • Arjun Singh, University of California Berkley
    Extreme Aerobatic Autonomous Helicopter Flight – Learning algorithms that extract intended trajectory and create a high-accuracy dynamics model, termed automation through apprenticeship learning.

John de Wardt (President, DE WARDT & COMPANY), program Moderator, organized this event with Mario Zamora, Technical Advisor, Schlumberger.

Session includes SPE DSATS and IADC ART activities recap and 2012 election of DSATS officers. We look forward to seeing you there!

Fred Florence
Chairman, Drilling Systems Automation Technical Section

Society of Petroleum Engineers and dmg events to partner on Canadian events

SPE introduces international heavy oil conference to be presented alongside Global Petroleum Show, Gas & Oil Expo

Richardson, Texas, USA, and Calgary, Alberta, Canada (October 25, 2011) – The Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) and dmg events (Canada) inc. have announced plans to conduct the new SPE  International Heavy Oil Conference alongside two of the industry’s major exhibitions, dmg’s Global Petroleum Show (even years) and Gas & Oil Expo (odd years), beginning in 2012.

The SPE International Heavy Oil Conference was developed to respond to SPE members’ interests in a focused heavy oil technical conference in Canada.  The agreement with dmg events will give SPE members an opportunity to participate in an annual conference and simultaneously attend Global Petroleum Show and Gas & Oil Expo, two of the largest exhibition events presented in Canada for the energy industry.
“Canada is an important region for SPE and heavy oil is an important and complex topic for our industry,” said Alain Labastie, 2011 SPE President and Engineering Advisor, TOTAL.  “To better serve our members, we are bringing an annual heavy oil technical conference to Calgary.  It is an ambitious undertaking, but one we know will bring great value to our members.”

The Global Petroleum Show is one of the largest international energy exhibitions held on a bienniel basis, bringing together some 60,000 attendees and 2,000 exhibiting companies to network, collaborate and source new business opportunities.  Gas & Oil Expo is  held every two years and focuses on oil and natural gas technologies and services, with 20,000 registered attendees and 700 exhibiting companies.
“We are excited at the opportunity to have the SPE involved with Global Petroleum Show and Gas & Oil Expo,” said Mark Carr, President – Energy, dmg events.  “Our exhibitors and attendees, many of whom are SPE members, will embrace the chance to network and collaborate on the topic of heavy oil at these events.  The SPE conference will bring a higher level of technical understanding and innovation that is available in the global oil and gas industry.”

SPE has also announced that K.C. Yeung, Manager of Oil Sands Technology at Husky Energy, will chair the Program Committee for the 2012 SPE International Heavy Oil Conference held in conjunction with the Global Petroleum Show, June 12-14. Mr. Yeung has been involved in heavy oil and oil sands reservoir engineering, R&D, and project development in Canada since 1977.  He has given numerous courses and lectures on heavy oil recovery methods and steam-assisted gravity drainage worldwide. He was 2005-06 President of the Canadian Heavy Oil Association; 2007 Chairman of the Petroleum Society of CIM; and 2005-08 Chairman of the Computer Modelling Group Foundation; and serves as 2006-12 Technical Conference Chairman of the World Heavy Oil Congress.  Mr. Yeung is a member of the SPE Canada Board of Directors.

For information, please visit, and

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 more than 97,000 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, events, training courses, and online resources at

About dmg events

dmg events (Canada) inc. is an international trade show and conference organizer, and is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Daily Mail Group Trust (DMGT).  dmg events (Canada) inc. produces ten major energy events around the globe, including the renowned Global Petroleum Show,  Gas and Oil Expo, World Heavy Oil Congress, ADIPEC, Gastech, Oil Sands Trade Show, International Pipeline Exposition, and Global Energy Career Expo, Global Clean Energy Congress and Heavy Oil Latin America Congress.  Visit

Join us at the R&D Technical Section Dinner at ATCE!

Can natural gas become the first primary energy source?

Kamel Bennaceur – Chief Economist – Schlumberger

The last decade has witnessed major changes in the world energy scene. Coal increased its share of the primary energy supply to 27%, mainly driven by increased demand from growing Asian economies. The increase in coal use, which, in the absence of significant carbon abatement policies, puts it in track to be the first primary energy source by 2035, according to the International Energy Agency, even passing oil, with unsustainable levels of greenhouse gas emissions. An alternative to coal for power generation is from natural gas, which has seen a major growth driven by the expansion of LNG, and the commercial development of North American unconventional gas. With less than half of the CO2 emissions compared to coal, natural gas could become a “destination fuel”, instead of a transition fuel, this century.

The presentation addresses the conditions of development of natural gas beyond its current production basins, and the scenarios for its growth in the next four decades. Unconventional gas has the potential to expand reserves-to-production ratios from 60 years to more than a century, with a wider distribution of production sources. The development of such resources, as well as conventional but sour gas gas, presents a number of environmental challenges. Technologies and processes that may address such challenges will be discussed.



Kamel Bennaceur

Kamel Bennaceur is the Schlumberger Chief Economist, based in Paris, responsible for developing the company strategic and macro-economic outlook. He also leads programs in sustainable energy and oil and gas supply and demand.   He has over 30 years worldwide experience in the energy sector starting in 1980 with R&D project and program management in the oil and gas sector in France, USA and United Kingdom. He then managed operations in Africa, Latin America and the Middle East. He was appointed as Worldwide Marketing Manager for Schlumberger Well Services in Houston in 1999, before managing the technology group with the Schlumberger Integrated Project Management business line in London in 2001. In 2003, he started the Schlumberger CO2 group, which became a new business segment.  In 2006, he was seconded to the International Energy Agency (IEA) in Paris where he was responsible for sector-wide energy perspectives at different time frames. He was one of the lead authors of the World Energy Outlook in 2007 and 2008, and of the 2008 Energy Technology Perspectives.

Dr. Bennaceur serves on the Society of Petroleum Engineers Board of Directors, as well as several other energy-related organizations. In 2006, he received the SPE Distinguished Member Award, and was appointed as a Distinguished Lecturer for the Society on energy perspectives and carbon management. He has co-authored seven books and more than 120 technical papers. He is a frequent keynote speaker and panel chair at major energy events, and has served as conference chairperson for industry events around the world.  He is a graduate of the Ecole Polytechnique in France, and Ecole Normale Superieure (Paris) with an Agregation of Mathematics.