Call for SPE Aberdeen members to lead E&P 2.0
INVERURIE, United Kingdom -- The Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) Aberdeen Section celebrated last week its landmark 40th anniversary with over 200 members and guests attending a momentous evening of debate.
The evening’s keynote address came from 2015 SPE International president, Dr. Helge Haldorsen, Statoil Vice President of Strategy and Portfolio for North America. Stating that he believes SPE Aberdeen has led the innovation within the oil and gas industry, he called upon the Aberdeen Section to now develop ‘E&P 2.0’, thus ensuring that the North Sea operations continue for decades to come.
Dr. Haldorsen said that Aberdeen’s innovation and drive to break down the barriers of the ‘impossible’ were instrumental for the oil and gas industry when faced with challenges such as deepwater exploration – not just of the North Sea but, also, in other harsh areas.
He said: “I do not think we are running out of oil, but we are going to run out of cheap and easy oil”. He went on to emphasise that Aberdeen has always led the way in terms of industry innovation and should now lead the way to challenge the industry’s business models to become a more efficient and financially viable sector. He explained that this should be completed with “the four Es in mind; Energy, Environment, Economics and Education”.
Moderated by STV news anchor, Andrea Brymer, the evening’s panel debate was one of the highlights of the celebration. The elite panel comprised of senior executives from BP, Shell, TAQA Bratani and Schlumberger. The lively and informative conversation covered a number of topical industry issues, from industry collaboration, extending production within the North Sea and how SPE Aberdeen has contributed and will continue to support progress and innovation within the oil and gas industry for the future.
When asked what role they see SPE Aberdeen taking over the next 40 years, Gordon Ballard, Chairman and Country Manager at Schlumberger UK Ltd said he believes the society will continue to facilitate important work with schools and professional development, whilst providing a leading forum for industry efficiency and solutions.
Pete Jones, Managing Director, TAQA Bratani, said he believes the breadth of disciplines within SPE Aberdeen can support the ultimate innovation required for the future of E&P, highlighting: “what we see now we didn’t see 40 years ago, that is inspiring”.
Glen Cayley, Vice President Upstream, Shell UK, said: “The challenge facing the industry now is finding ways of collaborating across the whole basin, sharing best or better practice”, with the panel agreeing that SPE Aberdeen represents the ideal collaboration platform across the industry.
Summing up what SPE means to him, SPE Aberdeen chairman Anthony Onukwu said: “The history of SPE is, perhaps, a history of pure passion, commitment and resilience against technological barriers. SPE members have one thing in common, irrespective of where we come from, of our age, of our gender: our desire to take the upstream oil and gas industry to new levels, to constantly develop its technologies and techniques and to share our immense pool of knowledge among ourselves and with the generations to come.
“I must mention the outstanding achievement of our great volunteers. We recently embedded ourselves into the Scottish school’s Curriculum for Excellence with the global SPE initiative, Energy4Me. Energy4me is a free education resource for all schools to download and use that was solely created by the SPE, with a view to enhance young people’s understanding and uptake of the global oil and gas industry. SPE Aberdeen’s Schools Careers Guidance Committee had the global lesson plans adapted in order for them to work effectively as part of the Scottish Curriculum for Excellence lesson plans.”
Mr Onukwu further explained, after his speech, that there are new areas SPE Aberdeen will look to focus upon and address in future, including lifting costs in North Sea, challenges with brownfield operations and process safety.
The Chairman-elect, Ross Lowdon, explained how he sees the future of SPE Aberdeen, ahead of his Chairmanship: “There are some huge challenges involved in the oil and gas industry in the North Sea right now – lifting costs are far too high; we need to look at ways to reduce that. I would like to see SPE Aberdeen position itself in order to engage in debate on the technical side and the personnel side; to bring all that together in order to reduce those lifting costs and enable Aberdeen to continue to flourish as an oil and gas exporting centre of excellence.”