Q&A with Lyn Arscott
- Lyn Arscott (Consultant) | John Donnelly (JPT Editor)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Journal of Petroleum Technology
- Publication Date
- June 2007
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 20 - 22
- 2007. Copyright is retained by the author. This document is distributed by SPE with the permission of the author. Contact the author for permission to use material from this document.
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Editor’s Note: In recognition of SPE’s 50th anniversary this year, JPT is conducting interviews with several Society luminaries about their careers, their relationship with SPE, and the changes they have seen in the oil and gas industry and the Society over the past several decades.
How did you get involved in SPE?
As a young engineer coming into the petroleum industry, I needed to learn petroleum technology and the obvious place was SPE. I had a PhD degree in rock mechanics and I had taken a job with the Gulf Oil Research Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. For young engineers, there is no better place to learn the technology of petroleum engineering than SPE meetings and literature. It’s simply a must-do.
What was your early experience with SPE like?
I began to get involved in the SPE Pittsburgh Chapter where there was a heavy involvement from the Gulf research people and a lot of representation from the natural gas sector because of all of the gas activity in that area. The meetings were exciting for me because I was young and eager to learn and I particularly enjoyed the Distinguished Lecturers. I would attend every meeting I could, and before long I was invited into the local officer rotation. About 1974, I became Chairperson of that section, and that is when I really got involved in SPE activities.
How has SPE benefited you professionally?
SPE helped me become knowledgeable about oil and gas production technology and it has kept me up to date for my whole career. Another important benefit has been networking. I have always found that the SPE community is nonconfrontational and offers a lot of mutual support. I would call an SPE member who worked for another company and expect to receive a very cordial response to any question, and I would reciprocate. People would call me and say, “I met you at an SPE meeting, and what do you know about this or that?” I have found the SPE network to be invaluable.
What did you take away from your experience as SPE President in 1988?
I joined the SPE Board of Directors as treasurer in 1984, so I had been on the board for several years before becoming President-elect. As President, I was able to travel throughout the United States and abroad, and it was then that I realized how big was the SPE global empire and how important was the role we play in the international oil and gas business. When traveling in the centrally planned economies of China and Russia, I remember the difficulty in explaining that SPE was a voluntary organization. They kept asking what part of the US government did we belong.
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