Energy, Environment, and Social Development: SPE’s New Strategic Plan - Emphasizing Pride in What We Do
- Sami Alnuaim (2019 SPE President)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Journal of Petroleum Technology
- Publication Date
- November 2018
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 10 - 11
- 2018. 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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It is an honor for me to serve as the SPE president for the next 12 months. Without hesitation, I knew that I would devote my year as president to a theme related to energy sustainability.
I want to create conversations not only on the current and future image of our industry and the pride our work deserves, but also in the context of the accountability and responsibility that this pride imposes. We can be proud of our contributions and doing the right things, but we bear the responsibility to do things correctly.
As part of preparing SPE’s new strategic plan, the SPE Board considered some of the challenges facing our industry:
- Oil and gas will remain a key component of the global energy mix, but will face greater competition for market share in some areas.
- Oil and gas prices will remain volatile.
- Roles and skills of oil and gas professionals are shifting as new technologies and data analytics take larger roles.
- The digital revolution will affect member needs and expectations.
- Attracting and retaining talent will continue to be a challenge for the industry in some areas.
- Negative public perception will continue to affect the industry’s “license to operate.”
- Society expects the oil and gas industry to meet the world’s energy needs in a manner that protects the environment.
Oil and gas currently account for around 55% of the world’s energy supply and most projections show a slight percentage decline through 2040, but quantity of required oil and gas to meet the global energy demand (which is what matters) will increase. This means that oil and gas will continue to be important to meeting global energy needs for a long time. Even as renewables and other energy sources grow, mainly for the power generation sector, world demand for hydrocarbon energy will grow faster in transportation, industrial, and petrochemicals sectors. The world will need higher daily oil and gas production rates as compared to the current capacity. Only our industry can deliver the fuel to support this growth. The cyclical nature of prices for these commodities is likely to remain with us.
To help the industry meet these challenges, the SPE strategic plan focuses on the potential impact of current advances in big data, artificial intelligence, and digital technology. The industry, with the help of academia and SPE, needs to accelerate readiness and adoption of the Industrial Revolution 4.0 (IR4.0)—the Internet of Things, robotics, nanotechnology, virtual reality, augmented reality, machine learning, advanced visualization, 3D printing, and predictive analytics. We need to adopt new models to take advantage of these technologies and data analytics. Based on this, we, as the main professional society serving the upstream sector of our industry, need to focus our technical knowledge collection and dissemination strategy through our events and publications to meet the expectations of our industry and our members in these areas. We also want to reach out to the data scientists and other domain experts joining our industry to demonstrate the value of being part of the SPE community.
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