Your SPE: Developing the SPE Partnership in Russia
- Leo Roodhart (2009 SPE President)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Journal of Petroleum Technology
- Publication Date
- December 2008
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 12 - 12
- 2008. 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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After a fascinating trip to China, which I wrote about last month, the next stop on my global travels was Moscow. The local members were looking forward to the forthcoming SPE Russian Oil and Gas Technical Conference and Exhibition, where up to 3,000 delegates were expected, more than double the numbers two years ago when the first event was held.
I am a strong advocate of diversity among SPE members, ultimately to develop a richer and stronger society. We need to be mindful of different cultures and behaviours and discover ways to reach mutually acceptable solutions. For example, it is essential to understand something about the Russian culture in order to engage in a meaningful discussion about SPE, business, or life in general. Certain SPE values and principles, such as volunteerism, impartiality, non-commercialism and free exchange of information, are not as well understood in Russia. Indeed, I have been told that there is no Russian word for volunteerism—just as there is no Dutch word for embarrassment, so I was able happily to continue conversations that others might find awkward.
During my stay, I met with Moscow Section officers and senior personnel at Lukoil (Mr. Ravil Ulfatovich Maganov, First Vice President), Russneft (Mr. Alexander Ledonidovich Korsik, Chairman of the Board), Rosneft (Mr. Alexey Kuznetsov, Vice President of Innovation), Statoil/Hydro (Bengt Lie Hansen, President), Shell (Frank Denelle), Gazprom Academy of Technological Sciences (Prof. Boris Alexandrovich Nikitin, President), Schlumberger (Maurice Dujolle), and Weatherford (Mr. Kamil Zakirov, Vice President for Russia & CIS). All companies welcomed SPE’s presence in Russia and promised to support our activities. Lukoil has purchased a subscription to the SPE eLibrary. Some companies plan to award their staff SPE membership in recognition of professional achievement—SPE membership will be seen as a privilege and an honour. It became clear to me that quality rather than quantity is the key to membership recruitment, focusing on people who see the benefits of becoming part of an international organization. These people are likely to be aged 40 and under and are likely to have some fluency in English.
For some Russian members, however, particularly the older ones, SPE really adds value only if everything is translated into Russian. All meetings, workshops, and conferences are equipped with simultaneous translation, which allows for the exchange of information between Russian presenters and their English-speaking counterparts and vice versa. This means that the SPE Russian Oil and Gas Technical Conference and Exhibition, for example, can accommodate an international line-up of speakers. And, SPE has just launched a bi-monthly online Russian-language newsletter, called SPE Review: Russia and the Caspian, containing some of the excellent Russian papers presented at various SPE events in recent years. All members in Russia and any Russian-speaking members else-where will benefit from access to this information.
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