2014 ATCE: Energizing E&P Worldwide

Source: Getty Images.

SPE’s 2014 Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition (ATCE) will be held at the Amsterdam RAI Exhibition and Convention Centre in Amsterdam, Netherlands, during 27–29 October. Since the first ATCE in 1924, this is the second time its venue will be in Europe. The conference features more than 300 exhibitors; workshops, events, and competitions for students and young professionals; more than 400 peer-selected technical papers; training courses; and networking events.

Opening General Session

The topic of the opening general session on Monday, 27 October, is “Affordable Energy.” Experts on the panel will discuss ways to keep energy costs down as operators are forced to spend more, now that so-called easy oil is scarcer. The discussion will also tackle the consequences of rapid growth in population and consumption, and their effects on the price of energy. The cost of regulations, water use, and environmental incidents will also be discussed.

Special Sessions


Eight special sessions will be held during the conference. On the event’s first afternoon, 2014 SPE President Jeff Spath will provide an introduction at the Sustainability Task Force Special Session, “People, Profit, Planet: Advancing Practices That Balance Economic Growth, Social Development, and Environmental Protection Today and in the Future.” During the 3-hour session, panelists will discuss issues involving local content, stakeholder engagement, and strategic social investment. Panelists include Alyson Warhurst, Maplecroft; Annette Stube, Maersk Group; Stephen Newton, Equitable Origins; and Egbert Imomoh, 2013 SPE President.

Also held Monday afternoon, a Separation Technology Special Session, titled “Unlocking Hidden Production Potential in Existing Facilities and Mature Fields,” will keep with the opening session theme of affordable energy. The session will explore options for optimizing separation facilities to handle the increase in water production and drop in wellhead pressure by assessing methods that better suit the change in production profiles. Solutions explored will emphasize utilizing existing facilities while applying suitable, cost-effective upgrades. Panelists include Ed Grave, ExxonMobil Upstream Research Company; Carlos Quintero, Total; Ian Charles Bedwell, Maxoil Solutions; and Remko Westra, FMC Technologies.

Tuesday morning offers attendees a choice between two sessions. During “Aging Assets in the North Sea Sector: Three Different Perspectives,” the panel will discuss the future of assets and infrastructure in the North Sea. Panelists include Robert Davenport, Apache; and John L. Hand, ConocoPhillips. The other session, titled “Assessing Environmental Impacts to Groundwater, Air, and Our Global Community,” includes the following panelists: Ann Smith, GSI Environmental; David B. Burnett, Texas A&M University, Susan K. Stuver, Institute for Renewable Natural Resources; and Gerhard Thonhauser, University of Leoben.

A special session Tuesday afternoon explores the topic “CO2-EOR as a Pathway for Carbon Capture, Use, and Storage.” Its panelists include Michael Lewis Godec, Advanced Resources International; Richard M. Blincow, Denbury Resources; and Dou Hong’en, PetroChina.

Three special sessions will be held Wednesday morning. “Flow Assurance and Multiphase Flow” will seek answers to the questions “Why should we worry about multiphase flows? If so, to what degree, when, and where?” Panelists include Gert van Spronsen, Shell; Chris Lawrence, Schlumberger; Bahman Tohidi, Heriot-Watt University; Thierry Palermo, Total; Emile Leporcher, Eni Norge; and Tom Danielson, ConocoPhillips.

The second Wednesday morning session, titled “Drilling Modeling and Simulation,” will cover such topics as the current state of drilling process simulation software and simulators, and simulator concepts from the aerospace and automotive industries. Panelists include G.P. Ostermeyer, Braunschweig Technical University; Robello Samuel, Halliburton; Geoffrey C. Downton, Schlumberger; Colin J. Mason, BP Exploration; John Hedengren, Brigham Young University; and Paul E. Pastusek, ExxonMobil Development Company.

“The Oil and Gas Industry’s Image: Knowledge vs Perception” is Wednesday morning’s third session. Panelists—Deborah Shields, Colorado State University; Frank Schuller, Trinity College, Oxford University; and Pete Smith, University of Aberdeen—will discuss the role hydrocarbons play in everyday life and the cross-discipline and cross-market challenges faced by the oil and gas industry.


Four luncheon events will take place during ATCE 2014:

Luncheon Events

  • Haldorsen
    Monday—Chairman’s Luncheon featuring ATCE 2014 General Chair Matthias Bichsel, director projects and technology, Shell
  • Tuesday—SPE Research and Development Technical Section Topical Luncheon, “Emerging Technologies in Exploration and Production”
  • Tuesday—SPE Wellbore Positioning Technical Section Topical Luncheon, “Why Did Your Reservoir Just Move?”
  • Wednesday—President’s Luncheon and Annual Meeting of Members. During the event, Spath will pass the SPE presidential gavel to 2015 SPE President Helge Haldorsen of Statoil.

Several Special Events

Sunday morning includes two events for SPE student members. The Student Meet and Greet will have special activities that help students meet and get to know other students from around the world. Afterward, the Student General Session and Awards Luncheon will be held. At the luncheon, SPE will honor Gold Standard Achievement Student Chapter winners, regional winners for SPE Outstanding Student Chapter, and scholarship winners.

On Sunday afternoon, SPE’s Drilling Systems Automation Technical Section will host a session titled “Automation: Perspectives.” ­Pietro Baglioni, ExoMars Rover manager at the European Space Agency and Andrew Bowyer of Magna Parva will give their perspectives on automation issues and the role automation—including ultrasonic drilling technology—will play in investigating the Martian environment during the 2018 ExoMars mission. Four panelists will then give their perspectives on drilling systems automation in the oil and gas industry—where it is now, where it is going, barriers, and opportunities.

The SPE Research and Development Technical Section Dinner will be held Sunday evening. In addition, SPE’s Digital Energy Technical Section Dinner will also be held.

All day Monday the 13th annual Student PetroBowl competition will be held, during which SPE student chapter teams from universities around the world compete in a tournament-style contest that tests knowledge of the E&P industry and SPE.

Monday morning, SPE’s 25-Year Club will host a breakfast featuring a keynote presentation. The club is open daily and has a special lounge for members with 25 years or more of continuous membership, Century Club members, current and former SPE board officers and directors, and this year’s SPE International Award winners and Distinguished Lecturers.

That afternoon, many colleges and universities will hold alumni receptions, planned to coincide with ATCE 2014.

A reception for ATCE attendees will be held at the Van Gogh Museum Monday evening. Also that evening, SPE’s Petroleum Data-Driven Analytics Technical Section Reception will be held.

Tuesday includes a daylong offering of four soft skills workshops, organized by SPE’s Soft Skills and Talent councils and Young Professionals Coordinating Committee. Participants will learn ways to sharpen nontechnical professional skills to help them excel in their careers. There are two morning-long options: Workshop I focuses on the impact of intrinsic motivation on business results; Workshop II focuses on communication. Both are followed by a lunch. The afternoon also features two options: Workshop III covers building beneficial relationships and Workshop IV focuses on opportunities for young professionals in oil and gas.

All day Tuesday, the International Student Paper Contest will be held, with undergraduate and master’s divisions competing that morning and the PhD division in the afternoon.

The Young Professionals’ Reception will be held late that afternoon. That evening, SPE’s Annual Reception and Banquet will be held, at which SPE recognizes outstanding members who have made significant contributions to the industry. SPE’s Projects, Facilities, and Construction Technical Section Dinner will also be held.

On Wednesday, SPE’s energy4me energy education outreach program offers a complimentary workshop for teachers and a complimentary energy event for students. The teacher workshop includes a tour of ATCE’s oil and gas technology exhibits, hands-on classroom activities appropriate for teachers with students from 8 to 18 years of age, and instructional materials for teachers to take back to their classrooms. The energy event for students includes hands-on energy exploration experiments for students ages 15 and older, a scavenger hunt tour of ATCE’s oil and gas exhibits, and energy career materials they can take home.

For more information on the conference, please go to

2014 ATCE: Energizing E&P Worldwide

Jack Betz, JPT Staff Writer

01 September 2014

Volume: 66 | Issue: 9

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