Season’s Greetings and a Happy New Year! Let’s Pay It Forward To Grow the PFC Discipline

Season’s Greetings and wishing you and yours a Happy New Year and all the very best for a healthy, rewarding, and enjoyable 2020.

Bob Pearson, Production and Facilities Technical Director

It’s also the time of year for renewal of your SPE membership. While renewing, you’ll notice

  • There is some excellent new information on the benefits of membership, including a video clip by Ahmed Abou-Sayed.
  • You are encouraged to select a Secondary Discipline in your Profile, in addition to your Primary Discipline.
  • There are several additional Technical Sections within SPE Connect that you may want to join, including a recently introduced Flow Measurement Technical Section. You only need to do it once a year to participate in all your areas of interest. 

Not surprisingly, the reinvigorated Water Life Cycle and Strategy Technical Section is now the largest and most rapidly growing community within our discipline. (Actually, this TS is drawing members from both our discipline and the HSE & Sustainability community.) The rapid growth reflects growing stakeholder concerns over the competition for access to low-salinity water and a desire to see more water recycled and/or treated for beneficial usage by other industries, as well as the environmental risks posed by saltwater spills and/or trace contaminants in water that is dumped at sea.

The Unmanned Systems Technical Section has also expanded its remit to address the increasing use of drones for monitoring and inspection. This offers significant benefits in terms of the rate and cost of data collection, as well as the HSE risk profile, especially in confined spaces. 

As you know, I came into this role from a production and operations and field development planning background, so I am on a crash course to get to grips with all the advances in projects, facilities, and construction (PFC) in the 21st century. I am already thinking about how to best divide my time at the 2020 Offshore Technology Conference between the exhibitions, technical presentations, and panel sessions.

Several of our PFC colleagues had commented that it was no longer apparent how to get research-based papers published in a peer-reviewed SPE technical journal.

  • The most direct route is to submit your proposed paper to the SPE Production & Operations Journal.

  • As many academics already know, the SPE Journal delivers the highest impact, but it is intended for the very best of the best, so the competition for that space is stiff. As a result, a paper submitted to the SPE Journal may be rerouted to the Production and Operations Journal by the review team.

If you have not visited PetroWiki recently, I encourage you to do so and participate in the updating process. It is now easier to edit the content and/or to recommend additional references. The PetroWiki Committee is also looking for advice on the gaps and for contributions of new content that will help neophytes, students, and young professionals to get up to speed with the fundamentals … or remind senior professionals such as myself how much things have changed since the turn of the century.

And, while you are thinking about opportunities to give back or pay it forward to help the next generation of professionals during the lull pending year-end budget revisions, why not try writing some questions for the PetroBowl Competition? The organizing committee is inviting volunteers globally to contribute questions in order to broaden the geographical diversity of the question set. Better still, why not organize a local question-writing session with other members of our discipline within your local section. The PetroBowl organizers can send you all the necessary details for this, so please contact

Finally, like many of you, I am currently overwhelmed by the process of nominating deserving colleagues for SPE Regional and International Awards: prior to the submission deadlines:

  • International Award Nominations close on 15 February 2020.

  • Regional Award Nominations close on 1 March 2020.




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