Guidelines for Setting Up a Successful SPE Young E&P Professionals Program

The Young E&P Professionals (YEPP) program is a global initiative backed by SPE that focuses on its young members and the development of their technical and interpersonal skills. SPE believes that the participation of young professionals in this program will translate to the strengthening and growth of SPE and our industry. The YEPP program is aimed at degree-qualified professionals of age 35 or younger, working in the oil and gas industry with fewer than 10 years of experience. The following guidelines are a collaboration drawn up by young professionals and the editorial board of TWA.


SPE provides young oil and gas professionals with an attractive and stimulating environment that will aid in their personal and professional growth. SPE aspires to build a resource base of qualified and dedicated leaders, from which it can draw to strengthen the organization, industry, and the general perception of the industry.

SPE is already active and successful in getting experienced professionals and students involved in the Society’s activities. It recognizes the importance of our young members who will be the leaders of the industry in the future. In the last few years, SPE age distribution shows:

  • A "no grow" trend in the 20-30 age group (students and young professionals).
  • A decreasing membership in the 30–40 age group (young professionals).
  • A growing trend for age groups above 40 (experienced professionals).


Through a variety of programs and events:

1. Promote young professionals within SPE.

2. Support young professionals in their careers through mentoring (by senior industry professionals) and developing their personal and professional skills.

3. Engage and develop the leadership potential of young professionals to prepare them for the challenge of leading the industry.


1. Personal and professional growth—Individuals, companies, and the industry will benefit.

2. Encourage active membership of young professionals in SPE—Represent their perspectives and interests; promote young professionals as the active interface between:

a. Student chapters and experienced professionals within SPE.

b. Universities and the oil and gas industry.

3. Identify and develop future leaders for SPE and industry—Recognize and affirm the leadership potential of young members by offering them greater responsibility and opportunities within SPE.

4. Networking—Promote networking among young professionals and within SPE. This will enable the sharing of ideas, knowledge, and experience so that they can fully prepare themselves for the challenges that lie ahead.

5. Innovation/Creativity—To capture new ideas and initiatives from young professionals and support them within SPE.

The objectives of the YEPP program are achieved through local YEPP sections, which are sponsored by local SPE Sections. The full support of the local SPE section is vital to ensure the success of any YEPP program. These guidelines are an attempt to capture a range of YEPP Section best practices from several existing YEPP Sections around the world. Bear in mind that what works or does not work is not the same for all Sections. It is recommended that when setting up a new YEPP Section, contact be made with established Sections that can provide guidance. The organization of the new Section then can be tailored to local requirements. YEPP Section contacts can be found in this publication or on the YEPP Network (see

YEPP Section Operations

1. Dedicated Board—A local dedicated YEPP Board for co-coordinating the young professionals’ activities should be organized, consisting of motivated young professionals to work under the supervision of the Section Board of Directors. Young members take leadership roles in planning and co-coordinating the activities for young members, giving them valuable experience in those roles and exposing them to Section operations and volunteering within a professional organization. Guidelines for YEPP Board setup, structure, and activities follow:

a. Constitution: One or two Chairpersons will be appointed by the Section Board of Directors. They will alternate as liaison for the YEPP Board and community with the Section Board of Directors. Chairpersons identify the remaining Board members.

b. Board members: Optimum number is 5–10 members. They should preferably represent all SPE technical groups (Drilling and Completions; Facilities and Construction; Health, Safety, and Environment; Management and Information; Production and Operations; and Reservoir Description and Dynamics). Domination of the Board by one company should be avoided. The presence of one representative from the local Student Chapters may assist with including student perspectives. The age limit for Board members is 35.

c. Board meetings: The frequency of Board meetings should be tailored to Board members’ needs. A monthly meeting is recommended. During each meeting, the following should be addressed:

i. Past activities: Discuss outcome, and evaluate feedback from participants and organizers.

ii. Future plans: In light of the findings from Point i, ideas are proposed for new activities.

Discussions during each meeting should be captured and circulated among Board members and the Section Board of Directors.

d. Structure: If a structured YEPP Board is desired, a suggested arrangement follows. The Board can be organized into two groups:

i. Organization: Organizes meetings and workshops and prepares cost estimates for submission to the Section Board of Directors for approval.

ii. Publicity, Communications, and Membership: Promotes the events via e-mails, posters, etc. Monitors and encourages SPE membership within the YEPP community. Tip: Hand out feedback forms during each workshop. Pay attention to comments and attendance. Make results public through newsletters to participants.

2. Budgets and Sponsorship—Approach Section Board at start of term with an outline of the YEPP Board budget. Funds can be allocated in advance, and an estimate of any required sponsorship can be identified. Organizing activities can have significant associated costs. Local companies can be approached to provide financial support. By financing YEPP activities, companies are promoting the development of their young resources and getting publicity in return (company logos shown at all events, on fliers, electronic newsletters and invitations, section publications, etc.). Update sponsoring companies on the activities organized.

3. Activities—Several activities should be promoted and organized by the Board, depending on the available manpower and funds:

a. Workshops—Providing professional and technical development. These provide an effective balance between learning and creativity/fun. Frequency can be monthly or bimonthly. For topics that have proved to be interesting and successful in drawing an audience, see articles in TWA or contact chairpersons of existing YEPP sections.

b. Social events—Social gatherings such as happy hours, dinners, and sporting activities should be considered to promote networking.

c. Field trips—Technical field trips (e.g. platform/facilities visits, geology field trips) should be considered as a practical way of educating young professionals and promoting networking.

d. Bulletin—Regular bulletins to keep people informed of local and international activities are very important. These may also describe the Board initiatives and goals, provide feedback on recent activities, and contain a dedicated section for the sponsors.

e. Website—It is imperative that Sections have the means and opportunity to share experiences. The Young Exploration and Production Professionals Network on is an effective tool for this purpose. It is fundamental that the information be updated as frequently as possible to make it a reliable source of information.


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