SPE kicks-off IT and R&D Sections

Society of Petroleum Engineers targets the digital oilfield and oil and gas technology research.

At its Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition in San Antonio last month, the Society of Petroleum Engineers inaugurated two new Sections targeting information technology and R&D. IT Technical Section Chairman Mehrzad Mahdavi, describing the section as being ‘about the digital oilfield,’ said, ‘We’ve got CIO, presidents of IT, and senior VP from companies like Chevron, ExxonMobil, Total, Occidental Petroleum, and Petrobras on the committee.’


IT Section founder and ExxonMobil CIO Steve Comstock said, ‘IM and KM are a huge part of a petroleum engineer’s job today. With the IT section, we want to create an environment which supports these new career paths.’ Some vendors queried why they had not as yet been invited to the IT party. Mahdavi, who is VP global security with Schlumberger, intimated that the founders preferred to keep initial access to oil companies.


The inaugural meeting of the R&D Technical Section drew a crowd of 80. Section goals include providing a forum, promoting and targeting R&D and technology for the petroleum industry. A nominating committee is drafting a slate of potential officers with voting scheduled for mid November. The section will be supporting the SPE 2007 Research & Development Conference to be held in April 2007 in San Antonio.

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