Dear SPE Aberdeen members, colleagues and friends,
Last month my colleagues on the SPE Aberdeen board approved my selection and I ascended to the chair position, taking over the reins from Kenny McAllister. I took that first step into a larger world and am most grateful for the opportunity. Kenny has undoubtedly steered the SPE Aberdeen ship through the most difficult and strange times that I think every single one of us has ever experienced. Thankyou Kenny, it was a pleasure to serve with you and I hope I can call on your continued support in future.
Where are we now?
I hate to use the now hackneyed phrase of “unprecedented events”, but we really are looking at a totally different landscape and outlook to that of 18 months ago. We’ve all endured hardship and had to make sacrifices along the way, hopefully the latest news suggests a return of “normality” and certainly much more freedom to go about our daily lives. Our industry continues to attract negative press, exacerbated by the energy transition, whereas we “in-the-know” understand the vitally important part the Oil & Gas industry will play on the road to Net Zero.
I start my tenure as Chair with optimism given that we have just entered a new phase which sees the further reduction of restrictions from the past 18 months. Gradually things will gather pace, social and technical events will return, deferred projects will be greenlit and we can take stock and plan our course of action for the next few years.
When lockdown occurred, we transferred all our programmes to virtual and hosted several online events, we had two choices, go digital or shut down. I hope you agree we made the correct choice. Now that meeting in public and large gatherings are viable (and lawful), we have options for our output going forward. We learned a lot on how to organise and deliver webinars and digital events, and we’ve had very positive feedback. My question to the members is what do you want for this session and beyond? We could return to a familiar SPE Aberdeen diary, as we used to do, but we need to gauge the appetite for people jumping back into large scale events. We need to understand the Operator’s guidelines on attending events, whether exhibitors and delegates will show up in their numbers to make the event worthwhile for all involved. There’s a fine line in making conferences and exhibitions commercially viable. SPE Aberdeen is a not-for-profit society, but we do aim to generate surpluses to re-invest into outreach programmes for the next generation of engineers and scientists.
We will shortly announce a date for our annual Section kick-off event, you should receive a short survey asking a few questions about how we shape what we do. Please take the time to have a look and fill it in, we need member’s feedback and everyone that responds will be entered into a draw. If you would like to be involved with SPE Aberdeen either as a volunteer or simply contributing to one or more of our technical events, please get in touch.
I have always considered my volunteering with SPE as a hobby, something I enjoy and therefore have invested significant time and effort over the years. I fully appreciate not everyone has the luxury of time and therefore if you can only spare an hour a month, that hour would be greatly received and appreciated. We’re a member led society, each member has the same rights as everyone else, and each member can make a difference. I look forward to your support over the next session.
If I can be of any assistance to any member, please get in touch.
Stay happy and healthy in 2021,
SPE Aberdeen Chair