SPE News

Back to (Large) In-Person Meetings

The Offshore Technology Conference drew nearly 25,000 participants, showing renewed interest in in-person meetings following the successful ADIPEC and IPTC conferences.

Attendees during OTC 22
Todd Buchanan 2022.

The Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) was held in Houston in May with nearly 25,000 visitors and participants after other successful conferences in the past 6 months including ADIPEC in Abu Dhabi and IPTC in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. While the OTC participation was significantly below its historical levels, the number of abstracts submitted, the quality of the presentations, the participation in sessions, and booth traffic were outstanding. I was invited to give a keynote speech on perspectives on the energy transition, and I also coauthored three technical papers, which I always enjoy.

OTC provides an annual opportunity to recognize individuals and organizations in the offshore industry. My congratulations go to industry veteran Drew Michel (formerly with Shell) for his leadership in the development of remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) and the founding of the Marine Advanced Technology Education ROV competition; Shell for the development of its deepest and most complex deepwater project (Appomattox), which saw the deployment of innovative emissions-reduction technologies; and Roland Moreau (former SPE Technical Director for HSES) for his outstanding contribution in the improvement of safety performance measurements and practices.

OTC is also an opportunity to recognize emerging leaders who are making key contributions to the offshore industry. I was impressed by the diversity of award recipients this year, a clear indication of the progress made by the industry in this area, although much remains to be accomplished.

Emerging Leaders Program recognizes young professionals
The OTC Emerging Leaders Program recognizes young professionals with fewer than 10 years of experience who are making key contributions to the offshore energy sector.
Todd Buchanan 2022

In a series on leadership, the consulting firm McKinsey said its report, “Diversity Wins. How Inclusion Matters,” has been following the trajectory of hundreds of companies in the past decade. The series shows that companies with more than 30% women on their executive teams are significantly more likely to outperform those with between 10 and 30% women, and these companies in turn are more likely to outperform those with fewer or no women executives. As a result, there is a substantial performance differential of 48% between the most and least gender-diverse companies.

An important element in diversity and inclusion is ensuring equal compensation practices. Recently, Schlumberger released an analysis of its salaries across geographies and functions which showed a global pay gap of 2.68% in favor of men.

The SPE Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) committee’s vision, established in 2020, is to advance SPE’s commitment to diversity and inclusion within the oil and gas community through collaboration and education. Thanks to the great efforts of SPE volunteers, several D&I section committees have been created around the world, greatly contributing to enhancing the image of our industry. I encourage our members to support them and create other committees.

In May, I discussed the trends in SPE membership and showed some of the factors that impact it. The most important is the industry’s spending in E&P with a lag of several months between activity pickup and member re-enrollment. Industry forecasts indicate an increase in investment in the order of 20% in 2022 compared to 2021, which would be one of the highest in the past 2 decades. I encourage our members to participate in the drives made by sections to attract new talent to SPE.

Finally, I mentioned in my April column the launch of the new SPE Strategic Plan. This is an exercise undertaken by SPE leadership with a periodicity of around 4 years which is aimed at gathering the perspectives and expectations of our members around the world in an evolving (energy, oil and gas) world. This strategic plan comes after a pandemic crisis that has not only impacted the world over the past year, but also will have implications on how people work, learn, and interact. There are other important factors such as energy sustainability and security that must be factored in SPE’s offering. I look forward to your active participation.

As always, I welcome your feedback at president@spe.org.