SPE News

In Memoriam: Amir (Sam) Sarem

This section lists with regret SPE members who recently passed away.

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This section lists with regret SPE members who recently passed away. If you would like to report the passing of a family member who was an SPE member, please write to service@spe.org.

Amir (Sam) Sarem, a SPE Distinguished Member, well-known technical orator, and supporter of the SPE Foundation, died 10 May. He was 90.

Sarem was a seasoned scientist, lecturer, author, engineer, consultant, and manager in the petroleum industry for more than 40 years. He was widely known for his problem-solving skills and contributions to technology transfer and continuing education in the industry. Sarem received his PhD in engineering science in 1964 from the University of Oklahoma, and began his long career with Unocal in Brea, California. He was later a lecturer at University of Southern California and the president of Improved Petroleum Recovery Consultants.

A subject matter expert, Sarem held research, technology, and management positions in many technical fields, including reservoir characterization, natural gas engineering, reservoir engineering, transient well testing, and enhanced oil recovery. He was the author of more than 20 technical publications and 30 patents. A sought-after public speaker and Toastmaster, he presented more than 100 technical talks worldwide with speaking knowledge of Russian, French, Spanish, German, and Arabic and fluency in English and Farsi.

Sarem held many leadership positions at SPE over his career, both internationally and at regional sections. He was SPE Director Western North America Region during 2009–2012 and chairman of SPE Los Angeles Basin Section during 1997–1998 and vice chairperson during 1996–1997. He was a member of the Ambassador Lecturer, Editorial Review, Global Training, and Twenty-Five Year Club SPE committees. He recruited more than 100 members to SPE and judged several student paper contests. Sarem was a SPE Distinguished Author and an SPE Distinguished Lecturer. He was the recipient of the SPE Regional Service Award in 1990 and honored with SPE Distinguished Membership in 2013. He was a charter member of the SPE Foundation Omega Association, which recognizes friends of SPE who have contributed $10,000 to the Foundation.

Sarem was a Fellow of the Institute for Advancement of Engineering and a past president of the Orange County Engineering Council.