SPE News

SPE Board of Directors Approves 2023 Strategic Plan

Fueling the success of SPE members and the future of the oil and gas industry.

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Strategic planning is something that the SPE Board of Directors undertakes about every 4-5 years. It is the responsibility of the Board to consider external factors and the needs of our members and chart SPE’s strategic direction. SPE’s last strategic plan was completed in 2018 The pandemic severely affected SPE’s ability to make progress in some of the areas identified and also created both new challenges and new opportunities.

This time the emphasis is on envisioning the future of SPE post pandemic and navigating the changes in the industry that are expected due to the evolving role of oil and gas due to the “energy transition.” Additionally, the war in Ukraine has led to heightened concerns about energy security and affordability. The Board, with help from Tecker International consultants, spent much of the planning period seeking feedback from members across the globe. The Board reached out to members through the following:

  • One-on-one virtual interviews with a sample of members of the SPE Foundation Board of Trustees, members and chairs of SPE committees, industry members/key sponsors, academia, and SPE section leaders
  • Focus groups with members, including past presidents, advisory councils, young professionals, and academicians
  • SPE Connect General Discussion community where questions were posted for member feedback
  • Online survey with mostly open-ended questions that was advertised to all members through JPT, monthly and publication newsletters, and on SPE.org
  • Session at ATCE where attendees could ask questions and make comments.

The feedback highlighted the diversity of views of the membership partially based on where they live, where they work, and their career stage. Views ranged from the Society’s future focus being petroleum only to a future name change and expansion beyond petroleum. It was the responsibility of the Board members to navigate the diversity of feedback and set a path that would align membership and sustain SPE for the future.

Despite the diversity of opinions, six key areas received broad support as key to SPE’s future. These were:

  • Technology development in oil and gas (including sustainable technologies)
  • Challenges in maximizing oil and gas production and recovery
  • Energy transition and our place in it
  • Challenges in lowering carbon footprint and minimizing emissions
  • Concern for attracting and preparing a next generation workforce
  • Industry reputation and public perception.

These top concerns recognize the importance of oil and gas in meeting the world’s energy needs for the foreseeable future. They also reflect concern about how the energy transition will happen, how we will have the workers needed to meet future energy needs, and how any of that can happen when public perception of the industry is poor. These are the areas that the Board chose to focus on in crafting the new strategic plan.

The Mission
Out of the exercise, there were modifications made to the SPE mission, vision, and core values. The current SPE mission has changed only slightly since 1984 when SPE was preparing to become an independent society from AIME. The Board was very thoughtful about making changes to the mission while adapting to our industry’s new realities. The modified mission does not change the core of SPE, but recognizes that our strength lies in bringing together a global community to achieve our goals. It also highlights the importance of oil and gas to the future and the need to embrace related energy resources. This is reflected in the new mission statement:

To connect a global community of engineers, scientists, and related energy professionals to exchange knowledge, innovate, and advance their technical and professional competence regarding the exploration, development, and production of oil and gas and related energy resources to achieve a safe, secure, and sustainable energy future.

The revised vision encompasses the industry’s role in the world energy mix:

SPE advances the oil and gas producing and related energy communities’ ability to meet the world’s energy needs in a safe, secure, and sustainable manner.

The core values were not significantly changed but added more context to the previous statement of values.

SPE is committed to:

  • Technical Excellence and Professionalism – committed to innovation, life-long learning, and the highest standards of professional conduct and expertise.
  • Member Focus – consistently provide accessible, relevant resources to help members thrive in the ever-evolving energy industry.
  • Global Scale & Local Relevance – leverage insights and resources to better serve member needs both globally and locally.
  • Collaboration – dedicated to knowledge dissemination and exchange to solve complex problems through internal and external networking and volunteer opportunities.
  • Diversity & Inclusion – a community that embraces diversity and inclusion as essential to the success of our industry and society.
  • Environmental and Social Stewardship – leadership to achieve a safe, secure, and sustainable energy future.

Strategic Goals
The 2023 Strategic Plan focuses on goals related to the many stakeholders who are essential to SPE’s continued success. This is the first time that the strategic plan has differentiated between these stakeholders and focused goals and objectives on engaging them with SPE now and in the future. The approach taken was to envision the future outcomes that we would like to achieve in our relationship with each stakeholder group. In achieving these aspirational goals, the core of SPE doesn’t change, but we reflect the realities of the evolution of our industry and our changing relationship with these stakeholder groups.

SPE’s envisioned future starts with Professional Members and how to enable them to develop skills to meet current and evolving energy needs. We envision that:

  • Professional members rely on SPE as a resource to share technical knowledge and develop their capabilities to meet evolving energy industry needs.
  • Professional members actively contribute to SPE initiatives, recognizing the professional and personal value of volunteering and contributing to the greater good.
  • Professional members contribute and encourage writing technical papers for SPE conferences and to enrich OnePetro in all relevant energy-related activities.
  • SPE Professional members mentor early career professionals and advise student members to help ensure the world’s energy needs are met for future generations.

The Strategic Plan identifies Oil-and-Gas Producing and Related Companies as major stakeholders that enable their staff to participate in SPE events and activities, pay employee dues, and support the Society. We envision that:

  • Oil and gas producing and related companies look to the SPE for the dissemination of knowledge, insights, shared expertise, life-long learning, and support.
  • Oil and gas producing and related companies achieve the educational needs of their professional staff through SPE programs and services.
  • SPE provides a platform to help oil and gas producing and related companies enhance productivity, inspire innovative thinking, and improve the recovery of oil and gas resources in a safe, secure, and sustainable manner.

The landscape has changed for SPE’s Sponsors, Exhibitors, and Advertisers
in terms of how they choose to spend their money and what they expect in return on investment. SPE will adapt to this new landscape and deliver value to ensure continued support from these stakeholders. We envision:

  • Sponsors, exhibitors, and advertisers have a strong relationship with SPE and its members, providing an excellent return on their investment with SPE.
  • They engage with members at multiple levels via different platforms to demonstrate their services and provide knowledge and professional development opportunities.
  • SPE's dynamic relationship with sponsors, exhibitors, and advertisers enables them to connect to customers, forge relationships and sell products and services.

Educational Institutions and Educators are at the core of SPE and what it does. Envisioning the future of education for students entering the oil and gas industry and other related energy sectors is a key collaboration goal with institutions and educators. We envision:

  • Educational institutions and educators consider SPE the definitive resource to publish and disseminate their research to the industry.
  • Educational institutions collaborate through SPE to adapt their curricula to meet the needs of students entering the oil and gas and other related energy sectors.

External Stakeholders for SPE can be identified as the public, government entities, teachers, and young students. These stakeholders control access to resources and grant us a social license to operate in their communities. While we will continue to refrain from political activities, we envision that:

  • SPE provides resources to demonstrate the benefits of oil and gas in daily life in order to enable members to communicate the positive value to stakeholders and the public.
  • SPE is a technical resource for and engages with external stakeholders including governments and regulators to educate them about the industry.
  • SPE educates teachers and students about the value of the oil and gas industry.
  • SPE is viewed as an apolitical resource for industry information and expertise.

What is Next?
Next on the Board’s agenda is to develop specific implementation plans that will move the Society toward this envisioned future for SPE. These implementation plans will be the focus of the Board and SPE staff over the coming months and years and will also support the improvement of SPE’s financial position. We will continue to keep everyone informed of our plans and progress so that together we can meet our members needs and takes SPE into the future.