SPE Delta Section Awards and Recognition Banquet

Keynote Speaker: Dr. Eric Smith
Keynote Address: “A Bridge too Far?"



Eric Smith is a Professor of Practice at the A.B. Freeman School of Business at Tulane University. He also serves as the Associate Director of the Tulane Energy Institute. He works with various professors on interdisciplinary projects involving energy issues. He also works with Houston and New Orleans engineering firms and with various regional teams focused on economic development. He teaches both undergraduate and graduate energy courses.

He is a 1965 Chemical Engineering graduate of the Georgia Institute of Technology and earned an MBA, in 1967, from the A. B. Freeman School at Tulane University. In addition to fourteen years of full time academic/advisory experience, he has thirty six years of operational experience, first, in the downstream petrochemical industry, starting in 1967, and since 1984, in the offshore drilling and construction sectors. During that time, he participated in arranging three IPOs, the largest being a combined primary-secondary offering for Saipem. He also was the head of Saipem’s US subsidiary during the installation of Hoover-Diana, Exxon’s first major deep water structure.

He has served as a consultant to Louisiana’s Department of Economic Development as well as to Greater New Orleans, Inc. the regional economic development group. In addition, he is the Energy committee chairman of the World Trade Center of New Orleans. On occasion, he has also supported reverse trade missions involving energy options for Pakistan, South Africa, Nigeria and Ghana; all sponsored by the US Trade Development Agency. Finally, he acts as Tulane’s media spokesman for energy issues.

He is author or co-author of numerous reports dealing with LNG, Natural Gas Liquids, changes in the offshore construction market, Louisiana’s relative competitiveness in industrial power generation, the use of petroleum coke as a fuel for the domestic power generation market; and reports that deal with the positive economic impact of US shale on the Louisiana and Gulf Coast economies.

Keynote Address: “A Bridge too Far?"


Sometimes it’s a good idea to go back and look at earlier predictions and forecasts with a focus on where we were right, in terms of direction, but perhaps “off” in terms of timing. In addition, we can examine those new developments, during the intervening years that have changed our earlier forecast and conclusions. For example, in May, 2015, we were seeing a rise in domestic capital spending for new olefins and polymerization plants, but the direct premise of the need for continued availability the NGLs derived from associated gas in oil shale production took a little longer to come to the fore.

Similarly, on the geopolitical front, we were all concerned about US presidential election as well as the inexorable demise of the Venezuelan economy, but with the collapse eminent, we are just beginning to come up with alternate sources of supply, including new pipeline routes, to get the heavy crude the Gulf Coast refineries require while also arranging for more effective exports of the light sweet crude we produce in abundance. Obviously, we are all interested in the long term future of the deep water Gulf of Mexico, including possible adjustments in the use of LOOP as well as the reversal of the Cap Line pipeline system and the escalating difficulties in getting any pipelines approved in the face of “keep it in the ground” activists.


   fromthechair      Welcome to May!   

         This will be last newsletter for the 2017-2018 active session for the Delta Section Chapter and will be returning in September 2018. As we close out this session we will recognize the efforts and contributions of various members at the Annual Awards Banquet to be held on Tuesday, May 22nd at the Sheraton Metairie New Orleans Hotel. College scholarship recipients will be congratulated and introduced to the audience. Last year’s banquet had a great turn out and we are looking forward to seeing you there. Please join us and celebrate your colleagues’ accomplishments.

        This month’s technical luncheon topic will be presented by a SPE Distinguished Lecturer, R Scot Buell. His topic, “Waterflood Design and Operational Best Practices,” should prove to be an interesting one to witness. And note that we are having a change of venue for this meeting as it will be held at Chevron’s office in Covington and not on the Southshore. If you cannot make it to the Northshore, then try out our webcast option.

        The 22nd Annual Gulf of Mexico Deepwater Technical Symposium is scheduled for August 27-29th so be sure to save the date. This event is a joint effort between the three local professional societies: American Association of Drilling Engineers (AADE), New Orleans Geological Society (NOGS), and the Society of Petroleum Engineers Delta Section (SPE). The goal of the symposium is to share knowledge, best practices, new technology, and process improvements. This event will be held at the New Orleans Downtown Marriot at the Convention Center.

      The Family Fun Eat & Run held on April 29th was a success. This PIPE (Petroleum Industry Promoting Education) event benefits the three area Children’s Museums. It was held at City Park in New Orleans and included a 5K Run/Walk and a Kids Dash Run/Walk. The weather was perfect and both adults and children enjoyed the exercise opportunity and most definitely the great food. Thanks to all who participated and volunteered in this event.

       A reminder to all to keep your membership current and to encourage your colleagues who are not currently members to renew or join. It is your involvement and dues that enable the Delta Section to continue to deliver support to the local community and the industry.

       I would like to close by saying it has been a pleasure serving as your Section Chair these past two years. I have had the privilege of working with some of the finest individuals in the industry both on and off the section board. The volunteer events, the people’s lives we have touched, and the education we have spread have made this an extremely rewarding time for me in my career.

I look forward to continuing my support for this section as the past chair this upcoming year and also look forward to seeing many of you at future events.


Safe Travels,

Daniel A. Durey

Your 2017-2018 SPE Delta Section Chair


Upcoming Events

Gulf Coast Energy Calendar 

Stay up to date with events taking place in the Gulf Coast oil and gas industry. The link below will carry you to API's Gulf Coast Energy Calendar.

API Gulf Coast Energy Calendar link


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