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We are excited to announce our first Distinguished Lecture of this fall!  It is open to the public - friends and family are welcome.  Pizza will be served after the talk. 

When: 11:00am - 12:00am, Sept 16, 2015

Where: MIT, W20-407, Cambridge, MA*

 Assessing and Applying Petroleum Engineering Data From the 2010 Macondo Blowout

 John Turley


On 20 April 2010, the Macondo blowout in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico killed 11 men, burned and sank the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig, and devastated the Gulf. Investigative authorities queried mechanical systems, operating decisions, corporate cultures, safety procedures, and testimony by survivors, academics, experts, and executives. Meanwhile, industry personnel need succinct, non-litigious, technical answers to fundamental questions about the cause of the blowout for application to future projects. Such answers define the specific mechanics, actions, and decisions on the rig that collectively opened a pathway into a cased-and-cemented deep-water wellbore and allowed hydrocarbons to flow unobserved from a high-pressure reservoir to eventually erupt over the derrick and continue even after the blowout preventers were closed.

To unravel the cause of the blowout, data during the well's final hours are assessed and defined using petroleum-engineering fundamentals, including wellbore mechanics, hydrodynamics, inflow performance, fluid properties, well-control principles, etc. The chain of events thus revealed includes forming an annulus-to-wellbore leak, exacerbating the leak, testing and declaring the well secure, causing the well to flow, and allowing the well to flow until too late, even for the blowout preventers.  The technical assessment leads to conclusions that define those factors that contributed to the blowout, as well as to those that caused the blowout.

From the presentation, SPE members and a wider audience from across the industry and beyond will see by example the necessity and importance of applying petroleum-engineering and process-management fundamentals to day-to-day drilling work, in real time, both in the office and on the rig.  From the Macondo assessment, a process-interruption protocol is defined, which can be applied to wells around the world, whether deep or shallow, onshore or offshore.


J. A. (John) Turley taught petroleum engineering at Marietta College before joining Marathon Oil Company, where he served as Gulf Coast drilling manager, U.K. operations manager, manager worldwide drilling, and vice president engineering and technology. He holds a professional degree in petroleum engineering from Colorado School of Mines, an MS in ocean engineering from University of Miami, and an executive management degree from Harvard University.  Post-retirement, he independently researched the 2010 Macondo blowout and published "THE SIMPLE TRUTH"—a facts-based tome in which he examines the engineering causes of the Macondo blowout aboard the Deepwater Horizon.  His first SPE paper (6022), "A Risk Analysis of Transition Zone Drilling," was published in 1976.  In 2014, he published SPE-167970-MS, "An Engineering Look at the Cause of the 2010 Macondo Blowout."  Turley, a member of SPE's Legion of Honor, has served SPE in academic and conference capacities, but most enjoyed chairing SPE's education and accreditation committee.



We are excited to announce that we have a brand new student chapter in NYNE SPE - Columbia University!

This is our first student chapter in NYC, and we hope this will lead to more events in The Big Apple.  See the upcoming Distinguished Lecture Event for our first NYC event!

If you are interested in joining the Columbia University Chapter or finding out more information, check out their awesome webpage:




Tour!! MIT Media Lab, Center for Terrestrial Sensing

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SPE NYNE has arranged for a tour of MIT's Media Lab Center for Terrestrial Sensing.  

The mission of the Media Lab's new Center for Terrestrial Sensing is to explore unconventional ways to sense and visualize inaccessible natural environments–places where it is impossible for humans to go physically, such as underground, undersea oil fields, and the atmosphere. How people connect with, navigate, and interact with large amounts of geoscience information is an area with both world-changing potential and deep challenges. The Center for Terrestrial Sensing aims to connect the People to the Planet.

Find out more here:

The final agenda is still being worked out, but the tour will be Friday, August 28 from 11-12.30.  Space is limited to 15 people, so please be sure that you can make it before RSVPing.  

You can RSVP to Jenny at esmythe -at- 


SPE-NYNE Talk: An Overview of the International Gas Business by Dr. David A. T. Donohue, SPE


What: SPE-NYNE Presentation

 When: 11:00am-11:50pm, July 15, 2015

 Where: IHRDC, 535 Boylston Street, 11th Floor, Boston, MA


                                                   An Overview of the International Gas Business by Dr. David A. T. Donohue, SPE


In this  presentation, Dr. Donohue will provide an introduction to the gas value chain from the source of supply to final markets.  In the process he will summarize the world gas markets, including recent growth in demand and regional supply, both conventional and unconventional gas; midstream infrastructure, including LNG and pipeline activities, gas processing and fractionation plants, and downstream distribution to the key gas markets including power, industry including petrochemical, commercial and residential.


David holds the PhD in Petroleum & Natural Gas Engineering from Pennsylvania State University and a J.D. degree from Boston College Law School. Dr. Donohue is a technical specialist, businessman, attorney and lecturer who is highly regarded for the teaching of management programs devoted to the “business of oil and gas”. More information  about the speaker can be found on SPE-NYNE website.

**RSVP is required. SPE members need to login to SPE for RSVP. Please let us know if you are bringing any guest to the event (

**Lunch will be provided after the talk.


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Our summer-2015 newsletter has been released. Click here to download it.


Meet Jing Yang!


Jing Yang is an Associate Scientist at Schlumberger-Doll Research (SDR) in Cambridge MA. She works in the reservoir geosciences department, developing novel methods to study unconventional resources such as oil shale and gas shale at nanoscale.

Jing earned her PhD in Applied Physics at Harvard in 2014 and Bachelor of Science from University of Science and Technology of China in 2008. She is actively involved with energy communities at Harvard while she completed the 2-year program of Graduate Consortium on Energy and Environment, which provided her a broad exposure on energy issues. She enjoys back-packing, watching musicals, and skiing besides working.



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