Chairman's Message



Billy W Harris

SPE-PB Chairman 2015-2016

So Long, and Thanks

As mentioned last month, on May 19th, we have two events at the Midland Petroleum Club.  During the day SPE and SPEE are sponsoring an ethics seminar which will fulfill one of the requirements for licensed professional engineers.  That evening, the Permian Basin Section will host the Southwestern North America Regional SPE awards where 13 members, recognized by their peers for excellence in various technical disciplines, service and support, will be honored.  Also feted will be Permian Basin Section scholarship and Legion of Honor recipients.  Thanks to your support, and that of industry colleagues, of our annual fundraising event, the Permian Basin will award $55,000 in scholarships this year to 15 worthy students.  Guest speaker for the evening will be current SPEI President, Nathan Meehan.  This event replaces the Section’s regular May luncheon meeting and details on our May events can be found elsewhere in this newsletter.


This summer, time and location to be announced later, we will hold the inaugural meeting of our new Completions and Operations Study Group.


I conclude my time as section chairman in this, the 70th year of the Permian Basin Section’s existence.  Established two months after the end of World War II on November 14, 1945, the Permian Basin Section was the fifth section created within the Petroleum Division of the American Institute of Mining and Metallurgical Engineers.  There are now over 180 sections established.  Membership has grown from a scant few in 1945 to over 1800 professional members at year-end 2015.  The Petroleum Division, later Branch, of AIME became the Society of Petroleum Engineers on October 6, 1957.  Since its creation, this section has made countless technical and charitable contributions to the Society and our community.  And, since 1957, among its many volunteers, three members have been elected to serve as SPE President from the Permian Basin Section, second only to the number from the Houston-based Gulf Coast Section.  There are few places I’ve traveled in this industry where I’ve not found someone who, at one time or another, has lived and worked in Midland and been a part of the Permian Basin Section.  Now, as the oil price creeps upward and, as it has been before, this is again the place to be.


It has been a true honor to serve this section in various capacities and my great honor to serve as its chairman.  My profound thanks goes to the other members of your Section Board of Directors, a fine, dedicated group of volunteers.  They work, in their spare time, to provide events, programs, and services to our membership along with member-supported outreach and support services to students and our community.  Please make it a point to tell them thanks and that their volunteerism is appreciated.


Billy W Harris

Chair, SPE Permian Basin Section