We exist since 1990 as the „GSSPE“ – that is the German Section of the Society of Petroleum Engineers. Our goal is primarily the spreading of technical knowledge and the support of our associated students. All our board members are volunteers.
SPE international is a global association of Petroleum Engineers and similar professionals of the upstream oil-and-gas industry. Founded in the US, it now has more than a 100,000 members all around the world.
At the end of 2016, the German Section had 980 members – many Petroleum Engineers, but also other engineers and geoscientist. Most of them work in the upstream oil-and-gas industry, but there is a small but growing geothermal community as well.
Roughly one half of our members are students. The others graduated as engineers working in the oil-and-gas industry, in research facilities or for government agencies. We also have some quite active retirees joining us frequently.
Our members are based throughout Germany. Much of the industry and our members is located in the north. Hence most of our events are in Hannover.
The oil-and-gas-industry is international in nature. Many of our members are from abroad, and usually our Distinguished Lecturer do not speak German. Therefore, most of our events are being held in English.
What do we do? Well, we aim to facilitate knowledge transfer – especially important in an industry as complex and interdisciplinary as ours. So we offer evening lectures covering a broad range of technical topics. Some of the lectures are hold by Distinguished Lecturer (typically 2-3 per year). We also offer workshops, field trips (e.g. to drill sites), and an annual “Student Technical Conference” with participants from Germany and many other countries. Every summer we have our social event in Celle: the "Sommerfest".
We are an open association – which means that you don’t need to be a member to participate. We welcome any visitors. As you’ll see, we typically have quite a mixed audience during our events – from the interested layman to the renowned expert.
We do collaborate with similar organizations including other European SPE sections, the DGMK (The German Scientific Society for Oil, Gas, and Coal), and the BGR (The Federal Institute for Geoscience and Resources).
Additional to our technical knowledge transfer events, we are also supporting our youth. There are three associated and quite active student chapters at the technical universities in Aachen, Clausthal-Zellerfeld and Freiberg. Our section sets out an annual award for the best student of each chapter. We also visit schools, explaining to the kids what it means to get that black gold out of the ground and that there are great opportunities for them out there.