Society of Petroleum Engineers

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Society of Petroleum Engineers
Society of Petroleum Engineers Logo.svg
Founded October 6, 1957
Type Professional Organization
Origins The Petroleum Division of the AIME
Area served
Method Conferences, Publications, Training
Key people
D. Nathan Meehan, Ph.D., P.E. (2016 President), Helge H. Haldorsen, Ph.D. (2015 President), Janeen Judah, (2017 President), Mark Rubin (CEO/Executive Vice President)

The Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) is a not-for-profit professional organization whose mission is to collect, disseminate, and exchange technical knowledge concerning the exploration, development and production of oil and gas resources and related technologies for the public benefit and to provide opportunities for professionals to enhance their technical and professional competence.[1]

SPE provides a worldwide forum for oil and natural gas exploration and production (E&P) professionals for the exchange of technical knowledge and a professional home for more than 144,000 engineers, scientists, managers, and educators. SPE's technical library contains more than 200,000 technical papers — products of SPE conferences and periodicals, made available to the entire industry. SPE has offices in Dallas, Houston, Calgary, London, Dubai, Moscow and Kuala Lumpur.


The history of the SPE began well before its actual establishment. During the decade after the 1901 discovery of the Spindletop field, the American Institute of Mining Engineers (AIME) saw a growing need for a forum in the booming new field of petroleum engineering. As a result, AIME formed a standing committee on oil and gas in 1913.

In 1922, the committee was expanded to become one of AIME’s 10 professional divisions. The Petroleum Division of AIME continued to grow throughout the next three decades. By 1950, the Petroleum Division had become one of three separate branches of AIME, and in 1957 the Petroleum Branch of AIME was expanded once again to form a professional society.

The first SPE Board of Directors meeting was held 6 October 1957, making 2007 the 50th anniversary year for SPE as a professional society.


To collect, disseminate and exchange technical knowledge concerning the exploration, development and production of oil and gas resources, and related technology for public benefit; and to provide opportunities for professionals to enhance their technical and professional competence.


  • 1950s: During the 1950s, the petroleum membership of AIME grew significantly, leading to restructuring decisions that would shape the future Society of Petroleum Engineers.
  • 1957: The Petroleum Branch of AIME becomes a full-fledged professional society - the Society of Petroleum Engineers of AIME. On October 6, 1957, the first Board of Directors meeting was held in Dallas, Texas, with President John H. Hammond presiding.
  • 1958: The SPE Reprint Series begins with the publication of Well Logging.
  • 1961: The first issue of the Society of Petroleum Engineers Journal is published.
  • 1979: The first Middle East Oil and Gas Show and Conference is held.
  • 1985: SPE is incorporated separately from AIME.
  • 1990: Membership passes 50,000 to 51,586.
  • 1991: London office established.
  • 1992: Forums are held in Asia Pacific for the first time.
  • 1993: Jacques Bosio becomes SPE's first non-US president. Applied technology Workshops (ATWs) developed.
  • 1994: Forums are held in the Middle East for the first time.
  • 1995: SPE's Kuala Lumpur office is opened. goes live.
  • 1998: DeAnn Craig becomes SPE's first woman president.
  • 2000: The dues structure is revised to accommodate the make-up of all SPE members. A new governing structure consisting of technical directors and disciplines is implemented. Technical Interest Groups, or TIGs, are developed to connect SPE members interested in common technical topics.
  • 2003: SPE's Dubai office is opened.
  • 2004: The society adopted a business structure centered around the establishment of the Society of Petroleum Engineers Stichting, a not-for-profit headquartered in the Netherlands, to streamline what had become a very complex organization and provide more efficient support to members everywhere.
  • 2006: The first issue of The Way Ahead, a journal for Young Professionals, is published. Membership hits all-time high at 73,235. The number of papers downloaded from eLibrary since 2001 totals nearly 4 million.
  • 2007: OnePetro, a multi-society library, is launched with support from SPE's Foundation.
  • 2008: Membership tops 88,000+ Strategic plan adopted.
  • 2009: SPE completes merger with Petroleum Society of Canada, with combined membership of 4,500 in Canada.
  • 2010: Membership tops 92,000+. First Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition outside the US (Florence, Italy).
  • 2013: PetroWiki is launched with the full contents of the Petroleum Engineering Handbook in a wiki for members to update. SPE adopts new strategic plan. Membership tops 110,000+
  • 2014: Membership tops 110,000+. Second ATCE held outside North America (Amsterdam).[2]
  • 2015: Membership reaches 143,900. Petrowiki reaches more than 300,000 unique hits.
  • 2016: First ATCE in the Middle East scheduled for Dubai.


Launched in March 2007, is a multi-society library that allows users to search for and access a broad range of technical literature related to the oil and gas exploration and production industry. OnePetro is a multi-association effort that reflects participation of many organizations. The Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) operates OnePetro on behalf of the participating organizations. SPE provides the computers and technology on which OnePetro operates and provides customer service support.

OnePetro currently contains more than 105,000 documents, with more being added frequently. The number of documents is expected to grow as additional organizations choose to make their materials available through OnePetro. OnePetro is the first online offering of documents from some organizations, making these materials widely available for the first time.

The following organizations currently have their technical documents available through OnePetro:


PetroWiki was created from the seven volume Petroleum Engineering Handbook (PEH) published by the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE). PetroWiki preserves the PEH content in unaltered form (page names that start with PEH:), while allowing SPE's membership to update and expand content from the published version. Pages that do not have PEH: at the beginning may have started with content from the PEH, but have been modified over time by contributors to the wiki.

Content in PetroWiki is moderated by at least two members with subject matter expertise. This helps to ensure that the information found in PetroWiki is technically accurate. Disclaimer

Unlike some other online wikis, PetroWiki content is copyright SPE. For information about using content from PetroWiki, see Permissions.

SPE Petroleum Engineering Certification[edit]

The SPE Petroleum Engineering Certification program was instituted as a way to certify petroleum engineers by examination and experience. This certification is similar to the Registration of Petroleum Engineers by the States in the United States.

Certified professionals use SPEC after their name.

Petroleum Reserves and Resources Definitions[edit]

The Society of Petroleum Engineers has developed a system for evaluating oil and gas reserves and resources. The Petroleum Resources Management System (PRMS) is used by oil and gas companies in determining their reserves and serves as the primary basis for reporting rules established by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission. [3]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ Dallas Business Journal: Society of Petroleum Engineers related content
  2. ^
  3. ^ Petroleum Resources Management System