Society of Petroleum Engineers
We are the largest individual-member organization serving managers, engineers, scientists and other professionals worldwide in the upstream segment of the oil and gas industry. In 1957, the organization was officially founded as SPE, a constituent society of AIME. SPE became a separately incorporated organization in 1985. Our history begins within the American Institute of Mining Engineers (AIME). AIME was founded in 1871 in Pennsylvania, USA, to advance the production of metals, minerals, and energy resources through the application of engineering. In 1913, a standing committee on oil and gas was created within AIME and proved to be the genesis of SPE. The Oil and Gas Committee of AIME soon evolved into the Petroleum Division of AIME as membership grew and as interest among the members was more clearly delineated among the mining, metallurgical, and petroleum specializations.
In 1957, the organization was officially founded as SPE, a constituent society of AIME. SPE became a separately incorporated organization in 1985.
Our history begins within the American Institute of Mining Engineers (AIME). AIME was founded in 1871 in Pennsylvania, USA, to advance the production of metals, minerals, and energy resources through the application of engineering. In 1913, a standing committee on oil and gas was created within AIME and proved to be the genesis of SPE. The Oil and Gas Committee of AIME soon evolved into the Petroleum Division of AIME as membership grew and as interest among the members was more clearly delineated among the mining, metallurgical, and petroleum specializations.
The petroleum membership of AIME grew significantly, leading to restructuring decisions that would shape the future of the Society of Petroleum Engineers.
The new society developed products and services to address the technical interests of its growing membership.
Membership grew rapidly, doubling by the end of the decade. The first Long Range Plan was implemented, and helped the Society map out its future for the decade to come.
The industry suffered a downturn and roughly half of all jobs were lost. However, SPE membership remained stable, even experiencing growth, throughout the decade.
SPE became more culturally diverse as the growth rate of international sections increased. SPE also became more technologically far-reaching with the introduction of international Forums and the launch of SPE.org.
SPE reached its highest number of members in its history, partly due to the high growth rate in the number of student members and chapters. Today SPE continues its constant search for new ways to meet member needs in all phases of their careers in all parts of the world.
Major Events and Membership Growth
2017: Senior Professionals group created for members aged 55 and older.
2016: Drilling and Completions technical discipline split to best serve these growing communities.
2014: Membership tops 124,000+
2013: SPE adopts new strategic plan
2013: PetroWiki is launched with the full contents of the Petroleum Engineering Handbook in a wiki for members to update
2013: Membership tops 110,000+
2012: Oil and Gas Facilities magazine (now an online publication) launched.
2011: Membership tops 97,100+
2010: SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition held outside of the United States for the first time (Florence, Italy).
2010: Membership tops 92,000+
2009: SPE completes merger with Petroleum Society of Canada, with combined membership of 4,500 in Canada
2009: OTC celebrates 40th anniversary
2008: SPE adopts Strategic Plan
2008: Membership tops 88,000+
2007: OnePetro, a multi-society library, is launched with support from SPE's Foundation.
2006: Membership hits all-time high at 73,235
2006: The number of papers downloaded from eLibrary since 2001 totals nearly 4 million.
2006: The online Bookstore is updated, offering more titles and new search features.
2006: A new online-only journal, SPE Projects, Facilities & Construction, is started.
2006: Online eJournals are launched, offering members substantial cost and time savings over the printed and mailed copies.
2006: LookUpstream is launched, providing a joint search of the SPE, AAPG and SEG digital libraries.
2006: A pilot program to provide a Society-sponsored Petroleum Professional Certification is launched in Abu Dhabi.
2005: eMentoring is introduced to connect young professionals with fewer than five years in the industry and students with more experienced members.
2005: The first issue of The Way Ahead, a journal for Young Professionals, is published.
2005: Major enhancements to eLibrary are launched.
2004: The society adopted a business structure centered around the establishmentof the Society of Petroleum Engineers Stichting, a not-for-profit headquarteredin the Netherlands, to streamline what had become a very complex organizationand provide more efficient support to members everywhere.
2004: Women's Network is introduced, offering female members of SPE the opportunity to share experiences and insights on gender-related career issues.
2004: The first Young Professionals Workshop is held in Stresa, Italy.
2004: Training Marketplace is introduced, providing members a single source to explore training opportunities from multiple providers.
2003: SPE's Dubai office is opened.
2000: Technical Interest Groups, or TIGs, are developed to connect SPE members interested in common technical topics.
2000: A new governing structure consisting of technical directors and disciplines is implemented.
2000: The dues structure is revised to accommodate the make-up of all SPE members.
2000: Membership 51,918
1999: The number of ATWs doubles from 5 in 1996 to 10.
1999: JPT celebrates its 50th anniversary.
1998: OIL (Online Information Library), the precursor to eLibrary, is launched.
1998: DeAnn Craig becomes SPE's first woman president.
1998: The first Latin American and Caribbean Petroleum Engineering Conference is held.
1996: Forums are held in South America for the first time.
1996: SPE's first five workshops are held in Europe and the US.
1996: Forums are held in South America for the first time.
1995: SPE.org, hosted by the Texas A&M Petroleum Engineering Department, goes live.
1995: SPE's Kuala Lumpur office is opened.
1994: Forums are held in the Middle East for the first time.
1993: The concept of Applied Technical Workshops (ATWs) is first discussed.
1993: Jacques Bosio becomes SPE's first non-US president.
1992: Forums are held in Asia Pacific for the first time.
1991: SPE's London office is opened.
1990: Membership 51,586
1989: The first Asia Pacific Oil and Gas Conference and Exhibition is held.
1988: Forums are held in Europe for the first time.
1987: SPE obtains the rights to the Petroleum Production Handbook, originally published in 1962 by McGraw-Hill, and publishes a revision re-titled the Petroleum Engineering Handbook.
1986: Four discipline-specific technical journals are launched – SPE Drilling Engineering, SPE Production Engineering, SPE Formation Evaluation, and SPE Reservoir Engineering.
1985: SPE is incorporated separately from AIME.
1980: Membership 38,799
1979: The first SPE Forum is held at Colorado Mountain College, featuring the topics Properties of Saturated Rocks of Interest to Petrophysicists and Geophysicists and The Physical Control of Solids in Drilling Fluids.
1979: The first Middle East Oil and Gas Show and Conference is held.
1975: First Long Range Plan
1971: The first Offshore Europe is held in Great Yarmouth, Scotland under the name 'Oiltech.'
1970: Membership 17,682
1969: The first Offshore Technology Conference is held, underwritten by the SPE Activities Fund. The conference, with 4,200 in attendance, featured 110 technical papers and 368 exhibit booths.
1967: The Monograph series begins with the publication of Pressure Buildup and Flow Tests in Wells by C.S. Matthews and D.G. Russell
1962: Ten technical committees are formed to ensure that a wide variety of technical areas are addressed in technical programs and publications.
1961: The Distinguished Lecturer series begins with three lecturers delivering 28 talks to members in 19 petroleum sections of AIME.
1961: The first issue of the Society of Petroleum Engineers Journal is published.
1960: Membership 14,806
1958: The SPE Reprint Series begins with the publication of Well Logging.
1957: Membership 12,500
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.
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.
Enable the global oil and gas E&P industry to share technical knowledge needed to meet the world’s energy needs in a safe and environmentally responsible manner.
About the Foundation
The SPE Foundation was established in 1977. All living past presidents of SPE serve as Trustees of the Foundation and have a single purpose: to support and augment key Society programs. In carrying out this mission, the Foundation helps to ensure excellence in SPE programs.