February 4-6 OU SPE, along with the University of Texas at Austin, co-hosted the 5th annual SPE Student Symposium in Houston, TX. The theme, The Road to U.S. Oil and Gas Independence, focused on the challenges faced with unconventionals production and operation in the current price market. This overriding topic was reinforced through workshops, roundtables and panels by leading industry experts such as Susan Cunningham, Kent Brock, Mark McClelland, James Dupree, James Franks and Bob Elder. Keynote addresses by Nathan Meehan, 2016 SPE International President, and Janeen Judah, 2017 SPE International President-elect further emphasized the matter and offered inspiration to those transitioning from college to professional life.
Twenty-three OU students, along with two staff, attended this year’s symposium, which saw over 300 total in attendance from twenty universities around the world. Three OU students represented the university on the planning committee: Zach Sheehan, Fundraising; Daniel Rennix, Program Coordinator; and Kathryn Feder who served as Co-Director. These students spent the past year finding speakers, arranging venues, coordinating schedules and raising funds in addition to their full-time studies. During the process, they were fortunate to obtain generous sponsorship from Schlumberger, Apache, Devon, Noble Energy and Chevron, who hosted the event in their downtown Houston location.