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Date ArticleType
8/14/2017 Member News
Industry Innovation Boosts Local Communities and Spans the Globe

AUG 14, 2017

Industry Innovation Boosts Local Communities and Spans the Globe

According to Investopedia, in 2015, the oil and gas industry accounted for between 4.6 and 6.5% of the global economy. In a recent discussion I had with a friend, we spoke about the effect this industry has on the lives of so many people. Many of the effects are positive, and, as we see in the current discussions of climate change, some are potentially negative. As Janeen Judah, 2017 SPE president, stated in her April 2017 JPT column, we have the power to build sustainable communities and improve the lives of people where we operate.  Our innovation across all aspects of health, safety, security, environment, and social responsibility not only helps our industry reduce the chances, or consequences, of unplanned events but also may help develop the capacity of a country or village to take care of its own citizens.

Some of these recent improvements can be seen in the papers that follow, from understanding well control and human factors better to using robotics to remove people from hazardous environments. We also see increasing interest in effects on the environment from our activities in the form of publicly funded studies on the potential for groundwater contamination. At the 2017 SPE Health, Safety, Security, Environment, and Social Responsibility Conference—North America, held in April in New Orleans, we held a series of plenary discussions on the science of the human brain, on social interactions, and on how to apply this knowledge to improve our performance. Our industry is conducting some amazing research and development, and the tools and processes we develop will help us, and the world, to better develop and use the natural resources we need now and in the future.