Petroleum Engineering Alumni Newsletter - January 2010

Monday, January 18, 2010

First of all, let me wish you a very happy and prosperous new year. With the turmoil of oil and gas prices last year, the industry went through a lot of upheaval. I am hoping that the new year will bring more stability and prosperity to all of us. I just returned from a presentation at the SPE Mid-Continent Section meeting where the presenter talked about hedging and (gazing through the crystal ball) predicted that, with only 700 drilling rigs for natural gas, we expect to stabilize the gas prices this year. I hope that he is right and we will have stability in both oil and gas prices which, parochially speaking, will result in jobs for our students.

On a different note, we received an overwhelming response from alumni providing us with memories of Dr. Kermit Brown. Please visit our website to view these Memories of Dr. Brown. The memorial service was held on December 16th. The service was wonderful and was attended by many former students and TU’s friends. Dr. Brill gave a wonderful eulogy talking about how Dr. Brown was instrumental in changing the Petroleum Engineering program at TU. Many of you were generous enough to write a check for the Dr. Kermit Brown Endowed Scholarship Fund. We want to thank you for your generosity; it will definitely help the current students. As evident from your responses, Dr. Brown was a beloved faculty member and clearly created a lasting impression on many of you. We hold his memory dear and will continue to follow the same principles which he laid out through his teaching and research.

On December 18th, our traditional dinner for our graduating students was held at the Petroleum Club of Tulsa. Many friends and parents joined us in honoring our fall graduates. Although the mood was a little somber because not all the students have secured jobs, we had a wonderful time. The students who do not have jobs yet are optimistic that they will find something in a short time.  View photos from this event (1.73MB, .pdf)

Before I close, I want to thank the alumni who helped us with the Capstone Design course projects. The Capstone Design course is one of the most important courses students take and we really make an effort to ensure that every group gets a different project which is relevant and current. This year, both Rita Behm from Cimarex and Nathan Buchanan from St. Mary Land & Exploration helped us out tremendously in this effort and I want to thank both of them.

Now to...

Alumnus of the Month

Reidar B. Bratvold is a Professor of Petroleum Investment and Decision Analysis at the University of Stavanger, Norway. Before joining the University of Stavanger, Reidar was professor and discipline head of petroleum engineering & management at the University of Adelaide, Australia, where he still retains a position as adjunct professor. As a Vice President of Landmark Graphics Corporation he was responsible for all of Landmark’s solutions in reservoir management, production and drilling. Prior to joining Landmark Reidar was General Manager of Smedvig Technologies Software Solutions (now Roxar). He was the Founder-General Manager of ODIN Reservoir Software & Services where he initiated and oversaw the development of software and consulting solutions for stochastic reservoir modeling (STORM) and other reservoir management applications. He was also Senior Scientist for five years with IBM, working on high-performance reservoir simulation and spent several years as a reservoir engineer with Statoil.

Twice invited to serve as SPE Distinguished Lecturer, in 1998/99 on the topic Uncertainty Assessment and Risk Management in Exploration & Production and in 2003/04 with the topic Would You Know a Good Decision if You Saw One?, he is a frequent speaker at industry conferences and events. He has published numerous papers on topics such as investment modeling, decision-making, stochastic reservoir modeling, fuzzy logic and reservoir management. Reidar is a co-author of the book: Making Good Decisions, which will be published by the Society of Petroleum Engineers in early 2010.

Reidar holds a PhD degree in petroleum engineering and an MSc degree in mathematics both from Stanford University, an MSc degree in petroleum engineering from The University of Tulsa, a BSc degree from University of Stavanger, Norway. Reidar has been honoured with a membership in the Norwegian Academy of Technological Sciences for his work in petroleum investment and decision analysis.   For more about Reidar, visit his Alumnus of the Month feature page.

Keep sending your comments.

Mohan Kelkar
Chairman and Williams Endowed Chair Professor

Petroleum Engineering Dept.
(918) 631-2533