The PUG, the PUG Steering Committee, the Conferences.

For the PUG Steering Committee, the new year starts right after the Houston Esri Petroleum conference ends.  With nominations and elections in May, and an all-day planning session in June.   This all day “virtual” planning meeting occurred June 11, as this year’s 15 member steering committee joined the meeting from 8 different cities and 3 different countries.  About half of the committee is located outside the Houston area.

This planning meeting ensures that behind the scenes we care for the administration tasks, as well help prioritize those items that are of highest interest for the GIS Petroleum Member community.  Administrative tasks, like ensuring the 3800+ members on the PUG Online LinkedIn group are actual people and not automated accounts wanting to sell a gadget or dietary supplement takes a dedicated, consistent effort all year!

As we start the 2015-2016 PUG year, I would like to reflect back on some highlights that took place “On Stage”, when the Petroleum User Group (PUG) met for the 25th consecutive year in Houston at the ESRI Petroleum GIS Conference. I will also sharebehind the scene efforts from ESRI, the PUG Steering Committee, and the many others that make those moments happen.

On Stage: Danny Spillman and I kicked off the ESRI Petroleum conference with introductions, and with the presentation of two awards.   Scott Sires, Dallas Community College, received the PUG Outstanding Achievement award for his long-term work in GIS Education , and Esri presented the Slinkard award to Keith Fraley for embracing the PUG ideals of passionately sharing his GIS knowledge with the petroleum community.

Behind the scenes, The Steering Committee reviewed nominations for the Outstanding Achievement award.  For the 25th Anniversary of the PUG, it seemed fitting to give two awards.  The current PUG annual award for “Outstanding Achievement”, as well as presenting the historic, traditional award, called the Slinkard Award.  We have open nominations for the Outstanding Achievement, so if you know a person deserving of the award, please feel free to download and complete the PUG Award Nomination form and email to .

On Stage: I had the honor of introducing Jack Dangermond as the keynote speaker.  Jack shared his vision of how the reliance on the web based architectures would change some of our key concepts of how we view database connectivity.  His welcoming address also contained demonstrations of key Esri products and technology advancements.  The second part of the Plenary session contained a series of key speakers from the petroleum industry, sharing their stories of how the technology has been integrated into their respective companies.

Behind the scenes: Your feedback makes a difference!  Esri and the PUG Committee took the feedback from previous Esri Petroleum conferences and took the initiative to make quite a few changes in the conference format that I believe were very positive and extremely well received!  The Plenary was shortened to a half day, morning session, which left the afternoon to begin papers and workshops.  This allowed the conference to end at lunch on Friday, a half day early, and still contain the same number of presentations and workshops.  The focus during the plenary on technology, vision and roadmap – “what could be possible” – was balanced with actual operator stories of current implementation – “what is possible”.  A big thanks to the operators who shared their stories:

  • Brigadier General Ricky Gibbs, CONSOL Energy
  • Jacob Boyle, Seneca Resources
  • Rick Howell and Todd Eason, Devon Energy
  • Brian Boulmay, BP
  • Bruce Sanderson, Apache

On stage: At the end of the Plenary, David Cairns and Dan Goldberg, of Texas A&M University, spoke how universities are willing to work with the O&G community to prepare students with the knowledge that allows students to be successful when entering jobs offered by the petroleum industry.

Behind the scenes: Thomas Mueller, PUG Steering Committee Educational Chair, worked with many educational institutions to make a difference in education for the petroleum industry including:

  • The first year the PUG steering committee has offered Academic Scholarships in support of their attendance at the conference.
  • The first year Esri has offered a student registration “day rate”, so a student could attend a specific day without paying full conference registration.  A special thanks to Texas A&M for support and involvement in describing the value of the day rate.

This year we will be soliciting applications for the scholarship awards.

On Stage: The user presentation, the Esri Workshops, the vendor exhibitor hall, and social activities.

Behind the scenes: Yes, way to much to cover in a blog, but worth mentioning that these activities are at the heart of what makes the PUG successful!  Sharing user experiences and the need for specific products and services tailored for the oil & gas industry.

  • The PUG web site, for information on the Petroleum User Group,
  • The PUG Online LinkedIn group of 3800+ PUG Online members who share experiences and interests.
  • Regional PUGs around the globe, which continue to meet and share their stories as well.
  • The Petroleum GIS users willing to present at the conference.
  • The vendors and sponsors of the conference, socials and regional events.
    Conference Exhibitors, Conference Sponsors, and PUG Sponsors.
  • The many, many other organizations working with the PUG.

Scott Sitzman, PUG Chairman

The PUG would like to thank our sponsors for their support: Blueback Reservoir, BP, Coler & Colantonio (a CHA company), Esri, Exprodat, Latitude,  Logic Solutions Group, GeoPropel, Landworks, Schlumberger, TeachMeGIS and Trimble

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