Unusual Talk at The Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) Aberdeen

In a unique event for SPE Aberdeen, mathematics takes centre stage for a thought-provoking presentation on its use in the oil industry.

Although mathematics plays a major role in solving problems within the oil and gas industry, it is often overlooked, with more focus being placed upon advances in technology and more conventional engineering approaches.In a move that aims to highlight how critical mathematics is within the oil and gas sector, the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) Aberdeen Section held an evening of knowledge sharing with Dr. Cyrille Mathis, Chief Scientific Officer at ThinkTank Maths Limited.

Dr. Mathis delivered a presentation outlining the use of non-conventional mathematics in overcoming challenges within the oil and gas sector. As part of his talk, Dr. Mathis drew upon successful examples of mathematical applications in the industry, as well as proven results within other sectors, including defence and space.

The event ‘Creating novel mathematics opens new approaches to operational issues in oil and gas,’ organised by SPE Aberdeen, took place on 27 November at the Douglas Hotel in Aberdeen.Speaking ahead of the event, Dr. Mathis commented: “The use of innovative mathematical solutions can have a great impact on the oil community, particularly in real-time drilling position and collision avoidance systems, and in finding ‘unconventional’ structures in well data for risk, remnant life and integrity management.”

Dr. Mathis’ talk also highlighted opportunities to implement original mathematical approaches to petrophysical challenges for carbonate reservoirs.

Anthony Onukwu, chairman of SPE Aberdeen, said: “We are delighted to have Dr. Mathis speaking at our event. With a wealth of experience in critical thinking within the oil and gas industry, he will be able to provide valuable information to both SPE members and the wider industry.Innovation is deep rooted within the SPE Aberdeen section and we strive to offer events and initiatives which challenge and encourage new ways of thinking. This is a very unique event, vastly different from the industry norm, and we hope that industry professionals will be interested in coming along to find out more.”

David Liddle, chair of SPE Aberdeen’s Events Programme Committee added: “Dr. Mathis and his team have a wealth of knowledge on the oil and gas industry and have demonstrated successful results with their mathematical approaches to prove their expertise. We look forward to hearing about new and innovative ways to approach problems affecting the industry in areas such as integrity management and drilling.”

Over 100 attendees came along on a cold November evening in Aberdeen: Operators, service companies, academics and students from Fife College, Robert Gordon University and Heriot Watt.

The lecture is reported to have been very well-received by this diverse audience. ThinkTank Maths has been asked to give repeat lectures in 2014 to SPE Edinburgh, SPE Norwegian Section and SPE ISCWSA London.