Welcome to the SPE Imperial College Student Chapter website

SPE InternationalWe are a society in charge of promoting the insertion of the students into the world of petroleum engineers.

We do so by holding lectures at the Imperial College, organizing social events, favouring contacts with Oil & Gas companies all over the world, enhancing collaboration with the wider SPE, and most of all, by doing the international field trip in May to give our 50 students a hands-on experience in the oil industry.

What is the SPE?

The Society of Petroleum Engineers is the largest individual-member organization serving managers, engineers, scientists and other professionals worldwide in the upstream segment of the oil and gas industry.

It offers a unique opportunity to contribute to the profession through their programs and activities and many of our accomplishments are driven by their dedicated members.

Joining the SPE offers many benefits:

  • Belong to a membership of more than 110,000 members in 141 countries and receive recognition for your contributions

  • Receive discounted registration to events and special pricing on books and subscriptions

  • Present technical papers, speak to sections and find leadership and volunteer opportunities

  • Enhance your career with various programs, including eMentoring, Distinguished Lecturer, Training Courses and online communities

  • Receive a subscription to the Journal of Petroleum Technology

  • Automatically qualify to be a member of AAPG and SEG

Learn more at http://www.spe.org/index.php


SPE student chapter

SPE Chapter Objectives

  1. To organise, execute and raise funds for a safe, enjoyable and educational international field trip for SPE members studying on the Petroleum Engineering MSc at Imperial College, London.
  2. To enhance collaboration between the SPE Imperial College, London chapter, and the wider SPE community.
  3. To organise social, technical and career events and maximise participation by SPE members.
  4. To raise the national and international profile of the SPE Imperial College, London Chapter and its members.

SPE Committee Accountabilities

  1. Ensuring the international field trip is deemed successful by those attending it.
  2. Ensuring safety and responsibity in everything we do.
  3. Use effective project management to ensure success of initiatives held throughout the year.
  4. Use effective team co-ordination.
  5. Track the log of events throughout the year.

Find out more about the Committee.


In order to improve social links between the many different disciplines of the Oil & Gas industry, inside or outside the Imperial College, the student chapter works hard to come up with social events, lectures and sports events. 

Social events


No upcoming event for this year, wait for the next SPE Chapter!

Find out more about our social events.

Sports events

Sports events

No upcoming event for this year, wait for the next SPE Chapter!

Find out more about our sports events.



No upcoming event for this year, wait for the next SPE Chapter!

Find out more about our lectures.

International trips

Each year after exams, the SPE student chapter at Imperial College participates in an international fieldtrip. The field-trip endeavours to give the students (MSc Petroleum Engineering) the opportunity to have a more direct interaction with the oil and gas industry, observing the roles and responsibilities of a researcher/professional and to see firsthand how the industry works.

The fieldtrip is made possible by the generous sponsorship from oil and gas companies and the SPE.>

2014 Field Trip

The SPE Chapter has travelled to Brunei and Malaysia, from May 2nd to May 18th. The trip mostly revolved around the activities of Shell Brunei and its local partners, such as Halliburton and Schlumberger. 

This was the schedule of our trip:


Discovering the Kingdom of Unexpected Treasures

Imperial College London Delegation Support Local SPE Development in South East Asia by:

  • Zhaocong Zhou – Imperial College London SPE Chapter President
  • Tarik Saif – Imperial College London SPE Chapter Technical Exchange Director

The discovery of oil in Miri in 1910 and in Seria in 1926 on Borneo Island gave birth to a burgeoning oil and gas industry in Malaysia and Brunei. A century onwards, the region still produces about 1% of the world’s crude oil production as companies are applying cutting edge technologies to unlock more challenging volumes along the Borneo coast.

In many ways, the region sets the standard for sustainable hydrocarbon development around the world as a vast scale modern petroleum industry lives in perfect harmony with ancient rainforests and stunning coral sand beaches along the coast. However, there are big challenges ahead as companies and governments are faced with the urgency to develop more local talent to take on bigger roles and responsibilities in the industry, and to solve increasingly difficult technical and commercial problems.

In May this year, a contingent of 43 Petroleum Engineering postgraduates of 12 different nationalities from Imperial College London, travelled to Malaysia and Brunei to discover first-hand the region’s oil and gas industry.

It was a great opportunity for us to observe the application of fish hook well drilling and smart well completions to develop marginal fields and manage multi-stacked reservoirs, while supporting local SPE initiatives helping address some of the local content challenges with our visit and follow-up programmes.

We are most grateful to BP, Schlumberger, Total and SPE London for sponsoring this trip, which provided essential funding towards our comprehensive itinerary of local operator, service company and academic institution visits, as well as technical exchange programmes.

Pic 2Our first destination was Kuala Lumpur (KL), the capital of Malaysia and a regional hub for the oil and gas industry. It is a fascinating city that blends old and new, from colonial era buildings to modern towering skyscrapers.

But it is the remarkable rich cultural diversity that makes this city all the more interesting, where the population enjoys the freedom to practice their own customs and religions.


KL City CentreOur principal technical visit was to PETRONAS, Malaysia’s National Oil Company headquartered in their landmark PETRONAS Twin Towers. We participated in a Technical Luncheon jointly organised by SPE-KL and

PETRONAS, where Imperial College PhD representative Tarik Saif presented an engaging talk on his research on Unconventional Hydrocarbons and the Pore-Scale Analysis of Oil Shale.

Following this, a networking session took place where students engaged in conversations with representatives from PETRONAS and other oil and gas companies in KL, as well as students from the Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM).

Our trip continued as we flew over the South China Sea to land in the beautiful Island of Borneo. After a brief stopover at Kota Kinabalu, we took a passenger boat down towards Brunei via Labuan Island.

It was an exciting journey as we sighted many offshore drilling and processing platforms, installation and service vessels, crude and LNG tankers, an opportunity which for many was the first time to view such infrastructures in real life.

Brunei Darussalam, which the locals proudly call the kingdom of unexpected treasures, was ready to welcome us next.

With a population of just over 400,000 it is among the wealthiest nations on earth on a per-capita basis. The country’s economy has been dominated by the oil and gas industry for the past 85 years, as hydrocarbon resources account for over 90% of its exports and more than 50% of its Gross Domestic Product.

This poses a significant challenge as the country is urgently stepping up its local talent development to sustain growth in the face of maturing fields and ageing infrastructures.

ITB speakersOur first visit in the kingdom was to the Institut Teknologi Brunei (ITB) located in the capital city of Bandar Seri Begawan, where we led a technical exchange programme with students and staff from ITB, an event organised by SPE Brunei.

ITB is Brunei’s first university dedicated to Engineering and Technology. It runs a strong Petroleum Engineering programme, where students spend their penultimate and final year studying at the University of New South Wales in Australia.

The occasion commenced with an address delivered by representatives from SPE Brunei, Chua Ai-Tieng and Amin Idris, followed by the Director of the Industry Liaison Office of ITB, Jennifer Voon, and Senior Lecturer, Matt Smith.

The event continued with the presentation of topics on Structural Styles and Basin Evolution in the Caribbean Plate Margin, Offshore Northern Columbia and Pore-Scale Analysis of Oil Shale presented by Pedro Galindo and Tarik Saif, both pursuing their PhD at Imperial College London.

Zhaocong Zhou, ICL SPE Student Chapter President, also enthusiastically addressed students on how to start-up and run a successful SPE Student Chapter, a talk aimed to support ITB Petroleum Engineering undergraduates to start their own Student Chapter by the new academic year.

This marks the beginning of a fruitful collaboration between ICL and ITB students, where follow-up mentoring programmes have been agreed to provide valuable support and international exposure for ITB undergraduate students.


ICLSPE Student DelegationBrunei Shell Petroleum (BSP), located in Kuala Belai, the centre for Brunei’s oil and gas activities, was our next company to visit. At the Oil and Gas Discovery Centre (OGDC), Haji Kamaluddin Bin Hj Bungsu, Vice Chairman and Director of Human Resources at BSP provided the key note speech highlighting Brunei’s history in oil and gas production, areas of technological excellence and initiatives to improve local business development.

This was followed by presentations from young professionals covering topics on Well Reservoir Field Management, Exploration and Appraisal of the Iron Duke Field and the Application of Smart Wells on the Champion West Field.

This session demonstrated BSP’s technological excellence, in particular in the design and execution of fish hook wells and the application of smart well completions to maximize hydrocarbon recovery and effectively manage reservoirs.

We then visited Brunei LNG, one of the world's top LNG Liquefaction Plants notable for its reputation in pioneering technology and operational excellence, where the site senior technical advisor George Wong provided an insightful talk on LNG processing.


BSPOur third session with BSP was held at the company headquarters and began with a talk by Liz Sturman, Chief Petroleum Engineer at BSP. During the talk, we had the opportunity to listen to inspirational accounts from her personal and professional life and learn about the conduct that constitutes a highly effective international petroleum engineer.

We then participated in BSP’s Monthly Technical Learning Café where short presentations were presented on technical cases of Cement Bond Logging Tools, Core Saturation Measurements, and The Champion West Water Flooding Project. Peter Lai from ICL also contributed to the session by presenting his research work on Characterising Heterogeneity in Reactive Surface Area.


ICL SPE Chapter football teamOur visit to BSP’s headquarters ended in high spirits as the multinational ICL SPE Chapter football team, led by Captain Sam Cotterill, challenged the SPE Brunei Young Professional team to a friendly football match at BSP’s football ground.

With us going into the unfamiliar sporting climate of high temperature and humidity conditions, the host team were dominating possession. With great football skills and sportsmanship being demonstrated by the ICL team, Vincent Avena and Wael Awad scored, helping us to a 2-1 victory against the hosts.


Schlumberger’s Seria BaseOur next visit in Brunei was to Schlumberger’s Seria Base where we were welcomed by Stefan Mrozewski with a presentation and discussion on Schlumberger’s wireline technologies. Our group then had the opportunity to interact with Andy Prestridge, Schlumberger Country Manager which was followed by an Equipment Site visit. In addition, we also had a session on Artificial lift Technology by Alexander Nolasco and Completion of Fishhook Openhole Gravel Pack Technology by Zhao Ming.


Baker Hughes’ operation centreWe concluded our technical field trip with a comprehensive visit to Baker Hughes’ operation centre. We were warmly welcomed by Taher Ali, Baker Hughes Brunei Country Manager, followed with presentations by Drilling Fluid, Wireline, Completions and Production teams.

The highlight of the day was the visit to the Equipment Site, where we had the invaluable opportunity to closely observe various tools with senior technical staff, helping us to better understand the challenges behind performing service operations safely.


Our International Field Trip to Malaysia and Brunei has been a trip of lifetime as we experienced different cultures and engaged petroleum engineering professionals in a captivating region of the world. For that, we are very thankful to SPE Brunei, SPE Kuala Lumpur, ITB, Brunei Shell Petroleum, PETRONAS, Schlumberger Brunei and Baker Hughes Brunei for hosting our visits.

We would like to specially thank Mr. Zulfaiq Zaini and Mrs. Najaa Halbi from SPE Brunei for their efforts in arranging the successful programme and organising logistics for our visits.

Photos Contributed by Abdul Zafar, Christina Holmgruen and Giles Mortimer


BPOur business is the exploration, production, refining, marketing, trading and distribution of energy, and we do it on a phenomenal scale. We own or part-own 16 refineries around the world, operate tens of thousands of miles of pipelines and run a fleet of more than 70 ships.

We produce about 4 million barrels of oil equivalent per day and own world-leading brands, such as BP, Amoco, Aral and Castrol serving millions of customers each day. And in recent years, we've made profits of over $20 billion a year.

We recruit into three key disciplines: Engineering, Science or Business. Within each of these, there is a wide range of opportunities - from chemical engineering to geoscience, chemistry to finance, trading to drilling and completions engineering.

Whether you're based in Exploration & Production, Refining & Marketing, or within our corporate team, you will find the same support and encouragement to achieve new professional heights and beyond.

We look for drive, enthusiasm, ambition and the ability to think creatively and work well with others is essential. We are looking for people who are willing to learn and ready to make a difference.

In addition to mobility and a minimum 2:1 degree classification in a relevant subject you'll possess strong influencing, analytical and technical skills. If you want to understand more about what we look for and see whether you're suited to life with BP, go to our website and use our self-assessment questionnaire.

To find out more and to apply, visit www.bp.com/ukgraduates.

ShellWe are a global group of energy and petrochemicals companies with around 101,000 employees in more than 90 countries and territories. Our innovative approach ensures we are ready to help tackle the challenges of the new energy future.

Shell makes a major contribution to the UK, not just through providing products and services to our customers, but also through employment, tax revenues and investment which boost the economy. We employ around 8,600 people directly in the UK.

Shell is a key provider of the energy that millions of people use for heating and powering the UK. Our Upstream business has been a leading player in the North Sea for over 30 years.

In the UK sector of the North Sea, Shell has interests in more than 50 fields, operates more than 30 platform installations, 30 subsea installations, one FPSO vessel, three onshore gas plants and a marine terminal. Shell produces almost 15% of UK oil and gas on behalf of Shell and its co-venturers.

A career with Shell is more than just a day job. It's an opportunity to join a company who tackle real world problems. Joining Shell means getting more out of your working life than you thought possible. For more information and career options please visit our careers site.

SchlumbergerSchlumberger is the leading oilfield services provider, trusted to deliver superior results and improved exploration and production performance for oil and gas companies around the world. Knowledge, technical innovation, and teamwork are at the center of who we are.

Worldwide, our engineers, scientists, and specialists supply technology, project management, and information solutions to an industry that is vital to the global economy.

The company employs more than 105,000 people of over 140 nationalities working in more than 80 countries. Our belief that no culture has a monopoly on creativity has given us access to the best people no matter where they were born.

We offer three distinct career paths, and countless ways to learn more, do more, and experience more than you ever thought possible. We give you the training, the support, and the opportunities to make an impact. The rest is up to you.

Field Engineering: It will test you physically as well as mentally. Research, Engineering, Manufacturing and Sustaining: It's your chance to share ideas, win patents, and make a real impact. Petrotechnical: It's where your expertise in petroleum and reservoir engineering, geophysics or similar can help shape the future of energy.

We are interested in scientists and engineers of all disciplines. Have a look onwww.slb.com/careers for more information.