From the President, USAEE


Troy N. Thompson
Manager, Business Planning & Analytics
Chevron Corporation 
(Houston, TX)

Educational Opportunities for Members

A core part of the USAEEs mission is to offer educational opportunities to members and stakeholders who have a shared interest in energy development. Along with past USAEE President Lori Schell, I’m excited to announce that both USAEE and IAEE have been approved by the respected non-profit Global Association of Risk Professionals (GARP) to be Continuing Professional Development (CPD) providers. GARP is a 100,000 member strong association that offers Energy Risk Professional (ERP) certification that is recognized internationally for giving students the tools they need to think critically about the entire energy value chain. The 8-hour ERP exam is offered twice a year; certified ERPs must earn 40 CPD credit hours every two years to maintain their standing. Now for the first time, ERPs attending USAEE and IAEE conferences will earn GARP CPD credits, which will add even more value to our conferences, especially to GARP members. Consider for example that the IAEE International Conference in Antalya, Turkey, this May will earn certified ERPs an almost-unprecedented 21 CPD credits, attesting to the value of this conference in promoting thought leadership on energy issues.


North American Conference in October

Our own USAEE North American Conference in Pittsburgh this October has also been named as a GARP-approved conference and I want to extend my appreciation to Lori for her great work in identifying and securing GARP as a partner organization.

Our theme this year is “The Dynamic Energy Landscape,” which is particularly appropriate, given the challenges currently facing the industry. In just the past few months the crude oil market has dramatically shifted with oil and natural gas prices in the U.S. half the levels they were a year ago.  This has in turn impacted many businesses, from operators to service companies: in the Pittsburgh area where we will be holding our conference, Marcellus Shale rig activity is down by roughly a third since peaking in Q3 2014.  While there are broader benefits to the U.S. economy, it is also important to remember that there is a real and negative impact to many local communities and the people who live in them when prices fall including job losses that in some cases take years to rebound. At our upcoming conference in Pittsburgh, we plan to discuss and debate these implications and trade-offs. Program Committee Member Ben Schlesinger (President, BSA & Associates) has put together a strong panel including Vello Kuuskra (President and Chairman, Advanced Resources International), David Spigelmyer (President, Marcellus Shale Coalition), and Rusty Braziel (President, RBN Energy) to discuss recent trends and current events on the U.S. natural gas market. I strongly encourage you to attend the conference October 25-28.

2015 Council

USAEE Council had its first meeting of the year on March 11, and I want to highlight three areas of discussion:

  • Led by Jim Smith of Southern Methodist University, the Strategic Planning Group (SPG) explores strategic issues of interest to USAEE, such as strengthening the Association’s value proposition to all current and prospective members by, for example, building relationships with other associations (e.g., GARP). Jim and his team are exploring several new ideas, many based on your feedback through direct input and surveys, so look for more to come. If you have any ideas or suggestions, please let Jim or me know.
  • Maureen Lorenzetti of the World Bank Group oversees USAEE’s Communications and highlighted ways in which we are looking to expand communication to members beyond our website and email. This includes increasing content and reach of social media channels such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.
  • USAEE Dialogue, the official newsletter of USAEE, is another communications medium we use, and I want to acknowledge and sincerely thank Robert Borgstrom for the time and energy he devotes to serving as Editor. Members recently received a survey asking for feedback on how to improve Dialogue and make it even more meaningful in their daily work. Thanks to everyone who completed the survey and we plan to adapt your feedback in the months to come.  Finally, I encourage everyone to consider submitting an article for Dialogue.

Troy N. Thompson

Click to view a printable version of this article.