I am humbled by the trust reposed in me and the opportunity provided to me to lead the Society of Petroleum Geophysicists (SPG), India as its President. This is a special year for all of us, as the joy has grown two-fold with the celebration of “Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav” 75 years of independence, and the completion of 30 years of SPG India. In 1947, every Indian broke the chain of colonization, and after 45 years, in 1992, the industry and academia barrier was broken with the creation of SPG. This resulted in the evolution of a platform for improved interaction, technical exchange, and convergence of ideas resulting in fruitful collaborations. The SPG we see today has come a long way since its inception when it started with 30 geoscientists and has now grown multi-fold with 2,600+ members.
SPG is receiving accolades at the national level and global level with ten regional chapters, eighteen student chapters in the country, and an association with three international societies. The successful completion of thirteen Biennial International Conferences & Exhibitions is another testament to the commitment that we made in 1996. The creation of the technical magazine “GEOHORIZONS” and subsequent publications is another milestone that we cherish.
Our society was born with the mission of “achieving technical excellence through the exchange of ideas and practical experience” and it is a matter of immense pleasure to mention that we are able to achieve the planned targets. Achieving these targets was not a cakewalk and nor was a chance. This success is the testimony of my predecessors' as well as their team members' hard work, sincere efforts, and team playing ability that took SPG to new heights.
Now the onus is on me to continue this legacy and take it to greater heights. I am very much confident that our society will reach new zeniths, but this will require a team effort from all of us. Constant and continuous support, dedication, commitment, and discipline of all the office bearers, regional as well as student chapters, and most importantly members of this esteemed society will be required at each stage. As the saying goes, “achieving excellence is easier than sustaining”, because it requires an attitude and continuous improvement.
For the last two years, organizing lectures, workshops, technical talks, and field trips were a backbreaking task due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Nonetheless, any challenge contains an opportunity to excel. These obstacles were surmounted courageously by organizing various webinars and technical talks on different topics ranging from heavy oil play to shale gas, the significance of accurate velocity model to seismic attributes for fracture characterization, AVO modelling, and Local Angle Domain Imaging, to name a few. Some field activities were also conducted with full precaution and adherence to COVID-19 norms in Nazira and Garhwal Himalayan areas. Adaptability is the key to survival, hence in line with industry requirements, as part of Industrial Revolution 4.0, talks on the application of AI & ML for seismic data interpretation were also organized. Keeping the promise of strengthening our future pillars for the geoscientific community, a two-week multifaceted webinar was also organized for university students.
Even though the above activities give us a reason to hold our heads high, there is no doubt that more needs to be done. Strategies have been outlined for increasing the amplitude of engagement and participation on various fronts. Wider publication & acceptance of GEOHORIZONS, the inclusion of new student chapters, and the revival of existing ones are a few areas identified. Measures will be taken to increase the quality as well as standard of the GEOHORIZONS through the adoption of scientific journal impact factor, incentivizing article contributors especially students, and distribution of promotional hard copies to different organizations to make it one among the peer-reviewed and valued journals. More and more workshops and technical talks in relevant areas of research at regular intervals along with practical knowledge enriching field visits will be done. To further increase the outreach and interaction, a complete overhauling of our website and gearing up for the most awaited 14th Biennial International Conference and Exhibitions is underway. Bigger participation is expected from all to make it a feat.
One thing on which we all can agree is that virtual communications have their own lacunas & limitations in terms of zero networking opportunity, monologue talks, concentration issues, and an opportunity to get away from our workplaces. The worst impact was faced by the students who get one of its kind opportunity to see a first-hand view of the needs of the industry and accordingly calibrate their capacities. Hence, face-to-face activities are the need of the hour. With the COVID situation faring well, more and more activities can be conducted in person. It would be a precious moment to rekindle personally with all fellow professionals in the geoscience and engineering communities. Additionally, students should also be able to upskill themselves and fulfil the honourable PM's vision of Skilled India
With the growing concern of climate change, the world is heading towards energy that is not only affordable & available but sustainable & clean-low-carbon too. Our honourable PM has given the mantra of “Panchamrit” to the world at COP 26 of UNFCCC and as an organization that is adaptable in its nature, we can very well play the role of facilitator of environment-friendly technologies and ideas induction too. To achieve this, however, all the stakeholders will have to go hand-in-hand with the central executive body with more passion, zeal, and commitment to go beyond the existing capabilities. As a team, we need to do our best and make proud ourselves, SPG, and the nation at large.