John Thorogood received the 2011 SPE Drilling Engineering Award on 2 March at the SPE/IADC Drilling Conference in Amsterdam. The award recognizes outstanding achievements in, or contributions to, the advancement of the engineering discipline or field.
Dr Thorogood’s early encounters with SPE were slightly rocky, he said. His first abstract for the IADC/SPE Drilling Conference was rejected. “I called (SPE headquarters) and talked to a very nice woman named Janelle Stewart,” Dr Thorogood recalled, adding that he offered to submit as an alternate and present if someone dropped out. “I did, and the rest is history.”
In accepting his award, Dr Thorogood expressed appreciation to SPE and earlier award alumni. “I would not be where I am today had it not been for previous winners of this award, such as Leon Robinson and Keith Milheim,” he said.
Dr Thorogood spent 34 years working for a major international oil company, where he was responsible for innovations and applications of new technologies in directional drilling, wellbore surveying, rig design and deepwater drilling. Since retirement, he has acted as technical adviser to a number of operators and service companies. He has developed well engineering management systems, technical policies and standards for several operating companies and assists the Research Council of Norway with assessments of research proposals and advises the International Research Institute of Stavanger.
He served a three-year term as director of SPE, with responsibility for drilling and completions, and was chairman of the 2001 SPE/IADC Drilling Conference, 26 February to 1 March in Amsterdam.