Section History

During the last years of the 1950's, petroleum engineers in Austria became acquainted with the Society of Petroleum Engineers during study trips through the Unites States - a few of them accepted this chance and became members. In the following years, these members were taken care of at first by the SPE Netherlands Section and later - around the middle of the 1980's by the Adriatic Section in Italy.

With the assistance of the Adriatic Section, the oldest member of SPE in Austria, Dir. Hermann Spoerker of OMV, together with Prof. Zoltan Heinemann of Leoben Mining University and Nathan Betsayad of Halliburton Austria started a sub-section on December 7, 1989. The first task was an extensive membership recruiting campaign with excellent results, and in 1991 an application was submitted to SPE Headquarters in Richardson to form a full SPE section in Austria. This application was supported by the Adriatic Section and approved by SPE in Richardson. The organizational meeting of the Austrian Section of SPE was held in Vienna on January 30, 1992.

The next step was to extend the section's acitivties into the Czech and Solvak Republics, with another membership campaign financially supporting membership fees for the new members. As it was - at that time - not advisable to start a sub-section in the Czech and Slovak Republics, it was unanimously decided to extend the geographic area of the Austrian Section to include the Czech and Slovak Republics and to change the section name to "Vienna Basin Section", which was approved by SPE in Richardson.

Nowadays, the Vienna Basin Section hosts monthly meetings with SPE Distinguished Lecturers as well as local speakers, with some of the meetings held in Hodonin or Bratislava, or at the Mining University in Leoben, where a notable SPE Student Chapter is supported.

During the last years, study trips to Hungary and Poland were organized to visit historic oil installations and workshops were arranged with the Hungarian Section in Budapest and the Croatian Section in Porec.