File photo – a meteorologist day-dreaming about being a reservoir engineer.

CALGARY, Alberta – After spending 32 years as the chief meteorologist with SeeTV News, David Spence has decided to step away from the green screen to tackle the oil and gas industry. The seasoned weather personality has accepted a junior reservoir engineering position with Calgary-based Bendovus Energy.

This decision was difficult for me to make, but I thought after 3 decades of predicting weather, I figured it was time to predict something else, and what better than to predict how much oil can be produced from underground. I kinda see it as underground weather forecasting.

The Skywatch Weather Specialist will start his new position in September of 2013 after taking the summer off to recreationally experience weather in other parts of the world, including the much varied weather systems of Mexico, Dominican Republic, Cuba, and Jamaica. Séamus O’mahoney, the company’s Central Alberta business unit manager was pleased to bring Mr. Spence onboard, and he is excited at the value that the weather magician can bring to the table.

Séamus O’mahoney, Business Unit Manager, Bendovus Energy

Although Mr. Spence does not have directly related reservoir engineering experience, he is very adept at guessing and making stuff up. But instead of guessing when, where, and how a high pressure system will impact the city of Calgary, he will be guessing how much oil remains in our central Alberta reservoirs, how the oil and water is migrating, and figure out where the low pressure systems are heading.


High-pressure, low-pressure, they’re all pressures, so in my opinion, we have a perfect fit, and we expect great things from David.

Mr. Spence plans to leverage as many of the meteorological tools, software applications, and techniques as he can in his new role. For example, he plans to employ Doppler radar, which should help him see which way the oil is moving in the subsurface. He believes money can be saved by dropping liquid-proof barometers downhole to measure barometric pressure, which can be converted to bottomhole flowing pressure for his rate transient analyses.

David Spence, soon-to-be junior reservoir engineer

You know, we have weather helicopters in the sky, so how about having nanotechnology-sized helicopters that autonomously fly through the pore throats in the reservoir while beaming back data about fluid flow and reserves? There is a lot that the reservoir engineering discipline can learn from a meteorologist.


And to be quite honest, all I did when the camera was not rolling was throw darts at a specialized dartboard and rattled off some random forecast, and I plan to do much of the same at Bendovus. The odds of being right that way is roughly the same as the odds when I use all of that fancy equipment and those models and things. Anyhow, I can’t wait until September to sink my teeth into this new role, because it doesn’t get much meteor than this!

Mr. Spence is looking forward to the days when he can use the phrases, “our long-term forecast sees a 50% chance of 2P reserves and a 90% chance of 1P reserves throughout the week into Saturday…”, “the reservoir is underpressured with some high-pressure breaks later in the day“, “we can expect the reservoir to pressure up with a massive water drive sweeping in from beneath“, and “we currently have partly cloudy skies, with a 30% chance of rain overnight, when we’ll reach a low of 11 degrees” – oh, wait!


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