The first Southwestern Petroleum Short Course was held in 1954 as the West Texas Oil-Lifting Short course, initiated by the petroleum engineering faculty at Texas Technological College, W.L. Ducker, Norma Lamont, Phil Johnson, and their industry friends in the Permian Basin. In later years, the association changed its name to Southwestern Petroleum Short Course since the conference expanded its coverage to include all phases of petroleum production. Consequently, the Short Course changed its content from artificial lift, exclusively, to include a broader spectrum of coverage including well completions, stimulation, workovers, reservoir operations, and production handling. However, the emphasis remains on artificial lift!
During these many years, more than 2,750 technical papers by over 2,700 authors have been presented to tens of thousands of registrants from all phases of petroleum production. Many of the authors and presenters who present are "household names" in the industry - they are experts in their specialties and come to the conference to associate with their peers who are also experts in their own rights. In addition, generations of petroleum engineering students have been able to attend the SWPSC to associate with professionals and gain insight into the industry. All the papers are available in print and digital format and distributed as the annual proceedings of the Southwestern Petroleum Short Course. The information thus imparted is intended to be practical and immediately useful in solving current problems and in presenting new techniques and practices to the oil and gas industry.
The Southwestern Petroleum Short Course recognizes individuals with two awards - the J.C. Slonneger Award and the Duane A. Crawford Service Award. The J.C. Slonneger Award recognizes individuals who have made outstanding contributions to petroleum production technology and its application to solving petroleum production problems in Artificial Lift, Operations, and/or Completions. The Duane A. Crawford Service Award recognizes individuals who have outstanding records of service to the Short Course.