A Travellerspoint blog

By this Author: fracmeister

Germany, Romania, Hungary and London!

A whirlwind European trip.
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We don't have a lot of SPE members in Munich but the Universities there have both engineering and earth sciences students interested in petroleum issues. We caught La Cenerentola at the Bayerische Staatsoper. Munich is a lovely town as well. We managed to make a day trip.
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Our meetings in Romania were with multiple universities including UPG Ploiesti SC, University of Bucharest, UAIC Iasi SPE SC and LBU Sibiu. One of the students had arrived following an 8-hour train ride!
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My old friend and great SPE champion Vasile Badiu
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Great students!
Bucharest is a fascinating town with a lot of history. My wife took a day trip to TRANSYLVANIA! We went to the opera....the cheapest tickets anywhere!

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Yep, that's Vlad the Impaler!

Next off to Hungary. I had been there in the early 1990s and wow has it changed. Participated in an SPE Workshop and presented to some students. Jan and I spent a morning at a cooking class and we thoroughly love this town.
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gelato places everywhere

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No escaping the history in Budapest. This monument of bronze shoes along the Danube is to remember the many Hungarians shot and allowed simply to fall into the river. There is a struggle with the role many Hungarians played in the huge number of deaths of Hungarian Jews and Romana. Easy to blame on the Nazis but the facts show that many Hungarians were more than just complicit.

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This statue is quite controversial and there are protests each day as it (is claimed to) whitewash Hungarian involvement in WWII atrocities.
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It is a gorgeous town.

We finished the trip in London. The main purpose was the SPEE Annual Conference and for once I was an attendee without any speaking obligations. Nonetheless it was business development for GCA but we did have a Sunday to go to church and a few museums. Saw a Vermeer at the lovely Kenwood House and thoroughly enjoyed the National Gallery. Jan got to be a tourist for a couple days but we at least got to see Wicked! again along with yet another opera.

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Other Blogs

You can of course read about my barbecue at This site
My Baker Hughes reservoir blog is here.
My (old) blog detailing my 18 months in Hong Kong is here,

Travel this trip (basically includes airport to airport) 12,915 miles. SPE travel to date 546,370 miles. Round trip earth to moon is 477,800 so THERE AND BACK!

Countries to date (my counting rule is basically that I spent the night there with some sort of SPE content...not just went through the airport like New Zealand or Panama): 45
Australia
Austria
Azerbaijan
Bahrain
Belgium
Brunei
Canada
China
Colombia
Czech Republic
Denmark
Ecuador
Finland
France
Germany
Ghana
Hungary
Kuwait
Indonesia
India
Ireland
Italy
Malaysia
Mexico
Nigeria
Netherlands
Norway
Oman
Qatar
Romania
Russia
Saudi Arabia
Singapore
Spain
Sweden
Switzerland
Thailand
Trinidad & Tobago
Turkey
United Arab Emirates
United Kingdom (Scotland, England)
USA
Vietnam

Operas this month =4 Operas to date = 81

Posted by fracmeister 08:45 Archived in Hungary Comments (0)

Mexico and Brazil

After the Middle East trip we saw the Houston Grand Opera version of Götterdämmerung (Wagner) and then drove to Fort Worth for their version of Carmen (Bizet). Back to Houston for The Abduction from the Seraglio (Mozart). Great time for opera considering that we had just had a backstage tour and joined HGO as patrons.

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The Mexico trip was awesome as we spent time at UNAM, PEMEX and with the local SPE section. UNAM's Petrobowl team won the 2015 International contest and I had promised to visit. We also visited the Mexico City LDS temple briefly.

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We flew to Merida for more students and the LDS temple there. The next day we took some personal time and drove to Tulum and had dinner at Noma Mexico. We had previously eaten at Noma in Copenhagen when it was rated the number one restaurant in the world. Two of the Mexico City restaurants we had (in prior trips) enjoyed are now in the world's "top 15." Noma Mexico was an unbelievable treat and we managed to see the local ruins. The a quick drive to Carmen and a flight home. large_IMG_0933_1_.jpglarge_90_IMG_0944_1_.jpglarge_90_IMG_0949_1_.jpglarge_90_IMG_0934_1_.jpg

Not much time at home and then off to Brazil. I flew to Sao Paulo and drove to Campinas for a meeting with UNICAMP and then a quick flight to Rio. In Rio we met with the local SPE section, Petrobras, Young Professionals and at UFRJ, the 2016 Petrobowl champions! Nice lunch and meeting with local Baker Hughes leaders.

At UNICAMP there is the Fundação de Desenvolvimento da Unicamp or FUNCAMP. This does not seem as hilarious to the locals as it does to me.

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Great group at UNICAMP.

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Also toured a lot of labs. Just a few of those pics.

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At UFRJ we had a lot of enthusiasm. Three consecutive female SPE Chapter Presidents!

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It was back to Houston and a keynote speech at the Gulf Coast Section Awards banquet. large_DAto4KPXkAEjzdC.jpglarge_yu_li.jpg

Only a few more days and then off to Europe again.

Other Blogs

You can of course read about my barbecue at This site
My Baker Hughes reservoir blog is here.
My (old) blog detailing my 18 months in Hong Kong is here,

Travel this trip (basically includes airport to airport) 13,015 miles. SPE travel to date 533,465 miles. Round trip earth to moon is 477,800 so almost back!

Countries to date (my counting rule is basically that I spent the night there with some sort of SPE content...not just went through the airport like New Zealand or Panama): 43
Australia
Austria
Azerbaijan
Bahrain
Belgium
Brunei
Canada
China
Colombia
Czech Republic
Denmark
Ecuador
Finland
France
Germany
Ghana
Kuwait
Indonesia
India
Ireland
Italy
Malaysia
Mexico
Nigeria
Netherlands
Norway
Oman
Qatar
Russia
Saudi Arabia
Singapore
Spain
Sweden
Switzerland
Thailand
Trinidad & Tobago
Turkey
United Arab Emirates
United Kingdom (Scotland, England)
USA
Vietnam

Operas this month =3 Operas to date = 77

Posted by fracmeister 09:41 Archived in Brunei Comments (0)

Middle East Again

Kuwait, Abu Dhabi and Saudi Arabia

Very excited to take this trip which might be the last Middle East trip of my SPE presidency. large_Screenshot..09_14_06_06.png

I began the trip with a very brief visit in Kuwait followed by a few days in Abu Dhabi. In addition to GCA business there we were able to attend Church on Friday. Jan joined me in Abu Dhabi having made a brief stop in Toronto to visit the LDS temple there.

Then it was off to Saudi Arabia. Jan had never been there and we were very happy she had this opportunity.

I was able to make a field trip to the amazing Abqaiq oil treating facility which handles crude oil from Ghawar field as well as a few others. It is the largest facility of its kind and able to handle 7 million BOPD. It's not permitted to photograph inside these facilities but I found these stock images online.
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Plenty of camels en route. large_d6.jpg

We had a great lunch with old friends and new ones and then I traveled to the equally impressive Qurayyah sea water injection plant capable of handling 14 million BWPD. Climbing atop one of the massive above grade canals I was stunned by the scope of the operation and the amazing clarity of the water. The facility sits by gorgeous beaches and provides pressure support for the world's greatest oilfield. large_492FD820B5D2DC7F367A1176BDDCFD3F.jpg Again, internet image.

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Jan met with many of the Saudi ladies and greatly enjoyed herself.large_d4.jpglarge_492E3959E49F7BD63C0A9385C6F4FC85.jpg The conference was a big hit. We had dinner with 2019 SPE President Sami Al-Neaim and his wife. large_492ED045D2DC4C4D4287A5496C5B643C.jpglarge_4930D78BCDDED79784ED097AA8576D16.jpg

We participated in the cultural night activities which are always fun.large_d1.jpglarge_492D02E6E9FDF111EBA9A6833DF3BBC7.jpglarge_492C87290E419125C5F5896A49B3B077.jpg

On the way back we flew through Turkeylarge_492BD9169BBB0696317A2950EA3CB500.jpg to Atlanta (picture of the jimmy Carter museum) large_492B22DBD8AB06092CF6C5490DC34FAA.jpgand spent the weekend at my son's condo---he was out of town for a wedding so we got to drive his car and visit our old stomping ground as well as Georgia tech for a meeting of a Board I am on.

Absolutely exhausted, I made it home from Atlanta but not my wife! She flew on to Hartford, CT to help my daughter move and then back to Houston just in time for the final opera of the ring cycle, Götterdämmerung. I spent a lot of the week at OTC and saw many old friends including the 2017 and 2018 SPE presidents.
large_492AA86992697A3050DCE4160F6AAAC6.jpgThe next day it was off to Fort Worth for another opera, Carmen. We drove in separate cars because she needed to go on BACK to Atlanta to drop off some things for my son and then back home through Hattiesburg to pick up her mother to come see the new grandson!

Other Blogs

You can of course read about my barbecue at This site
My Baker Hughes reservoir blog is here.
My (old) blog detailing my 18 months in Hong Kong is here,

Travel this trip (basically includes airport to airport) 17,020 miles. SPE travel to date 520,450 miles. Round trip earth to moon is 477,800 so almost back!

Countries to date (my counting rule is basically that I spent the night there with some sort of SPE content...not just went through the airport like New Zealand or Panama): 43
Australia
Austria
Azerbaijan
Bahrain
Belgium
Brunei
Canada
China
Colombia
Czech Republic
Denmark
Ecuador
Finland
France
Germany
Ghana
Kuwait
Indonesia
India
Ireland
Italy
Malaysia
Mexico
Nigeria
Netherlands
Norway
Oman
Qatar
Russia
Saudi Arabia
Singapore
Spain
Sweden
Switzerland
Thailand
Trinidad & Tobago
Turkey
United Arab Emirates
United Kingdom (Scotland, England)
USA
Vietnam

Operas this month =3 Operas to date = 74

Posted by fracmeister 08:48 Archived in Kuwait Comments (0)

Major Asia run

Thailand, Beijing, Hong Kong, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Jakarta, Tokyo ---WHEW!

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Well the start of the trip was a chore. Sunday night flight to LAX, the long, long flight to Hong Kong and then another flight to Chiang Mai. We were exhausted when we got to the hotel at 11 AM on a Tuesday having left our house 6 PM on Sunday. In Chiang Mai I spent the morning at the University meeting with faculty and addressing a large group of students--mainly geologists and geophysicists. The gf and I enjoyed touring a few temples including Doi Suthep in the mountains and several in the city. We took a long cooking class Thursday AM before our flight to Bangkok.
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Here are the cooking class shots

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The Board meeting was in Bangkok and we stayed at one of my favorite hotels in the world....the Mandarin Oriental. Awesome.

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Following the board meetings we headed off to Beijing for a series of business development trips. We met our old friend from Stanford, Dianbin Liu.
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We spent the weekend in Hong Kong and saw some old friends.
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Monday was spent in Singapore at the GCA office.

Then it was off to KL for more BD meetings and speaking at the SPE HSSE-HR opening and panel discussions. Many students there as well.

Jan left after KL but I went on to Jakarta. More BD meetings and dinner with an old Exxon friend. I saw that Uber and some of their competitors had adapted to Jakarta,
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Jan spent a day in Tokyo and went to the LDS temple there. After Jakarta it was home for me. 21 days on the road. Exhausted.

Other Blogs

You can of course read about my barbecue at This site
My Baker Hughes reservoir blog is here.
My (old) blog detailing my 18 months in Hong Kong is here,

Travel this trip (basically includes airport to airport) 26,340 miles. SPE travel to date 503,430 miles. Round trip earth to moon is 477,800 for scale.

Countries to date (my counting rule is basically that I spent the night there with some sort of SPE content...not just went through the airport like New Zealand or Panama): 43
Australia
Austria
Azerbaijan
Bahrain
Belgium
Brunei
Canada
China
Colombia
Czech Republic
Denmark
Ecuador
Finland
France
Germany
Ghana
Kuwait
Indonesia
India
Ireland
Italy
Malaysia
Mexico
Nigeria
Netherlands
Norway
Oman
Qatar
Russia
Saudi Arabia
Singapore
Spain
Sweden
Switzerland
Thailand
Trinidad & Tobago
Turkey
United Arab Emirates
United Kingdom (Scotland, England)
USA
Vietnam

Operas this month =1 Operas to date = 71

Posted by fracmeister 11:58 Archived in Malaysia Comments (0)

Northeast USA from Boston to Detroit (the long way)

This was an unusual "all American" trip. The gf accompanied me as we flew to Boston. I spent the day at the SaudiAramco research facility and addressed their staff along with the staff at Detroit and Houston via teleconference. Jan and I went to the Boston LDS temple and spoke at some length with my old Stanford professor (from the business school) Steve Wheelwright and his wife. We drove to Hartford, CT (LDS temple there) and then to Trumbull where I spoke to a group of Unilever engineers on sustainability. Very intriguing to see the points of view of this different industry (where my daughter works). The differences were less than the similarities as they were into additive manufacturing, nanotechnology, big data, etc.

Over the weekend we met my college roommate and his wife for two operas at the Met along with a Frick visit. Church in Manhattan and then off to Pennsylvania, My Philadelphia talk got shifted to Tuesday so we decided to spend Monday morning at Gettysburg and enjoyed a historical tour and the temple in Philadelphia. I addressed student chapters at Penn, Penn State, Pitt and the SPE section in Pittsburgh. The next stop would be the Detroit SaudiAramco research facility but we stopped by Columbus Ohio en route.

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LDS temple in Boston
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Metropolitan Opera, New York
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Philadelphia Art Museum. Can't see this without the theme from ROCKY being in my head....
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Philadelphia LDS temple
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Penn State students and a famous Professor!
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SPE Section and a few pics in Pittsburgh
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A few shots from the Detroit research facility of SaudiAramco. I learned a lot there.

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CERA week with my friend Bandar Alkhamies. Note my car's license plate.

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Other Blogs

You can of course read about my barbecue at This site
My Baker Hughes reservoir blog is here.
My (old) blog detailing my 18 months in Hong Kong is here,

Travel this trip (basically includes airport to airport) 3,980 miles. SPE travel to date 477,090 miles. Round trip earth to moon is 477,800 so almost back!

Countries to date (my counting rule is basically that I spent the night there with some sort of SPE content...not just went through the airport like New Zealand or Panama): 43
Australia
Austria
Azerbaijan
Bahrain
Belgium
Brunei
Canada
China
Colombia
Czech Republic
Denmark
Ecuador
Finland
France
Germany
Ghana
Kuwait
Indonesia
India
Ireland
Italy
Malaysia
Mexico
Nigeria
Netherlands
Norway
Oman
Qatar
Russia
Saudi Arabia
Singapore
Spain
Sweden
Switzerland
Thailand
Trinidad & Tobago
Turkey
United Arab Emirates
United Kingdom (Scotland, England)
USA
Vietnam

Operas this month =4 Operas to date = 70

Posted by fracmeister 10:56 Archived in Brunei Comments (0)

New York, Doha and Abu Dhabi

This month's map

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Baker Hughes' annual executive leadership meeting is usually held in Houston but this year we went to the GE leadership training facility in Ossining, New York. (https://www.facebook.com/pages/GE-Global-Learning-Crotonville-Leadership/166479726706324)
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It is an impressive facility and several GE executives spoke to us.

After the meeting I spent Saturday with my daughter touring the Frick museum (my favorite), going to the opera (Rigoletto set in Las Vegas, c. 1960) and dinner. It was a fun break before the long flight to Doha. large_90_IMG_0072.jpglarge_IMG_0071.jpglarge_180_IMG_0091.jpg

Meetings in Doha and Abu Dhabi were primarily for Baker Hughes but I did manage to have dinner with a few local SPE members.

Other Blogs

You can of course read about my barbecue at This site
My Baker Hughes reservoir blog is here.
My (old) blog detailing my 18 months in Hong Kong is here,

Travel this trip (basically includes airport to airport) 12,350 miles. SPE travel to date 473,110 miles. Round trip earth to moon is 477,800 so almost back!

Countries to date (my counting rule is basically that I spent the night there with some sort of SPE content...not just went through the airport like New Zealand or Panama): 43
Australia
Austria
Azerbaijan
Bahrain
Belgium
Brunei
Canada
China
Colombia
Czech Republic
Denmark
Ecuador
Finland
France
Germany
Ghana
Kuwait
Indonesia
India
Ireland
Italy
Malaysia
Mexico
Nigeria
Netherlands
Norway
Oman
Qatar
Russia
Saudi Arabia
Singapore
Spain
Sweden
Switzerland
Thailand
Trinidad & Tobago
Turkey
United Arab Emirates
United Kingdom (Scotland, England)
USA
Vietnam

Operas this month =2 Operas to date = 66

Posted by fracmeister 16:32 Archived in Brunei Comments (0)

Oklahoma, London and New Orleans

I don't include ALL my travel in this blog so you won't get much on purely personal travel. We celebrated the US holiday of Thanksgiving with most of my family coming in to visit for the big day. I smoked a very large turkey and we all had a great time.

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Our first trip was to Oklahoma. They really roll out the red carpet for me when I visit there and it is one of my favorite spots. First I went to visit GE Oil and Gas. Now given that we are trying to merge our company with theirs this would normally have been a bit dicey but it is a long planned SPE event. I toured their R&D facility and made a presentation to the group.

That evening Devon hosted my gf and me at the OKC Thunder basketball game.

The next day I made several presentations at Devon to their technical staff and to the SPE members and young professionals in Oklahoma City.

Friday I went to the University of Oklahoma where (on behalf of Baker Hughes) I presented a large check to support the Department. I also spoke to the student chapter and members of the faculty. It was back to OU on Saturday for the Oklahoma Oklahoma State.

My next trip was to London and while it was primarily a visit to the Gaffney-Cline & Associates office I managed to meet several SPE leaders as well.

Finally a one-day trip to New Orleans. I met with the local section and we had an exciting "Petrobowl rematch" with some of the international 2nd place championship team of students and the "old geezers" from the local section. I will tell you that we rigged the first couple questions so that it would look like the "fix was in" for the senior team, but all for humorous effect. the students eventually won of course.

b]Other Blogs[/b]

You can of course read about my barbecue at This site
My Baker Hughes reservoir blog is here.
My (old) blog detailing my 18 months in Hong Kong is here,

Travel this trip (basically includes airport to airport) 11,910 miles. SPE travel to date 460,760 miles. Round trip earth to moon is 477,800 so almost back!

Countries to date (my counting rule is basically that I spent the night there with some sort of SPE content...not just went through the airport like New Zealand or Panama): 43
Australia
Austria
Azerbaijan
Bahrain
Belgium
Brunei
Canada
China
Colombia
Czech Republic
Denmark
Ecuador
Finland
France
Germany
Ghana
Kuwait
Indonesia
India
Ireland
Italy
Malaysia
Mexico
Nigeria
Netherlands
Norway
Oman
Qatar
Russia
Saudi Arabia
Singapore
Spain
Sweden
Switzerland
Thailand
Trinidad & Tobago
Turkey
United Arab Emirates
United Kingdom (Scotland, England)
USA
Vietnam

Operas this month = 1 Operas to date = 61

Posted by fracmeister 22:01 Archived in China Comments (0)

El Paso/New Orleans/London/San Antonio

After a while, this level of travel seems normal. But a lot of these trips were fun.

My gf (those of you who are new to this blog should know that is my wife of 41+ years) and I decided to catch a few Bowl games together since each one of the colleges I graduated from had a good football year and went to (AND WON) their bowl games.
First, the map:
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Jan and I flew to El Paso and rented a car, driving to Ciudad Juarez to visit the LDS temple there. We ate a lot of Mexican food on this trip and El Paso is a great place for it with quite a bit of variety. We had great seats for the game and although the top Stanford player (Christian Mccaffrey) decided not to play in this game (as he is turning pro) the Cardinal beat the North Carolina team in spite of their awesome quarterback. While we were ahead most of the game, UNC battled back and it was close at the end with some last minute heroics.

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We were delayed on the flight home from El Paso because of heavy rains in Houston but we had an awesome end to end double rainbow as a treat at the airport. The other treat was listening to Georgia Tech beat North Carolina in basketball just after seeing Stanford beat them in football.

We flew home and spent Christmas with the family and then after a few days drove to New Orleans to see Oklahoma defeat Auburn in the Sugar Bowl.

I spoke as a keynote speaker in the TAMEST conference (http://www.tamest.org/2017-annual-conference) large_E8A8E43903B7B85719391FADA7CB2F0C.png

You can see my presentation on youtube here. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FN1CihC1w38 Also managed a selfie with Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson!
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The trip to London was primarily a business trip in conjunction with my new assignment as Managing Director, Gaffney-Cline & Associates. However I did stop in to visit old friends and speak to a large group of graduate students at Imperial College in London.

large_IMG_0099.jpg Recognize this landmark and the Beatles song that references it?

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Attended the SPE Hydraulic Fracturing workshop and lead the SPE Nominations process. Check your April JPT to see what we decided! large_180_IMG_0057.jpgis the committee.

Other Blogs

You can of course read about my barbecue at This site
My Baker Hughes reservoir blog is here.
My (old) blog detailing my 18 months in Hong Kong is here,

Travel this trip (basically includes airport to airport) 12,350 miles. SPE travel to date 473,110 miles. Round trip earth to moon is 477,800 so almost back!

Countries to date (my counting rule is basically that I spent the night there with some sort of SPE content...not just went through the airport like New Zealand or Panama): 43
Australia
Austria
Azerbaijan
Bahrain
Belgium
Brunei
Canada
China
Colombia
Czech Republic
Denmark
Ecuador
Finland
France
Germany
Ghana
Kuwait
Indonesia
India
Ireland
Italy
Malaysia
Mexico
Nigeria
Netherlands
Norway
Oman
Qatar
Russia
Saudi Arabia
Singapore
Spain
Sweden
Switzerland
Thailand
Trinidad & Tobago
Turkey
United Arab Emirates
United Kingdom (Scotland, England)
USA
Vietnam

Operas this month =3 Operas to date = 64

Posted by fracmeister 22:12 Archived in Belgium Comments (0)

Saudi Arabia again!

KAUST again! Big News for Baker Hughes!

Well of course blog readers will be up to date on the announcement by GE and Baker Hughes. I am personally very excited by the opportunities.

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This trip was a return visit to the Amazing King Abdullah University of Science and Technology. It was an impressive gathering of scientists to discuss future technical issues and while most of the things we discussed aren't really public I will be talking about some of the challenges and opportunities in the future.

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We caught two operas in Houston this month. Glad to be able to use those season tickets!

b]Other Blogs[/b]

You can of course read about my barbecue at This site
My Baker Hughes reservoir blog is here.
My (old) blog detailing my 18 months in Hong Kong is here,

Travel this trip (basically includes airport to airport) 16,350 miles. SPE travel to date 448,850 miles. Round trip earth to moon is 477,800 so almost back!

Countries to date (my counting rule is basically that I spent the night there with some sort of SPE content...not just went through the airport like New Zealand or Panama): 43
Australia
Austria
Azerbaijan
Bahrain
Belgium
Brunei
Canada
China
Colombia
Czech Republic
Denmark
Ecuador
Finland
France
Germany
Ghana
Kuwait
Indonesia
India
Ireland
Italy
Malaysia
Mexico
Nigeria
Netherlands
Norway
Oman
Qatar
Russia
Saudi Arabia
Singapore
Spain
Sweden
Switzerland
Thailand
Trinidad & Tobago
Turkey
United Arab Emirates
United Kingdom (Scotland, England)
USA
Vietnam

Operas this month = 2 Operas to date = 60

Posted by fracmeister 18:39 Archived in Azerbaijan Comments (0)

Austin, then Sweden, Finland and Russia

Weather getting cooler and opera season upon us

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Baker Hughes supports many universities and UT-Austin has always had a good relationship, We sponsored multiple laboratories in the Petroleum Engineering department and it is always a pleasure to return there. Especially since we could present them a big check.

We also got a great tour of new facilities and spoke to their students and faculty.

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I stayed the weekend and took the grandsons on a Cub Scout campout!

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Jan and I attended the World Oil Banquet where I received the Lifetime Achievement Award. SPE also was recognized for having the best community outreach award.

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Our trip to Russia included stops to Stockholm and Helsinki. Few SPE members but we enjoyed an opera and visit to the LDS temples in each town. Both towns are lovely.

Stockholm

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Helsinki

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Moscow

The Russian Petroleum Conference and Exhibition was outstanding. I gave an opening welcome speech and participated in the plenary panel. I also gave out (as usual) a lot of awards. Jan and I caught one opera at the Bolshoi and I visited with local oil company leaders. I was able to tour Gubkin University again and address the students.
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St. Petersburg

The ext stop was St. Petersburg where I met at considerable length with GazPromneft leadership. From lunch and presenting them an award through the end of the day. They have an impressive facility and as the Russia's fourth largest oil producer is technically comparable to the best operators globally. Jan and I went to three operas there and we met with students from the Mining University and St. Petersburg State University. We also went back to the Hermitage and toured the magnificent Faberge museum.
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Frankfurt

Frankfurt was a layover evening resulting from changes of plans and some ticket cost savings. We had breakfast with great friends of ours and did a little too much shopping.
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Other Blogs

You can of course read about my barbecue at This site
My Baker Hughes reservoir blog is here.
My (old) blog detailing my 18 months in Hong Kong is here,

Travel this trip (basically includes airport to airport) 13,675 miles. SPE travel to date 432,500 miles. Round trip earth to moon is 477,800 so almost back!

Countries to date (my counting rule is basically that I spent the night there with some sort of SPE content...not just went through the airport like New Zealand or Panama): 43
Australia
Austria
Azerbaijan
Bahrain
Belgium
Brunei
Canada
China
Colombia
Czech Republic
Denmark
Ecuador
Finland
France
Germany
Ghana
Kuwait
Indonesia
India
Ireland
Italy
Malaysia
Mexico
Nigeria
Netherlands
Norway
Oman
Qatar
Russia
Saudi Arabia
Singapore
Spain
Sweden
Switzerland
Thailand
Trinidad & Tobago
Turkey
United Arab Emirates
United Kingdom (Scotland, England)
USA
Vietnam

Operas this month = 6 Operas to date = 58

Posted by fracmeister 18:40 Archived in Finland Comments (0)

Europe and Dubai: The big month

The ATCE in Dubai is a massive success

This trip was my last official one as SPE President and marked the transition to Past President. I will always be 2016 SPE President but the handover to the 2017 President occurred at the end of the Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition.

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Milan

My gf joined me again and we started September 12 flying to Milan via Newark. We met with the local section and dinner with section leaders and local industry executives. I joined my old friend Giovanni Paccaloni at a soft skills seminar. I also toured a private collection of amazing cars owned by a local SPE member. My wife and I were able to go to La Scala with the SPE section leaders to see Die Zauberflote (The Magic Flute). This was the 30th Italy Section celebration.
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Netherlands

Then off to the Netherlands as we flew to Amsterdam and caught another favorite Mozart opera, Le Nozze de Figaro. We went to Delft University and had a packed schedule with the local section, students from Delft and the U. of Utrecht. Met with the Mijnbouwkundige Vereeneging, or MV, a 117-yr-old student organization. We presented a "surprise" award to former President and my dear friend Giovanni Paccaloni recognizing him for his contributions to the development of "soft skills" education in the Society.
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Paris

From Delft we took the train to Paris. You guessed it, another opera and the last one for this trip. Puccini's Tosca at the wonderful opera house in Paris. We spoke at the Paris section meeting, had lunch and an all day meeting with the section officers and new board members.
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Leaving Paris we were off to Dubai.

Dubai

Well my schedule here was mind boggling. We arrived to the hotel late Wednesday night. Thursday AM I started with teleprompter practice and then off to speak at and preside over many meetings. That day it was an orientation for new board members, new regional director's orientation, audit committee and the BoD welcome reception.

Friday morning the gf caught Uber and went to church but I started with a 7:30 officer's breakfast followed by the Board plenary session, finance and strategy committee, regional and technical director committee meetings and then off to the Board dinner. Saturday I spent most of the time in the Member Programs committee with visits to Communications and Knowledge Sharing and Training, Programs and Meetings. The gf took the Big Bus tours around Dubai and stayed out till late! She toured many museums and mosques including a long trip to Abu Dhabi.

Sunday was the full Board meeting. I preside at most of these meetings and speak. We had a Joint Section Officer & Board luncheon and the Board meeting went quite long. Then the group photos, a large and crowded leadership reception followed by the "Owl's club" (former SPE Presidents and Board members) dinner.

Monday was ATCE. We left early to arrive at the Plenary Session where I joined Amin Nasser, CEO of SaudiAramco and Abdul Munim Saif Al Kindy,
Director, Exploration Development and Production for Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC). See this summary article. We were joined by His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum who joined me for a tour of the exhibits (see https://www.facebook.com/nathan.meehan?fref=ts).

We had two great Plenary sessions with very senior oil industry executives including Martin Craighead, CEO of Baker Hughes (yea!). We had a "VVIP" luncheon with these leaders and the Board seeking their input on industry matters and how SPE can be of service to the industry.

We were fortunate to have received the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.

I had multiple meetings with old friends and leaders including Datuk Anuar Taib, SVP & CEO, Upstream of PETRONAS, Dean Mike Stice of the university of Oklahoma and others. I then went to an exciting PetroBowl final where I was called on to read the questions for the final round. Wow. UFRJ (Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro) in Brazil won. I was the keynote speaker at the Multi-Technical Section Dinner including the Digital Energy, Petroleum Data Driven Analytics and Research and Development Technical Sections. Long day and an early start the next day!

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Tuesday started off with an Energy4me address to a large group of teachers. I met with the nominating committee which I head. I made a presentation at the Student Awards banquet. Then off to the hotel to practice for the Awards banquet and picture taking. We gave out a LOT of awards and I of course spoke. Wonderful entertainment by a sand artist, musicians and some very high tech whirling dervishes.

Wednesday was the final day of the conference and it was also VERY busy. I started by addressing more than 200 high school students at the energy4me event and practicing for the Presidential luncheon. At that lunch we recognized many more award recipients and I gave my "big speech." The culmination of my term as President and beginning of my last year as President-elect was when I handed over the gavel to 2017 President Janeen Judah. Here is a video of an interview done just after the speech.

Jan and I then had a little fun in Dubai going to the top of the Burj Khalifa and eating out at a favorite restaurant. We saw plenty of ATCE attendees out enjoying Dubai! Then off on a 1 AM flight.

Aberdeen

In Aberdeen I spoke to a large group of students at the historic University of Aberdeen (started in 1495!) and hustled right off to the Aberdeen Science Center to meet with SCG board members who have managed to integrate the energy4me material from SPE into the Scottish curriculum. Jan joined us and we toured the museum. Then off to a great (sold out) meeting with local Young Professionals. After my speech and one from ExxonMobil, we had a kind of 'speed dating' round. Nine YPs at each table questioned
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From Dubai we flew to Aberdeen through London. We had breakfast with the section officers and met separately and at length with Robert Gordon University and the University of Aberdeen.

Edinburgh

We took the train to Edinburgh and met with Herriot Watt University and some local industry leaders. Great turnout at the university and Jan and I enjoyed touring the city a bit. Then home.

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Other Blogs

You can of course read about my barbecue at This site
My Baker Hughes reservoir blog is here.
My (old) blog detailing my 18 months in Hong Kong is here,

Travel this trip (basically includes airport to airport) 28,500 miles. SPE travel to date 418,825 miles.

Countries to date (my counting rule is basically that I spent the night there with some sort of SPE content...not just went through the airport like New Zealand or Panama): 41
Australia
Austria
Azerbaijan
Bahrain
Belgium
Brunei
Canada
China
Colombia
Czech Republic
Denmark
Ecuador
France
Germany
Ghana
Kuwait
Indonesia
India
Ireland
Italy
Malaysia
Mexico
Nigeria
Netherlands
Norway
Oman
Qatar
Russia
Saudi Arabia
Singapore
Spain
Switzerland
Thailand
Trinidad & Tobago
Turkey
United Arab Emirates
United Kingdom (Scotland, England)
USA
Vietnam

Operas this month = 3 Operas to date = 52

Posted by fracmeister 06:50 Archived in Italy Comments (0)

Singapore and Beijing

Back to Asia (with the gf)

SIngapore for the Asia Pacific Drilling Technology Conference and section meeting then Beijing for a Hydraulic Fracturing conference. The map:
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SIngapore

I have been to SIngapore many times but while living in Hong Kong took my wife (the gf) there for the first time. Unlike all my prior visits we scheduled some tourist time. It was awesome. I had no idea Singapore was so interesting. We saw most of the "big stuff" and had a free weekend so did a bit more touring. We took a cooking class making Char Kwai Teow, chilli crab and onde onde. We went to Gardens by the Bay and ate many places including the newly Michelin starred hawker stand. My cheapest Michelin star meal ever.

Friday night we met with about 10 local SPE section leaders for dinner. Monday I gave the keynote address at the drilling conference and participated in the panels, papers and mixers. The Tuesday morning we left the Marina Bay Sands hotel (more impressive looking than a great place to stay) for Changi airport and flew to Beijing.

Beijing

First.... Beijing had beautiful weather with clear blue skies the whole time. Wow!

The schedule in Beijing was far more hectic than that in Singapore. I met with Mr. Wang Dongijin, Vice President, CNPC, Li Luguang, Assistant President, CNPC, Lv Gongxun, Vice President, PetroChina and General Manager, Petro China International Exploration & Development Company and Technical Programme Co-Chairman, Kim E. Code, Managing Director, Shell China Exploration and Production Company, Dan Hill, Department Head, Department of Petroleum Engineering, Texas A&M University and Technical Programme Co-Chairman, Wu Qi, Senior Vice President, PetroChina E&P Co., Liu Yuzhang, Research Professor and Director, RIPED, PetroChina, David Blanchard, Chairman, DB Global Energy Consultants and IPTC Board Chairman and I am sure others I forgot. I knew a lot more attendees since the topic is so near and dear to me. I gave the keynote address along with my friends Ahmed Abou-Sayed, Mark Pearson and Glenn Penny. Jan and I went out to dinner with the local SPE section officers and I gave the closing remarks for the conference.

Jan and I snuck off in the evening for a cooking class at the Hutong improving our dumpling making skills. I participated at the conference in multiple ways and had dinner with my great friend Dianbin Liu continuing our "best Peking duck" quest. We managed to go to church on Sunday and do a little tourism over the weekend. Specifically we had only been to the summer palace in the dead of winter. It was much warmer and greener this time! We went to the 798 Arts district, to church with old friends and bought some pearls at Hongqiao for my sister.

SIngapore Pictures

A few from the cooking class, Gardens by the Bay and around.
Waiting in line at the Hawker stand
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Cooking
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Gardens
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Beijing Pictures

Naturally there were a lot of SPElfies...here are a few.

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From our cooking class
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A little touring
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Dinner with a friend
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Shopping for pearlslarge_IMG_3979.jpg

Some more tourist shots....
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Went to the 798 Arts District.... among other things an Andy Warhol exhibit

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Other Blogs

You can of course read about my barbecue at This site
My Baker Hughes reservoir blog is here.
My (old) blog detailing my 18 months in Hong Kong is here,

Travel this trip (basically includes airport to airport) 20,500 miles. SPE travel to date 390,325 miles.

Countries to date (my counting rule is basically that I spent the night there with some sort of SPE content...not just went through the airport like New Zealand or Panama): 41
Australia
Austria
Azerbaijan
Bahrain
Belgium
Brunei
Canada
China
Colombia
Czech Republic
Denmark
Ecuador
France
Germany
Ghana
Kuwait
Indonesia
India
Ireland
Italy
Malaysia
Mexico
Nigeria
Netherlands
Norway
Oman
Qatar
Russia
Saudi Arabia
Singapore
Spain
Switzerland
Thailand
Trinidad & Tobago
Turkey
United Arab Emirates
United Kingdom (Scotland, England)
USA
Vietnam

Operas this month = 0 Operas to date = 49 Two months with no operas? I will shortly fix that!

Posted by fracmeister 06:44 Archived in China Comments (0)

Africa!

Nigeria and Ghana...

Well this was a wild trip. Just a few days after getting back from Denver I headed out to Africa without the gf.
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Ran into many friends.

I flew to Frankfurt and laid over for one day. I was supposed to fly on to Port Harcourt but I got "Lufthansa'd." Our flight from Abuja onward was cancelled due to mechanical problems. After about four hours without information they claimed we'd have to wait 24 hours and would eventually be transported to a hotel. Not the Hilton where the crew was safely whisked off to but hours later we were crammed in a van. albeit one with AC and a police escort. Halfway to Abuja we turned around and came back to the airport to be transferred to an ancient filthy school bus without working headlights (now 9 pm and dark) and no escort. Reeking of diesel fumes we eventually got to the Chelsea hotel, #37 of 60-someodd on tripadvisor there were of course no Lufthansa people there and we overswamped the staff immediately. Fortunately I didn't believe Lufthansa when they claimed all the morning flights were full and I rebooked on Arik Air. My employer (Baker Hughes) provided the transportation and all other trips. THANK YOU!

I made it to PH in time to go to the University of Port Harcourt. The Nigerian council donated an "elibrary" including new computers and access to onepetro.org and PetroWiki. I donated a copy of my recent book to the elibrary. (See details on the book here.)

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I then went on to speak to a very large group of students from numerous universities and met with local section leaders.

On Friday morning I took a great trip to Aba in Abia state to go to the Nigerian LDS temple.
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The road is awful with crater-like potholes all the way.

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Ran into an LDS Mission President and his wife.
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Made it back to the airport in PH and although my original flight was cancelled (notice a trend?) I was able to reschedule on Aero Air. Several interesting stories at the airport but let's go on.

Made it to Lagos and the schedule was hectic. Examples follow of the schedule and every item in bold was one where I gave another speech or remarks.

Student Chapters Contest
Section Officers Workshop
Young Professionals Workshop
"NAICE 40th Anniversary Welcome Reception Cocktail"
Young Professionals Africana Dinner

Opening Ceremony
Tour of Exhibition
VIP Lunch - Day 1
Marginal Field Workshop
"SPE Nigeria Council 2016 Annual General Meeting"
AGM Cocktail

Panel Session 1
ARD/VIP Lunch - Day 2
Women Development Program
Town Hall Meeting with Abuja, Warri & Benin Section Officers
Oil Industry Dinner & Awards

Panel Session 2
"VIP Lunch - Day 3SPE Senior Members Reunion"
SPE Faculty Taskforce/BoT R&D Project
SPE Annual Banquet & Awards

Some pics follow:
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Flags flying in front of the hotel.
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Gave my old friend David Ogbe a copy of my book for the students at AUST.

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Cutting the cake at a banquet...
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Nice chance to snap a picture with a few of the many Stanford alumni living in Lagos.
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Well, that was busy and off at 5:00 AM to an early flight to Accra. I really enjoyed Accra.

I went straight to the Baker Hughes office and then made calls on, Ghana National Petroleum Corporation, Amaja Oilfield Services, Tullow Ghana LTD, ENI Ghana. At ENI I also spoke with a large group of their employees. That night we had a section meeting that was well attended.
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Saturday I was able to attend the local LDS temple. Then a late night flight to London and back to Houston.
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Other Blogs

You can of course read about my barbecue at This site
My Baker Hughes reservoir blog is here.
My (old) blog detailing my 18 months in Hong Kong is here,

Travel this trip (basically includes airport to airport) 4,175 miles. SPE travel to date 369,825 miles.

Countries to date (my counting rule is basically that I spent the night there with some sort of SPE content...not just went through the airport like New Zealand or Panama): 41
Australia
Austria
Azerbaijan
Bahrain
Belgium
Brunei
Canada
China
Colombia
Czech Republic
Denmark
Ecuador
France
Germany
Ghana
Kuwait
Indonesia
India
Ireland
Italy
Malaysia
Mexico
Nigeria
Netherlands
Norway
Oman
Qatar
Russia
Saudi Arabia
Singapore
Spain
Switzerland
Thailand
Trinidad & Tobago
Turkey
United Arab Emirates
United Kingdom (Scotland, England)
USA
Vietnam

Operas this month = 0 Operas to date = 49

Posted by fracmeister 15:55 Archived in Ghana Comments (0)

Fourth of July, Atlanta, Galveston, Denver

A little SPE stuff scattered in some mainly personal time.

Even the SPE President takes some personal time and around the 4th of July (the US Independence Day celebration) I get my family together and we have a great time. Then I take off to Atlanta to buy a condo...sort of as an investment but since I have a son who will be in grad school there for 4-5 years I have a more or less guaranteed renter. I take my two oldest grandsons on a grandpa-grandson day at Schlitterbahn in Galveston. Then it is back to SPE duties as I go to Denver.
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In Denver I have dinner with the SPE section leaders and then speak to an enthusiastic group at the Section breakfast. I meet with some local members and then my wife and I have an afternoon and the weekend so we do a little touring. On Saturday we go to Central City for the opera (Tosca). The CC opera house was where I saw my very first opera as a teenager (Carmen) so I am looking forward to the return. I still use the CC opera house tickets in brass that I have had since 1970 for my keychain.

On Sunday after church we meet with some family members for a not quite impromptu family reunion. Monday it is off to Colorado Springs for the SPE Distributed Fiber-Optic Sensing for Well, Reservoir and Facilities Management Workshop. Quite a mouthful but it is one of our most successful workshops. I was the keynote speaker last year and had the same privilege again this year. I always appreciate that vote of confidence. On the second night of the workshop I drove back into Denver and caught a Rockies baseball game. We also had time before our flight home to go to the Denver LDS temple.

Pictures

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We were able to see my wife's cousin in Atlanta.
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I cooked loads of food. Brisket, ribs, sausage, etc. Here is a fraction of the chicken.
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The Denver Art Museum had this Alan Houser piece I really liked.

Other Blogs

You can of course read about my barbecue at This site
My Baker Hughes reservoir blog is here.
My (old) blog detailing my 18 months in Hong Kong is here,

Travel this trip (basically includes airport to airport) 4,175 miles. SPE travel to date 369,825 miles.

Countries to date (my counting rule is basically that I spent the night there with some sort of SPE content...not just went through the airport like New Zealand or Panama): 37
Australia
Austria
Azerbaijan
Bahrain
Belgium
Brunei
Canada
China
Colombia
Czech Republic
Denmark
Ecuador
France
Germany
Kuwait
Indonesia
India
Ireland
Italy
Malaysia
Mexico
Netherlands
Norway
Oman
Qatar
Russia
Saudi Arabia
Singapore
Spain
Switzerland
Thailand
Trinidad & Tobago
Turkey
United Arab Emirates
United Kingdom (Scotland, England)
USA
Vietnam

Operas this month = 1 Operas to date = 49

Posted by fracmeister 15:12 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Mexico, Trinidad, Turkey

Meetings, turtles, "bake and shark" and more meetings. A trip to Ephesus.

As soon as I returned from Alaska it was off to a series of Baker Hughes internal meetings. The industry is changing and we are changing in response...and in a way to stay 'ahead of the curve.' But then it was immediately off to Monterrey, Mexico for the Mexican Petroleum Congress. This was followed in quick succession by trips to Trinidad and Turkey!
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Mexico

I saw many old friends including Professor Fernando Samaniego from UNAM. large_2016-06-09_12_25_24.jpg
I spoke and lead a panel discussion. Plenty of time with students and YPs.large_2016-06-10_12_36_15.jpglarge_2016-06-10_11_04_09.jpglarge_2016-06-09_16_28_20.jpglarge_2016-06-09_15_31_25.jpglarge_2016-06-09_13_20_52.jpg

I had an evening off and went to the LDS temple in Monterrey.
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Trinidad

Jan joined me for this trip to Trinidad. My first trip to these islands was in 2000 as an SPE Board member. They kept me busy here as I spoke as a keynote speaker to open the conference, lead a panel discussion, presented awards, spoke at the awards ceremony and spoke to a large group of YPs. I met the oil minister at the opening plenary; she invited my wife and I to meet her at "Pitch Lake" the largest natural deposit of asphalt in the world. In 1595 Sir Walter Raleigh used this pitch to repair his boats!

We had some more free time and went to a famous beach to try "bake and shark" a local specialty with fried bread and fried shark! Another highlight was a late night trip across the island to see leatherback turtles laying their eggs. These 700 pound behemoths are world travelers and go to Australia, Canada and the North Sea but always return to this same beach to lay their eggs. It is a sight I will never forget.
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Turkey

In an earlier blog entry I discussed my trip to the Middle East Technical University in Ankara. On this trip I went to Istanbul to the 26th Istanbul Technical University Symposium and Exhibition. I was the keynote speaker, judged the student paper contest, handed out awards, etc. Many of my long-time Turkish friends were there and of course the Turkish people are extremely hospitable and rightly proud of their beautiful country.
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Turkish Airlines is a fine one and has some of the best fares to Europe. I arrived one day early and was hosted to tour the Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace and archaeological museum , Grand Bazaar, spice market, etc. Friday night symposium attendees went on a Bosporus cruise and dinner.

The next day I flew down to tour Ephesus. I of course spent a long time in Ephesus including the houses on the hill (this is an extra charge---don't miss it!), St John's Basilica, the "Seven Sleepers", Mary's home (?), the ruins of the Temple of Diana, the museum (DO NOT MISS IT) and several other places. I even bought a rug. The Vienna Symphony played a magnificent concert at the ancient Great Theater of Ephesus; I was able to buy the next to the last seat available. It was quite a bit more expensive but besides being in a perfect location it didn't have anyone directly in front or behind me.... the stone steps made for some slightly less comfortable seating but i had a nice pad as well. Alice Sara Ott was the guest pianist; she was amazing.

Hope you enjoy these pictures!

Hagia Sofia and Blue Mosque

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The Grand Bazaar and spice markets are nearby.
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Topkapi Palace and Archaeological Museum

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Ephesus

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Other Blogs

You can of course read about my barbecue at This site
My Baker Hughes reservoir blog is here.
My (old) blog detailing my 18 months in Hong Kong is here,

Travel this trip (basically includes airport to airport) 19,605 miles. SPE travel to date 365,750 miles.

Countries to date (my counting rule is basically that I spent the night there with some sort of SPE content...not just went through the airport like New Zealand or Panama): 37
Australia
Austria
Azerbaijan
Bahrain
Belgium
Brunei
Canada
China
Colombia
Czech Republic
Denmark
Ecuador
France
Germany
Kuwait
Indonesia
India
Ireland
Italy
Malaysia
Mexico
Netherlands
Norway
Oman
Qatar
Russia
Saudi Arabia
Singapore
Spain
Switzerland
Thailand
Trinidad & Tobago
Turkey
United Arab Emirates
United Kingdom (Scotland, England)
USA
Vietnam

Operas this month = 6 Operas to date = 48

Posted by fracmeister 18:29 Archived in Trinidad and Tobago Comments (0)

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