A Travellerspoint blog

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.



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.


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.


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.
Leaving Paris we were off to 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!


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.


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
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.


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.


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
Czech Republic
Saudi Arabia
Trinidad & Tobago
United Arab Emirates
United Kingdom (Scotland, England)

Operas this month = 3 Operas to date = 52

Posted by fracmeister 06:50 Archived in Italy

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