A Travellerspoint blog

January 2015

Oman by way of Chicago

SPE Unconventional meeting and a little culture thrown in.

View Turkey and Kuwait & OKC Jan 2015 & Chicago and Oman on fracmeister's travel map.

This trip starts out with a flight to Richardson, TX. Over the years I have worked in Fort Worth for a number of years and as a result I spent a lot of time flying in and out of D/FW airport. It is rare for me to go there now but I made the quick hop from IAH and went to a meeting at the headquarters of the Society of Petroleum Engineers. These meetings are important but I also am headed to Oman.

Perhaps you would like to see my reservoir blog


But before I fly to Muscat, I have a stop in Chicago. Sure, I have some work/SPE meetings in the day but that isn't all that interesting. My college roommate lives in Oak Park; he and his wife remain (our) good friends. They recently came to visit us just to go to a baseball game and have some barbecue; they came to visit us in Hong Kong and toured China with us. If you want to see what a BBQ looks like at my house (with them)take a look here. One of their daughters helped me in a little parody of Sting on a bbq theme. They are both very musical and sing in the chorus with the Chicago Symphony. We went to see Riccardo Muti conduct Prokofiev and Scriabin. It was great and of course the Chicago Symphony Orchestra is one of the very finest in the world. Seeing Riccardo Muti in the same 12 months that we saw Sir Simon Rattle (Berlin) and Daniel Barenboim (Buenos Aires) has been a treat. Because I think most blog readers will be more interested in Oman, I will put the Chicago pictures at the end.

Here is the map for this trip.


I have always enjoyed Oman. I first traveled there when I was the VP of Engineering for Occidental Petroleum and then returned as a consultant several times working for Shell or PDO. It still feels more like the historical town. Its location meant that many different cultures influenced it and I count many Omanis as dear friends. The old souq remains a favorite place and the hospitality in Oman is legendary.


Location of Oman

In Oman the agenda was full.

  • Opening remarks at the SPE Unconventional resources conference
  • The great opportunity to spend more than an hour with His Excellency Mohammed bin Hamad Al Rumhy, Minister of Oil and Gas, Sultanate of Oman. I had been looking forward to this since I read the excellent Way Ahead interview but of course he has been in the news a lot lately. I found him to be very interesting. He is a PhD petroleum engineer and a very engaging individual. This was one of the best privileges of being SPE President-elect!
  • meetings at Sultan Qaboos University with student leaders
  • Evening presentation to the SPE section and dinner with the Section leaders
  • Meetings with management and presentation to a large group of employees with OXY of Oman, my former employer
  • Presentations to a large group of high school students and teachers
  • Meetings with the Undersecretary in the MOG, His Excellency Salem Al Aufi. I had met him the day before but this was a great chance to speak with him at length. These two leaders really understand the issues in the industry and are committed to serving Oman.
  • Lunch with an old friend, closing photos. Spending a lot of time catching up with many old friends from the region.

Of course I went to some papers and panel discussions. It was great.


Naturally at the University I took a #SPElfie with the students.

The hotel was by the beach and surrounded by craggy hills.
SPE Section leaders

This trip 16,890 miles. SPE travel to date 92,060 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: 14
Czech Republic
United Arab Emirates
United Kingdom (Scotland)

Chicago Pictures as promised.
The Bulls won big.

My friends are from Oak Park....ground zero for Frank Lloyd Wright. I particularly enjoyed the Robie House.

We toured the University of Chicago, some downtown sculptures, the lakeside parks.


The silvery sculpture Cloud Gate is often called the bean and is a magnificent place that captivates you as you examine all the reflections of the city, the park, strangers around you and yourselves.



Posted by fracmeister 15:52 Archived in Oman Comments (0)


2015 begins like it was 1975 as I go to OU

sunny 18 °F
View OKC Jan 2015 on fracmeister's travel map.

I graduated from Georgia Tech in 1975 and started at the University of Oklahoma as a graduate student in petroleum engineering that year. It is the year I joined SPE. So it seems appropriate that the first trip of my 40th year as an SPE member should be back to Oklahoma. I presented an Ethics class at the Oklahoma City Section, made a longer presentation to a large group of engineers from Devon Energy and met with students at the University of Oklahoma. I also had the chance to go to an Oklahoma City Thunder basketball game with old friends.

1975 was a long time ago. The movie "Jaws" came out and Microsoft was founded. Saturday Night Live started. Oklahoma City has changed and many of the obvious changes are associated with the growth of oil and gas activity headquartered in OKC.

The ethics class was attended by a very large group.

The internal course at Devon Energy had more than even more engineers present and included some lively discussions.

As per usual I really enjoyed going to see the students, this time at my alma mater, the University of Oklahoma. We of course offer the now mandatory selfie. #SPElfie

The SPE leadership team at OU.

A large group of attendees!


Friday was full of additional meetings with local industry leaders and the chance to go to an Oklahoma City Thunder game with some of the Devon Energy leadership.

833 miles this trip. 76,003 SPE to date.

Posted by fracmeister 09:50 Archived in USA Tagged oklahoma sooners spe Comments (0)

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