A Travellerspoint blog

April 2015

April in America (and Saudia Arabia)

Penn State, Saudi Arabia, CSM, New York and more!


View Crazy April 2015 & Penn State and SPE HQ on fracmeister's travel map.

Only one overseas trip for SPE business this month, several in the US and a little vacation meant I was still traveling most of the month. I was glad to be home for Easter following last month's craziness. BONUS: Some pictures from a couple of my hobbies at the end.

NYC
OK, this isn't really SPE President travels but I did cash in some of those airline and hotel miles to make it happen! My gf and I took a week of vacation and went to New York for the first full week of April. We saw operas every night including Don Carlo, Lucia de Lamermoor, Ernani and Aida. Placido Domingo sung in Ernani and directed Aida. We saw Helen Mirren on Broadway in The Audience. We were tourists. We tried our first Michelin three-star restaurant Jean Georges and visited the Frick and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the 9/11 Memorial and Museum, the Tenement museum on the Lower East Side (one of my perennial favorites) and road the tram to Roosevelt Island. We saw my daughter from Connecticut in the Berkshires over the long weekend and had a great time. OK, this was vacation but I decided to add some pictures at the very end of this post. Some people have asked me why I would need a vacation since it seems my whole life is a vacation. Those people have not spent as much time on the road as I have.

Golden, CO
The Colorado School of Mines in Golden is one of my favorite schools to visit because of their beautiful location and the super enthusiastic students. Naturally we had to have a #SPELFIE with the Mines SPE Chapter leadership. I also got to visit with Hassim Abbas, Hossein Kazemi, Erdal Ozkan and Ramona Graves---faculty members I count as dear friends as well as meet many new faculty members.
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Here are some of the Denver SPE Section leaders. No, they aren't ALL women in their Section leadership but you can see that the women were the ones who showed up early for the reception with the Chapter leaders.
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The monthly Denver SPE section met in Golden this month so we had a very large crowd. There were a lot of my colleagues from around the world there. I met with several local operators.
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The CSM campus has expanded significantly and when I arrived the flowers were in bloom and it felt like Spring. Of course it was snowing when I left!
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Saudi Arabia I participated in the excellent Saudi Arabia Annual Technical Symposium and Exhibition in Al-Khobar and spoke to students at KFUPM. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is a vitally important oil producer and the national oil company Saudi Aramco is committed to advancing technology.

We met with Saudi Aramco management and toured their state-of-the-art facilities. This was particularly interesting as they have massive computational facilities, great training facilities and a command center for tracking and managing crude oil loadings on various ships as well as natural gas and other products. large_IMG_4233.jpg

Local SPE leaders hosted us for lunch. They are very active and have a wide variety of activities going on.
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I presented on a panel discussion and we had a very interesting "cultural night" where naturally I got talked into participating (pictures at the end). The attendance at KFUPM was impressive so here is my SPElfie.
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The flight home wasn't as fun as you might guess given the tornado warnings.

Penn State
I serve on the advisory board at PSU and love going to the occasional football game. A couple of the professors there are very good friends and I had the opportunity to speak to another large group of students.

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SPE HQ, Richardson
On the way back (more or less) from Penn State I went to the SPE headquarters to approve a large batch of recommendations for committee members. Finally it feels like my responsibilities for SPE are more than going to meetings, giving speeches and handing out awards!

One more opera back in Houston (Die Walkur) made five for the month!

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) 25,318 SPE travel to date 140,635 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): 17
Australia
Austria
Bahrain
Canada
Colombia
Czech Republic
Denmark
Germany
Netherlands
Norway
Oman
Saudi Arabia
Singapore
Turkey
United Arab Emirates
United Kingdom (Scotland, England)
USA

Operas this month = 5 Operas to date = 14

NYC and Berkshires Pictures

First, we had a really great meal at a Michelin three-star restaurant, Jean Georges.
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We spent a long time in the 9/11 Memorial Museum. It was our first time there and I can highly recommend it.
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We spent a lot of time at museums. The amazing Frick museum and massive Metropolitan Museum of Art, both in Manhattan near Central Park and the Norma Rockwell museum in the Berkshires.

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More random photographs including a fun day at the Hancock Shaker Village where we took the "Baby Animal" tour. Along with a lot of other grownups taking their very small children. Oh well. We also visited Williams College, Bard College at Simon's Rock (where my college roommate taught in 1979) and toured a LOT of places.

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Saudi Arabia

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We had a great time at the cultural event and 2015 SPE President Helge Haldorsen became the "groom" for a Saudi wedding dance. Videos exist of me dancing with swords, sticks, etc but you will have to look pretty hard to find them.
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My hobbies

I have multiple hobbies. I collect custom knives. I enjoy long range target shooting. I raise bees and I have a small tomato and pepper garden.
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The jalapenos are my best crop.
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I have a couple top bar hives.

Posted by fracmeister 09:20 Archived in Saudi Arabia Comments (0)

Calgary. It feels like coming home.

Great to be back in one of my favorite cities.


View Calgary March 2015 on fracmeister's travel map.

Calgary

I left home on March 1 and we returned home on March 26 as described in my previous post. Of course then I just took off again on March 30 to Calgary where I had dinner with SPE section officers and several other breakfasts and dinners with local volunteers and leaders, spoke at the SPE breakfast before a large crowd, spoke at the Canadian Society of Petroleum Geologists' "Playmaker Forum" and addressed a large group of students from the University of Calgary and SAIT Polytechnique Petroleum Engineering departments. I was even able to work in some Baker Hughes business.

Calgary feels like home because of my great memories there. Everything about this vibrant city is great with a "can do" attitude, gorgeous scenery, diverse culture and great restaurants. I am a little disappointed I scheduled my trip for a time when there is no opera in town!

Here is the map for Calgary

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SPElfie with the students from SAIT and U of Calgary! I previously visited the SAIT campus in Kazakhstan.
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My lecture.

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At the SAITcampus in Calgary.

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SPElfie with a Georgia Tech alum in Calgary.

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A sculpture in front of the Encana building.

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Last week in Copenhagen I had a selfie with the original of this statue!

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Dinner with old friends from Hong Kong who live in Calgary.

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On my one free evening I went to see the Calgary LDS temple.

Other Blogs

You can of course read about my barbecue at This site
My Baker Hughes reservoir blogis here.
My (old) blog detailing my 18 months in Hong Kong is here,
You can see me on linkedin here
Follow me on twitter where I am @fracmeister of facebook here

Travel this trip (basically includes airport to airport) 22,687 SPE travel to date 115,327 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): 16
Australia
Austria
Bahrain
Canada
Colombia
Czech Republic
Denmark
Germany
Netherlands
Norway
Oman
Singapore
Turkey
United Arab Emirates
United Kingdom (Scotland, England)
USA

Posted by fracmeister 18:20 Archived in Canada Comments (0)

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