A Travellerspoint blog

September 2014

September 2014 in Europe

A busy SPE and Baker Hughes month with some tourism thrown in

View September 2014 on fracmeister's travel map.

Let's begin this month with a trip to St. Louis and Rolla, MO (in a prior blog post) but September only begins in earnest with a trip to Vienna. Then through Amsterdam on KLM and participating in the SPE Exploration and Development of Shale and Shale-Associated Reservoirs (http://spe.org/events/14arom/) which highlighted both the progress and (substantial) remaining challenges for exporting the US shale revolution. It was a highly interdisciplinary conference and well organized and managed.


I have the chance to meet with Vienna Section members including Gerhard Thonhauser from the Mining University of Leoben (who I had just met in Santa Fe) and Reinhard Pongratz (OMV) the current Section Chair along with several other section leaders. I was able to help present a regional service award to former Section Chair Ms. Viktoria Wager. She was really instrumental in the support and survival of the Section. I also met a series of OMV leaders at lunch on Wednesday. Jan toured a lot and we saw Die Zauberflote at the Volksoper. It was great! We also toured the Schönbrunn Palace including a dinner and concert. Vienna is a wonderful city.


Most of the driving portion of the trip was through the Czech Republic and it rained a fair amount. Exiting Vienna turned out to be the most complex driving though. We visited the Technisches Universität Bergakademie Freiberg, an excellent petroleum engineering school. Professor Mohammed M. Amro (Director of the reservoir and production engineering institute) and Matthias Steiner (Director of the drilling engineering institute) and I had planning sessions and I plan on returning to do some lectures and visit other sections in the area including Dresden.


During the weekend, my wife and I visited friends in the small town of Uherske Hradiste in the eastern Czech Republic. Two couples we know from home were traveling in Europe and had come here for a festival so we joined them. People from all around had dressed in native costumes and there was plenty of music, parades, food and drink.

On Sunday we drove back to Vienna, returned the rental car and flew to Hannover, Germany.

On Monday we drove to Celle, Germany to speak at the Celle Drilling Conference sponsored by GeoEnergy. SPE routinely collaborates with other organizations and we had an opportunity to participate in their conference. On Tuesday I met with German Section members and leaders. On Wednesday I spoke at a Baker Hughes event called “Techno-Day.” I had previously spoken at one in Aberdeen.

Some of you may think SPE activities involve a lot of fun. Please note that I am documenting some vacation on this trip along with weekends. It isn't ALL fun and games. But this trip had a little more than normal since my wife was with me.

Then it was off to Berlin and a tour of the Reichstag Museum. We loved Berlin and went to an opera (La Traviata---staged in a very minimalist way that didn't work all that well for me--- the music and singing was good but the acting wasn't Verdi worthy), Berlin Philharmonic performance, toured the Pergamon Museum,


We then took a train to Prague for the weekend. The opera there was "Le Nozze di Figaro" or the Marriage of Figaro. Based roughly on how Jan and I met, it is the perfect comic opera. There may never be anything written this cleverly again. Its turns makes "The importance of Being Earnest" or the Mousetrap look straightforward, all set to some of Mozart's most clever music. It also features my favorite line from an opera, "Come la notte i furti miei seconde "The night favors my secret plan" --- our family motto. You sort of half to know the story which I jokingly claim is based on how I met my wife. Carmen is my favorite opera though. Definitely NOT how I met my wife.

By Monday we fly to Oslo, meet some Statoil folks there and catch yet another Opera, Lady Macbeth (Shostakovich, not Verdi and very weird).


We took the train to Bergen (including a fjord cruise) and flew to Stavanger to speak at another TechnoDay event for Baker Hughes and shared some ideas for YP activities with local SPE members.

Speaking at Techno-Day

We stayed the weekend with my second oldest daughter, her husband (an ExxonMobil drilling engineer) and our four grandsons. Among the weekend activities was a tour of the Norsk Petroleum Museum--- it is extremely well done and I highly recommend it to Stavanger visitors. Then off for a quick flight to Amsterdam followed by a long flight to Houston.

Ten beds, four currencies, seven flights, five operas, two concerts, four trains, several buses, trams, subways, one boat and a rental car and seven countries in 24 days. Zoom in on the map to see the amusing route we took.

13,389 miles
23,066 cumulative

Operas this month= 4 (Prague, Berlin, Oslo, VIenna) To date = 5

Posted by fracmeister 00:57 Archived in Germany Comments (0)

Missouri University of Science and Technology

Rolla and some fun in St. Louis

View Missouri University of Science and Technology on fracmeister's travel map.

I have some flexibility in where I go and because a) my son attends graduate School at MST and b) my good friend Prof. Shari Dunn-Norman has long told me I should come to see the school my wife and I headed to Rolla over Labor Day. We went to a wonderful barbecue restaurant in St. Louis --Bogart's Smokehouse. That is described at My Barbecue Blog


We also caught the Cardinals for a game on Labor Day. I love baseball and especially in St. Louis. As a Houston fan I have some conflicting memories but as an 8-year old I saw my first MLB game in St. Louis with my Dad. When my son got married I had a wedding party in a skybox there. My brothers from England and Illinois joined me at an All-Star game there. This game was great as the Cardinals battled back from a 4-2 deficit to win 5-4.

I had the opportunity to tour the school which I remember as the Missouri School of Mines and then the University of Missouri-Rolla. I remember corresponding with Prof Leonard F Koederitz early in my career. A brilliant man, he was always helpful and I understand that although retired he stills helps out occasionally.

I bought some pizza and gave a lecture in a room with 100 chairs. Since 150 students showed up we were a touch crowded. I was very impressed with the integration of the earth sciences with petroleum engineering and their emphasis on mechanical earth modeling.

1,521 miles

6,615 miles to date

Posted by fracmeister 05:50 Archived in USA Comments (0)

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