PATRICK ALLMAN-WARD, SPE, was appointed chief executive officer of Dana Gas. He has more than 30 years of experience in the oil and gas industry and has held several senior level positions. He joined the company in 2012 as the general manager of Dana Gas Egypt. Allman-Ward began his career with Shell where he gained experience in a wide range of departments, including exploration; planning; business development; commercial negotiations; and health, safety, security, and the environment. He earned a BS in geology from Durham University and a PhD from the Royal School of Mines, University of London.
ROB BUCHAN, SPE, was appointed Aberdeen general manager at GDF SUEZ E&P UK and will oversee the company’s developments and operations across the UK. Before joining the company in 2008, he worked with Dowell Schlumberger on international assignments and with BP for 24 years in drilling and operations management roles in Aberdeen and London. He earned a BS in geology from Aberdeen University and an MBA from Robert Gordon University.
GREGORY K. GRAVES, SPE, was promoted to senior vice president at DeGolyer and MacNaughton. He will continue to lead the Houston office and direct a team that works on projects in North America. Graves specializes in reservoir engineering and has a geology background coupled with experience in investment banking, finance, and economics. Before joining the company, Graves worked with a number of energy companies, including Devon Energy, where he served as the supervisor of international exploitation for the Middle East and Asia regions. He is a licensed professional engineer in Texas. He earned a BS in petroleum engineering from The University of Texas at Austin and completed post-baccalaureate studies in microeconomics and macroeconomics at the University of Houston.
JAY HOLLINGSWORTH, SPE, has joined Energistics as its chief technology officer. Hollingsworth has more than 20 years of upstream oil and gas industry experience. He held technical management positions at Oracle, Schlumberger, Landmark, and Mobil Oil. His experience includes a wide range of data architecture and database engineering technologies as well as knowledge of geosciences and engineering. Hollingsworth earned a BS in chemical engineering from Tulane University and a BS in computer science from the University of Texas at Dallas.
DILHAN ILK, SPE, was promoted to vice president at DeGolyer and MacNaughton. He joined the company in 2010 and specializes in well performance evaluation and forecasting. Ilk has written more than 30 articles in well test analysis, analysis/interpretation of production data, and general reservoir engineering and has carried out field projects analyzing well performance data in fields in Venezuela and North America. He earned a BS in petroleum engineering from Istanbul Technical University and an MS and a PhD in petroleum engineering from Texas A&M University.
ARUN KHARGHORIA, SPE, was promoted to vice president at DeGolyer and MacNaughton. He joined the company in 2009 and has directed and contributed to projects in Russia, Algeria, Malaysia, Colombia, Ghana, and the US. Before joining the company, Kharghoria worked for several oil and gas consultants in positions including reservoir engineering adviser and senior reservoir engineer. He has carried out research assignments for Texas A&M University and the University of Tulsa. Kharghoria earned a BS in technology from the Indian School of Mines, an MS in petroleum engineering from the University of Tulsa, and a PhD in petroleum engineering from Texas A&M University. He was given an Outstanding Technical Editor award by the SPE Editorial Review Committee in 2008.
JAMES J. KLECKNER, SPE, was promoted to executive vice president of Anadarko Petroleum. Previously, he was the vice president of operations for Anadarko’s Rocky Mountain region, overseeing the company’s operations and development activities in Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming. Kleckner has more than 30 years of global technical and leadership experience. He began his career in the oil and gas industry with Sun Oil and has held management positions in the North Sea, South America, China, the Gulf of Mexico, and the US. Kleckner earned a BS in petroleum engineering from the Colorado School of Mines.
IGOR P. MOSKVIN, SPE, was promoted to vice president at DeGolyer and MacNaughton. He joined the company in 2005 and specializes in reservoir engineering and simulation studies and estimating hydrocarbon reserves. His prior experience includes working for Yukos in the Department of Technological Project Appraisal at the Moscow Technology Center and working for a major Russian oil and gas company on an annual reserves update that included an analysis of 88 fields. He earned a BS in petroleum engineering from the Tomsk Polytechnic University and an MS in petroleum engineering from Heriot-Watt University.
GARY C. ROBINSON, SPE, was promoted to vice president at DeGolyer and MacNaughton. He joined the company in 2009 as a geologist who works on reservoir studies projects worldwide. Before joining the company, Robinson worked for geophysical companies, including Denver Geophysical, CGG, RC Squared, and Veritas as well as oil and gas companies, including Saudi Aramco and Eastern American Energy. He coauthored 21 technical papers, holds two patents for seismic applications, and was awarded a Certificate of Merit by the Society of Exploration Geophysicists. He earned a BS in geology from Stanford University and an MS in geophysics from the University of Houston.
JAMES A. WATSON, SPE, will join ABS as president and chief operating officer of its Americas division. In his new position, Watson will oversee activities in North, South, and Central America and the Caribbean. Before joining ABS, he served as director of the US Bureau of Environmental Safety and Enforcement and as the director of prevention policy for marine safety, security, and stewardship at the US Coast Guard. Watson earned a BS degree in marine engineering from the US Coast Guard Academy, MS degrees in mechanical engineering and in naval architecture from the University of Michigan, and an MS degree in strategic studies from the Industrial College of the Armed Forces.
William D. Carson, Naperville, Illinois, USA
K.J. Feyhl, Billings, Montana, USA
J.V. Fredd, Plano, Texas, USA
Jesse P. Johnson, Richardson, Texas, USA
Leonard McCasland, Prosper, Texas, USA
GEORGE P. MITCHELL, SPE, a pioneer in developing methods to produce shale gas economically, died 26 July in Galveston, Texas. He was 94.
Mitchell earned a BS in petroleum engineering with an emphasis in geology from Texas A&M University. After graduation, he worked for a few years at Amoco before serving as a captain in the US Army Corps of Engineers during World War II. Afterward, he joined a wildcatting company. He later bought out his partners, and the company evolved into Mitchell Energy and Development, which became one of the nation’s largest independent oil and gas companies. In 2002, it merged with Devon Energy.
Mitchell is best known for his involvement in combining hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling in the Barnett Shale development that led to the current shale gas revolution.
“Big oil companies knew the upside potential of shale gas, and many were working to economically extract the gas from the shale without much success,” Mitchell said in an interview with The Economist magazine. “Many people were trying to make hydraulic fracturing work better, but they were not able to get the cells to give up the gas. We knew there was gas in some of these shale fields. We would measure the volume of gas in the reservoir and it was very high methane (25-40% methane). You could get to the methane, but you could not get it to leave the cells until you fractured it, and that was the major breakthrough.
“We invested approximately USD 6 million over a 10-year period in the 1980s and 1990s to make fracturing an economically viable process. I never considered giving up, even when everyone was saying, ‘George, you’re wasting your money.’”
As a result of his contributions to the oil and gas industry, he was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Gas Technology Institute.
“George Mitchell, more than anyone else, is responsible for the most important energy innovation of the 21st century,” said Daniel Yergin, vice chairman of consulting firm IHS and a Pulitzer Prize winning author on energy. “Before his breakthrough, shale gas had another name—‘uneconomic’ gas. It was thought that there was no way to commercially extract it. He proved that it could be done. His breakthrough in hydraulic fracturing, when combined with horizontal drilling, set off the revolution in unconventional oil and gas that we see today. But it did not come easily. It took a decade and a half of conviction, investment and dogged determination. In the face of great skepticism and refusing to accept ‘no’ as an answer, Mitchell dramatically changed America’s energy position. As such, he also changed the world energy outlook in the 21st century and set in motion the global rebalancing of oil and gas that is now occurring.”
Mitchell also led real estate and community development projects. In 1974, his company developed The Woodlands, a 27,000-acre forested, master-planned community north of Houston. He also founded the Houston Advanced Research Center, a collaboration among eight universities and research groups dedicated to sustainable development.
Mitchell’s wife, Cynthia, died in 2009. He is survived by three daughters, seven sons, a sister, 23 grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren.