Regional Director's Blog

December 2017

Fareed Abdulla

Dear Colleagues,

Happy New Year and wishing you and your families a safe, joyful and prosperous year ahead!


As 2017 draws to an end, I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their commitment and dedication in serving SPE. Together, we made great progress in the Middle East and North Africa Region and I congratulate you on your extraordinary accomplishments this year. Our continued success is made possible through your perseverance in networking, collaboration, and support of our many workshops, conferences, and outreach programmes.

The society’s mission of enhancing the technical and professional competency of our members is a continuous and demanding task that necessarily relies on a strong membership base. Therefore, I challenge all of you to take our student and professional memberships to the next level so that we may take our region’s success story to the next level.

Growth in our regional membership will not only access untapped pools of expertise, talent, and energy, but is absolutely crucial to: 1) bridge the experience gap occurring in our industry 2) exploit the latest Industrial Revolution 4.0 technologies necessary to meet  the technical and economic challenges of today and the future.

Firstly, the MENA Region is not only rich in hydrocarbon resources, but also has abundant reserves of young talent.  Today, experienced employees are retiring at an increasing rate, giving rise to a workforce that is rapidly becoming dominated by young professionals under the age of thirty-five. These young professionals are being tasked to take on greater responsibilities earlier in their careers than previous generations, but increasingly they have less access to expert mentors.

It is of paramount importance that these young professionals join SPE, not only to accelerate their own development and careers, but also to build on society’s proud legacy and shape its future. Our academia officers and members should be actively engaged in student recruitment and activities to plant the seed for growth and encourage productive student chapters.

Secondly, the industry is quickly moving into a new era. Major industries are buzzing with words like big data, analytics, visualisation, automation, internet of things, machine learning, and artificial intelligence. These are only a few of the Industrial Revolution 4.0 technologies to be exploited. To take maximum advantage of this incredible potential, we must engage as many professionals as possible, including those outside of petroleum engineering.

In closing, I challenge everyone to support their sections in boosting our membership numbers to ensure the continued success and health of our society and the industry. I am confident that you will explore every available avenue to meet this challenge, and I look forward to your innovative ideas and an even brighter future for the SPE Middle East and North Africa Region.

Khalid A. Zainalabedin
SPE Regional Director
Middle East and North Africa