ZARA KHATIB, SPE, died on 30 September at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas. She was 61 years old. At the time of her death, Khatib was working as managing director and chief technology officer at Smart Energy Engineering Consultancy, based in Khalifa City, Abu Dhabi.
With more than 30 years’ experience in exploration and production, she was an internationally recognized expert on oil, gas, and water production and handling, especially as applied in high-pressure/high-temperature sour environments, as well as waterflooding and injection. Before being appointed to Smart Energy in 2012, she had been employed by Shell. Starting there in 1984, she worked in Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa in various roles, including technology marketing manager, global technology deployment manager, and chief technologist at the company’s Gas Research Centre in Abu Dhabi.
Serving twice as an SPE Distinguished Lecturer (1998–99 and 2009–10), Khatib received the SPE Health, Safety, Security, Environment, and Social Responsibility Award in 2011. She was active on numerous SPE committees and programs. She also filed several patents and authored or coauthored more than 100 technical papers and presentations. Khatib served as a United Nations expert group member on climate change, advising the UN Commission on Sustainable Development on water and energy issues. Starting in 2005, she was a member of the G8 and World Energy Council on Clean Fossil Fuels.
Khatib earned BS and MS degrees in chemistry from the American University of Beirut, and an MS degree in biochemical engineering and PhD in chemical engineering from the University of Wales. She conducted postdoctoral research at Imperial College London.