Pete Rose returned from a four-week, eight-nation AAPG presidential tour in central and eastern Europe and the Middle East buoyed by his visits and observations -- and somewhat tired.
He was a little worn down because he was in a constant round of meetings and also gave 20 speeches in the first 20 days of the trip, addressing more than 1,000 geoscientists and students and meeting with industry and government officials.
A number of new member applications are expected from Rose's tour.
Accompanied by AAPG European Region President John Brooks, the journey began in late October and included stops in Norway, Hungary, Poland, Russia, the Ukraine, the Czech Republic and Austria. The pair gave TV interviews in Kiev, Ukraine, and Prague, Czech Republic. Brooks also gave presentations in Oslo and Kiev (see page 32).
After the European stops Rose continued onward to attend the inaugural International Petroleum Technology Conference (IPTC) in Doha, Qatar, sponsored by AAPG, EAGE, SEG and SPE, which was designated as an AAPG Middle East Region meeting.
"The purpose of the tour was to affirm AAPG's full support of the European Region and its leadership, to encourage its eastward expansion, to make personal contacts for future interactions and to assess the overall situation of AAPG's status in the Region," Rose said.
"At every venue," Rose said, "we were greeted with a warm and genuine welcome. It was heartening to find that AAPG is held in great esteem in the scientific community, especially for its publications and scientific meetings."
Concerning business opportunities, Rose agreed with the observation of Istvan Berci, president-elect of the European Region, who said that "from the perspective of a petroleum geologist, the map of Europe slopes east," because of extensive resources that offer so many future opportunities.
Rose said that in eastern Europe there are favorable situations for entrepreneurial companies, and the potential for large resource development in Russia is limited only by the political climate, which he noted has become of more concern in recent months because of a decline in free-functioning of private companies, as well as increased control by Russian government officials.
Rose also said he encountered no anti-American sentiments during his trip, and politics and policies were not part of the conversations.
The Student Body
Of particular note, Rose said he observed "two major differences regarding petroleum geoscience between central and eastern Europe and the U.S.: The role of petroleum geologists is highly respected; the importance of the role we play in society, in providing the energy that continuously improves the standard of living is recognized and appreciated.
"You don't find ambivalence between academia and the practicing professionals as we see here in the U.S.," Rose observed. "Because of a continuing disconnect between academia and the geological profession in the U.S., many promising young U.S. students are going to miss out on fantastic careers because they were steered away from geological careers in the energy field."
The students he met on the tour also impressed Rose.
"A lot of the students speak adequate English, are eager, smart and ambitious and very well prepared for the professional world. If I were chief of recruiting for a western company and looking for entry-level geologists right now, the first place I would come to is central and eastern Europe."
Rose noted that "with the large number of international geoscience and engineering students now in U.S. universities, as well as the increasing diversity of such professionals presently employed by E&P companies globally (including the United States), it is clear that we are well along in the true globalization of the professional E&P work force. It is happening right now."
In Doha, Rose represented AAPG at the inaugural IPTC, which is being developed by a coalition of professional E&P associations led by SPE, into what will become the international equivalent of the very successful annual U.S. Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) in Houston.
This first IPTC, held under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thami, emir of the State of Qatar, and led by co-chairmen Nasser Jaidah, director of oil and gas ventures for Qatar Petroleum, and Malcolm Brinded, executive E&P director, Royal Dutch Shell, drew major corporate players from the Middle East as well as around the world.
Of special interest, Rose said, was a standing-room only luncheon talk by Iraqi Oil Minister Ibrahim Bahar Al Olom. Olom reviewed Iraq's production goals and some of the difficulties they were experiencing in attempting to increase production revenues so desperately needed by the new Iraqi government.
Olom urged the audience to help encourage their respective governments to increase efforts to restrict funds from flowing into terrorist organizations, whose activities are compromising Iraqi efforts to stabilize and increase production.
"It was one of the most moving talks I have ever heard, given by a courageous, committed and knowledgeable man," Rose said.
With the European Region tour counted as a positive success, a presidential tour of the Asia-Pacific Region is being planned for February.