Mahmoud Abdulbaqi, retired Vice President of E&P at Saudi Aramco, and one of the founders of GEO, tells us about the evolution of GEO and his 28 years of experience nurturing the show.
I have attended and participated in the preparation of every GEO since its initiation in 1994. I was the Chairperson for the first edition and have been on the Executive Committee for every edition since then.
A Foundation of Volunteers
My gratitude goes out to every one of the many volunteers that helped make such a renowned event possible. I would like to take this opportunity to recognize a few individuals and organisations who contributed to the creation of this great event: Ibrahim al-Jallal, Moujahed al-Husseini, and Mahmoud Abdulbaqi from Saudi Aramco; the Dhahran Geosciences Society (DGS) in Saudi Arabia; Jaleel al-Samahiji from BAPCO in Bahrain and Peter Nederloff from PDO in Oman.
Every edition we see a great growth in the number of volunteers and organisations that support the event. Every one of these volunteers is greatly appreciated, but the names mentioned above are those who significantly contributed to the GEO initiation process.
Unique Middle East Focus
When I am asked to write or talk about a specific event, I focus on what was unique about the event, what distinguishes the event from all the others. I could focus on the outstanding development of GEO throughout the years in terms of the number of attendees and presentations but that would not do it justice, so I will emphasise the uniqueness of GEO.
GEO was created to fill a void in regional (and international) events. The aim was to bring focus on geosciences in the Middle East and its application to the region with an emphasis on the oil and gas industry. Since its start, GEO volunteers were able to maintain this uniqueness and develop a distinctive brand. The most important feature of GEO is the focus on the quality of the geosciences papers (both oral and posters). GEO attracts and brings together people from all around the globe. This uniqueness is recognised not only by the geosciences community in the region but also by members of the international geoscience community interested in the Middle East.
If you have any interest in the geosciences of the Middle East and its applications, GEO is a must attend conference. I personally attend around 6 professional conferences a year and GEO is always at the top of the list. See you there.
About the Author
Mahmoud Abdulbaqi became Chairman of the Board of Directors of ARGAS in 2004 following a highly successful 34 year career at Saudi Aramco, developing many of the largest oil reservoirs in the world. He held a number of highly influential positions, including Chief Exploration Geologist and Chief Production Geologist, as well as Vice President of Exploration and Vice President of Petroleum Engineering and Development. Mahmoud was a founder of the GEO conference in 1994 and still serves on the GEO Executive Committee today.