Nominees Announced: 2016 SPE President and 2015 Slate of Directors

Nathan Meehan is the nominee for 2016 Society of Petroleum Engineers president. He and nine others make up the slate of Board nominees recommended for positions open on the SPE Board of Directors.

The SPE Nominating Committee considers all nominations submitted, and votes on a slate of Directors to recommend for Board approval at the Board’s March meeting (this year held 2 March in Yangon, Myanmar).

SPE members have the opportunity to consider the Board-approved nominees through biographical information provided in this article via and the April issue of the Journal of Petroleum Technology.

These nominees stand as elected unless a valid petition(s) for ballot election(s) is/(are) received by 1 June. See the following page for more details on the nomination process.

2016 SPE President

D. Nathan Meehan is senior executive advisor to Baker Hughes, where he advises executive management on reservoir and geoscience issues. Previously, he served as president of CMG Petroleum Consulting, an independent consultancy; vice president of engineering for Occidental Petroleum; and general manager–exploration and production for Union Pacific Resources.

Meehan earned a BSc in physics from the Georgia Institute of Technology (USA), an MSc in petroleum engineering from the University of Oklahoma, and a PhD in petroleum engineering from Stanford University.

He previously served as chairman of the CMG Reservoir Simulation Foundation and as board director for the Computer Modelling Group, Vanyoganeft Oil Company, Pinnacle Technologies, and JOA Oil & Gas BV. Meehan served on The University of Texas and University of Houston petroleum engineering advisory boards and currently serves as an advisor on the Energy and Mineral Engineering Department industry relations board at Pennsylvania State University. He is also an appointed member of the US Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission, and World Oil’s Editorial Advisory Board.

Meehan served as an at-large director on the SPE International Board from 1999 to 2002; received SPE Distinguished Membership in 1997, the SPE Lester C. Uren Award in 1999, and the SPE DeGolyer Distinguished Service Medal in 2006; and served as an SPE Distinguished Lecturer during 1991–92. He is a licensed professional engineer in four US states and has published many technical papers.

Technical Director, Management Information

Jose Carlos (JC) Cunha is manager of the Center of Offshore Excellence for Ecopetrol America in Houston, Texas. Cunha’s career spans engineering, teaching, and management positions in South and North America, Africa, and the Caribbean. Prior positions include drilling manager for Petrobras International, well operations manager for Petrobras America in Houston, and associate professor of petroleum engineering at the University of Alberta, Canada.

Cunha has served on several SPE committees. He chaired JPT’s Editorial Committee from 2009 to 2012, was vice-chair of the SPE Edmonton Section in Canada, and currently chairs the SPE Technical Communities Coordinating Committee.

Cunha has authored several technical articles including more than 30 SPE papers and has coauthored two recently published SPE books on the fundamentals of drilling engineering and advanced drilling technologies. He was an SPE Distinguished Lecturer during 2010–11.

Cunha earned a BS degree in civil engineering from Juiz de Fora Federal University, Brazil, and a PhD degree in petroleum engineering from the University of Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA.


Any member can nominate a candidate for a Society of Petroleum Engineers Board of Directors position.

Nominating a Board Candidate

The nomination period opens in September each year, and runs through 1 December for the position of president, and through 15 December for other open Board positions.

Next year’s list of open positions, nominee qualifications, and nomination forms, as well as further submission guidelines, will be available sometime during September at this location:

The process involves filling out an online nomination form and sending supporting documents that include a CV, résumé, and letters of support.

About the Board of Directors

SPE is governed by a 28-person Board of Directors composed of member representatives from around the world. Each SPE region and Board-endorsed technical specialty is represented by a director. These directors, together with two at-large directors, the president, president-elect, immediate past president, and vice president of finance, constitute the SPE Board of Directors.

About the Election Process

Candidate nominations submitted using the online process described above are reviewed by the SPE Nominating Committee. Chaired by the immediate past president, the committee meets in January to make recommendations for the available positions. The 14-member 2014 Nominating Committee Roster can be viewed at

Nominating Committee recommendations are submitted to the Board of Directors for approval at the Board’s March meeting (this year held 2 March in Yangon, Myanmar).

Following Board Approval

SPE members have the opportunity to consider the Board-approved nominees through biographical information provided in this article via and the April issue of the Journal of Petroleum Technology.

The SPE Constitution provides for these nominees to stand as elected unless SPE members nominate additional candidates by 1 June. Additional nominations require a petition from at least 1% of SPE membership or, for regional director nominees, 1% of the region’s membership (with no more than 75% of the petitioners from any one section). The Constitution also specifies provisions for a ballot election if any qualified petitions are received by 1 June.

When the Board Slate Takes Office

If the Board slate is elected, the person nominated president would take office as president-elect at the close of the society’s Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition (held this year in Amsterdam, Netherlands, 27–29 October). The other nominees would begin 3-year terms at this time as well.

Technical Director, Health, Safety, Security, Environment, and Social Responsibility

Trey Shaffer is managing partner, oil and gas–North America, for Environmental Resources Management (ERM), based in Houston, Texas. He plays a leadership role in helping ERM’s multinational clients solve a broad range of sustainability, environmental, and safety challenges.

Before joining ERM in 2003, he was a director for Boots & Coots International Well Control, where he led the Downstream Services Division. Shaffer has held senior positions in both operations and commercial development. He supports clients with a variety of challenges, including sustainability, strategy, management systems, impact assessment, and permitting for upstream capital projects, as well as broad environmental, safety, and regulatory compliance throughout the world.

In 2010, Shaffer received the SPE North America Region Award for Distinguished Contribution to Petroleum Engineering in the Area of Health, Safety, Security, Environment, and Social Responsibility. He also serves as a member of the SPE International Sustainability Committee, and joined the SPE Gulf Coast Section board of directors in 2013. In addition, Shaffer serves on the board of directors of Volunteer Houston. He earned a Bachelor of Environmental Design degree from Texas A&M University.

Director, Southern Asia Pacific Region

Salis S. Aprilian is senior vice president of engineering and operation management at Pertamina’s Gas and Power Directorate, based in Jakarta, Indonesia. Throughout his 25-year career at Pertamina, he has been assigned to various key positions, such as deputy project executive of MobilCepu Ltd (2006); president director of Pertamina EP Cepu (2008); president director of Pertamina EP (2009); senior vice president of upstream strategic planning and subsidiary management, Pertamina (2011); and president director of Pertamina Hulu Energy (2012).

Aprilian is active in several professional organizations, serving in various capacities such as chair or cochair, technical program committee member, paper reviewer, and judge. He served as president of  the Society of Indonesian Petroleum Engineers (IATMI) from 2010 to 2012, and is an active member of the Indonesian Petroleum Association and Indonesian Association of Geologists. Aprilian currently serves on the SPE Asia Pacific Sdn Bhd  board of directors (since 2010), as a member of the IATMI advisory board, and as a member of the Pertamina Foundation supervisory board (since 2011). He is the author or coauthor of several technical papers, and also wrote the book Striving for National Energy Company (Membangun(kan) perusahaan energi nasional), published in 2012 in a bound edition in both English and Indonesian. Aprilian earned a PhD in petroleum engineering at Texas A&M University; and earned BS and MS degrees in petroleum engineering at Institute Technology Bandung, Indonesia.

Director, South Asia Region

John Hoppe is general manager upstream for liquefied natural gas (LNG) and integrated gas at Shell Projects & Technology, Bangalore, India. During his more than 35 years at Shell, he has worked in various reservoir and petroleum engineering positions in many countries around the world, including the Netherlands, United Kingdom, Egypt, Oman, Thailand, Nigeria, and India. For the last 8 years, Hoppe has been based out of Bangalore, where he helped found the Shell Technology Centre Bangalore and leads the subsurface community there, which has grown to some 200 staff. Since the beginning of 2013 he has focused on the LNG and integrated gas business within Shell, broadening his role to cover integration across all upstream development aspects of this business.

Hoppe graduated from Leeds University, UK,  with a first-class honors BS degree in mining engineering.

Director, Russia and Caspian Region

Anton Ablaev is business development manager at Schlumberger, based in Moscow, Russia. He has worked for Schlumberger since 2000, starting his career as a well construction field engineer in Western Siberia, and subsequently progressing through engineering, sales, and management positions within Russia, Turkmenistan, and Norway.

Ablaev is an active SPE member, having served as chair of the SPE Nizhnevartovsk Section during 2008–09, and has served since 2012 as the SPE Moscow Section membership director. He is a member of the 2014 SPE Russian Oil and Gas Technical Conference and Exhibition program committee, and served on the 2013 SPE Applied Technology Workshop: Horizontal and Multilateral Wells organizing committee. Ablaev received a Master of Physics degree in Aerodynamics at Novosibirsk State University and earned a degree in the oil and gas industry from Gubkin Russian State University of Oil and Gas.

Director, South Central and East Europe Region

Matthias Meister is a technology advisor for logging-while-drilling tools at Baker Hughes’ Celle Technology Center in Germany. He began his career as a mechanical engineer working on measurement-while-drilling tools in the early 1980s. After acting as an engineering manager for diamond drillbit design, Meister led the development of formation-testing and sampling-while-drilling tools. Later he became the development manager of multiple logging-while-drilling tools including magnetic resonance, acoustic, seismic, and reaming-on-demand.

Meister holds 28 patents on logging-while-drilling and drillbit technologies and has presented numerous papers about these at various international workshops and conferences. He graduated with a master’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Hannover, Germany.

Director, Southwestern North America Region

Elizabeth (Libby) Einhorn is Permian production manager at Eagle Rock Operating Company in Midland, Texas. She has held several production engineering positions over the last 23 years at a number of companies, including ARCO, Parker & Parsley, Sonat Exploration, ConocoPhillips, Cimarex, Pure Resources, and Kinder Morgan. Throughout her career, Einhorn has worked primarily in the Permian Basin, with experience in New Mexico, northern Louisiana, and Mississippi.

She has served on the SPE Permian Basin Section board of directors since 2002. Einhorn is also active in her community, volunteering for the YMCA and Safe Place of the Permian Basin, a shelter for victims of domestic violence. She earned a BS in petroleum engineering from Montana College of Mineral Science and Technology.


Director, South America and Caribbean Region

Anelise Quintão Lara is executive manager for exploration, production development, and investment management at Petrobras under the production-sharing contract for the Libra block offshore Brazil in the ultradeep waters of the presalt Santos basin.

Throughout her 27-year career at Petrobras, she has managed several activities related to exploration and production, such as reservoir technology, reservoir engineering, subsurface studies, and production development projects for deepwater fields.

Lara earned a BS degree in chemical engineering and an MS degree in petroleum engineering from Universidade Federal de Ouro Preto in Minas Gerais, Brazil, as well as a PhD in Earth sciences from Université Pierre et Marie Curie (Paris 6), France. She also completed a program titled “Top Management Executive MBA” at the Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro/COPPEAD Graduate School of Business.

The author of many technical papers, she has participated in several industry panel sessions and round tables and served as board chair for the SPE Brazil Section (2005–08) and general chair of the 2009 SPE Latin America and Caribbean Petroleum Engineering Conference, held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Lara is a member of SPE’s Century Club.

Director, At-Large

Khaled Abdullah Al-Buraik is vice president of petroleum engineering and development for the Saudi Arabian Oil Company (Saudi Aramco). He is responsible for the development and management of all of Saudi Aramco’s petroleum reserves. During the past 27 years, Buraik has held several management positions at Saudi Aramco, including vice president of Saudi Aramco Affairs (corporate relations and communications), vice president of Northern Area Oil Operations, and vice president of drilling and workover. He holds one granted patent, titled “Recovering Heavy Oil through the Use of Microwave Heating in Horizontal Wells,” and two filed patents related to enhanced oil recovery and oil spill containment.

Buraik chairs Aramco Gulf Operations Company’s board of directors, serves on the Arabian Geophysical & Surveying Company Ltd.’s board of directors, and chairs the SPE Saudi Arabia Section board. He is a member of the Saudi Council of Engineers and the International Association of Drilling Contractors. Buraik serves as a member of the Saudi Aramco–King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) and Saudi Aramco–King Fahd University for Petroleum and Minerals (KFUPM) collaboration oversight boards, as well as the KAUST industry advisory board. He also is a board member of the al-Birr Charitable Society in the Eastern Province, Saudi Arabia.

Nominees Announced: 2016 SPE President and 2015 Slate of Directors

Robin Beckwith, Senior Features Editor

01 April 2014

Volume: 66 | Issue: 4



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