Thursday, 22 April 2010, 6 p.m., Edinburgh
Learning from the Past, Looking to the Future - Reflections on 30-years of work in the Middle East and Caspian regions
Gavin Graham, Executive Vice President Business Development and Technical Services, Petrofac Energy Developments
This event occurred on: Thursday, 22 April 2010, 6 p.m.
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The infamous American bank robber, Willie Sutton, was once reportedly asked why he robbed banks. Looking a bit surprised he replied: "Because that's where the money is". Similar logic might explain the west's continued fascination with the significant oil and gas resources of the Middle East and Caspian regions. There have been notable successes, the occasional meetings of great minds and cultures, but there have also been many failures, many false starts, many undelivered promises. In a light-hearted look-back, an attempt is made to pull together some of the learnings that can, on the one hand, serve to illustrate the broad and deep culture of countries across this region and, on the other, point to directions that the industry might explore to deliver greater success, broader alignment, going forward - in an ever-changing geopolitical, commercial and contractual landscape.
Gavin Graham was educated at Edinburgh, Cambridge and the Open University, where he completed a PhD on the Geology of the Oman Mountains under a Shell scholarship supervised by Ken Glennie - a topic described by the leader of the Project, Professor Ian Gass, as a study of "the crud beneath the ophiolite". He then joined Shell and was posted back to Oman as a geophysicist and later a petroleum engineer working in the south of the country. His career took him steadily northwards to the Netherlands, the Barents Sea and Svalbard, and then back to Oman at an exciting time of exploration success in the early nineties. There followed a move into Middle East/Caspian Business Development based in the Netherlands and, with a marked sense of bad timing, into Government Relations/Crisis Response on the morning of 9/11. In 2004, he returned to the Gulf to head up Shell's New Business activities across the Middle East and Caspian regions, leading to successful projects in Iran, Iraq and Kuwait - and a number of near misses in Turkmenistan and the UAE. As from 1st March 2010, in a new and exciting career move, he has joined Petrofac as EVP for Business Development and Technical Services, reporting to Amjad Bseisu and working closely with CEO Ayman Asfari. In this role he will be based out of London and will look to leverage Petrofac's core skills to build an investment portfolio focussed on Europe, the MENA/Caspian regions and Asia Pacific. He is married with four daughters, enjoys travel, sport and photography and trying to convince the many women in his life that watching six-Nations rugby is a good way to spend a Saturday afternoon.