JAMAL BARGHOUTI / Reservoir Engineering Consultant

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In the beginning…

In 2003, I was still working for ConocoPhillips but my career was approaching the end, after about 30 years working around the world. Then something happened that extended the lease, not only on my career, but also on that phase of my life, that made a huge difference. I met two highly impressive, intelligent, and passionate people right in my house: Professor Neprimirov and Arthur Aslanyan of TGT. I was hooked! We talked engineering, philosophy, technology and discussed many other things that night, and we agreed to stay in touch.
And touch we stayed, but I did not join TGT Team until the end of 2010. These were very exciting times. I think it was the exact second day that I travelled to Qatar and introduced our technology to Maersk, then to Oman, then to Abu Dhabi….
The technology, the scientific and mathematical foundation behind that technology intrigued me a lot, but the intellectual power, enthusiasm, and optimism of the people I worked with, were irresistible and pushed me over to fall in love with it all.

 
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In Jumeira – Dubai 2003

Getting Personal

I am the eldest of ten, six boys and four girls all born in a little village in Palestine. The school was in a different village about three kilometers up the mountains, but it felt like 300 kilometers away for five year olds with no shoes. We walked to school every day, come sun or high water. By five I was able to read well, thanks due to my Grandfather who, between ploughing the field and planting wheat, he sat me down under an olive tree and taught me reading and writing. That saved me two years of walking to school because the principal thought I was good enough for a 3rd Grade, skipping 1st and 2nd in a single jump.

 

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My village on the right, the school on the opposite mountain top

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My siblings – missing two on each side for full deck. “Slovo Bogo” All finished university

 

After High School and with more mouths to feed in a war-torn region, I went to work as a laborer in Qatar. I was still under 17 years old when I joined Shell Oil Company to work on one of the rigs offshore Arabian Gulf. It was hard work, dirty work, mud, acid, diesel, chemicals, hot, long hours but the money was good, all saved, and sent home. Room and food were free on the rig.
While working on the rig I studied by correspondence English language, Mathematics, Physics, and Oil Production with a school in London. I took my exams at the British Consulate in Doha/Qatar. I got a diploma and qualified to become an assistant to the Loading Master, in charge of transferring oil from the tanks to the oil tankers anchored two kilometers away from the terminal on Halul Island.
In 1967, war broke out again and I could not reach my family. I resigned my job with Shell, and after a few months of correspondence, I got acceptance to study Petroleum Engineering at the University of Wyoming in the United States.

Upon graduation, I joined Schlumberger as a field logging engineer and worked in California, New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming. In 1975 I joined Conoco as a Production Engineer and then as a Reservoir Engineer but at a different location every 5-6 years: USA, Dubai, Egypt, London, Aberdeen, Arkhangel (Russia), back to USA, and finally full circle back to Dubai in year 2000.

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Working as a cowboy in Wyoming to pay for tuition

 

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Ice Fishing on the Dvina River in Arkhangel

During these years, Conoco was supportive to me. They allowed me, and paid for my education getting MBA in 1978 and PhD in 1996-1999, sponsoring field research in Russia and publishing parts of my work afterwards. My assignment in Russia lasted for six years, and it enriched my life in all aspects. Nature, people, language, culture touched me deeply and reformatted my entire CPU and all the wiring on my “motherboard!”

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Now, upon reflection, that all seems to have prepared me to meet, and later join, the TGT Group. It feels like a logical conclusion to all my previous activities and learning, leading to this enriching experience of knowing so many smart, kind, beautiful, and hard working men and women.

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I am grateful for the opportunity to be a team mate, and I will always cherish the friendship I gained with so many of you at TGT, where the principles of science and Mathematics are converted to tools to serve, solve problems and answer questions others cannot.

Jamal Barghouti, february, 2015

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