August 2020

Editorial Advisors: Nathan Meehan receives SPE’s highest honor, takes on new role

One of World Oil’s most notable editorial advisors receives SPE’s ultimate distinction while also taking on new roles in the industry.
Dr. D. Nathan Meehan
Dr. D. Nathan Meehan

We are pleased to share the news that Dr. D. Nathan Meehan has been selected as a recipient of the Society of Petroleum Engineers’ (SPE) highest honor. He has been named an Honorary Member of SPE, the highest award the society can present to an individual. It is limited to roughly 0.1% of SPE’s total membership.

Elite qualifications. As noted by SPE, “this elite group represents those individuals, who have given outstanding service to SPE or have demonstrated distinguished scientific or engineering achievements in the fields within the technical scope of SPE.” Nominee eligibility is open to anyone demonstrating exceptional service to SPE or outstanding achievements in the industry.

Indeed, according to a resolution passed in November 1941 by the American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical, and Petroleum Engineers Board of Directors, “Honorary Membership may be awarded in appreciation of outstanding service to the Institute and its Societies, or in recognition of distinguished scientific or engineering achievement.” However, once an SPE member receives this award, he/she will no longer be eligible for all other society international awards, per the society’s rules. Dr. Meehan was the 2016 SPE President and will receive his award at a ceremony later this fall.

New career directions. In the meantime, Dr. Meehan is pursuing new industry opportunities after recently taking retirement as the managing director of Baker Hughes subsidiary, Gaffney, Cline & Associates, Inc., based in Houston. He is serving as president of his own firm, CMG Petroleum Consulting. In addition, on June 30,, a firm expert in machine learning and AI for geotechnical data science, announced that is adding Dr. Meehan to its Technical Advisory Board, in an expansion of that body. 

“Throughout his career, Nathan has become known as an extraordinary engineer and an even better leader,” said Dr. Troy Ruths, founder and CEO of “We are thrilled to partner with such an outstanding individual. It is our aim to infuse each workflow with the care and expertise that Nathan has delivered to the industry.” 

“I am very proud to be joining the team as the Senior Advisor for Reserves and Emissions,” said Dr. Meehan. “I’ve been fortunate to work with the world’s largest energy companies through reserves reporting processes, and I also share Troy’s passion for delivering tools to the industry that will foster reductions in emissions, and ultimately, a transition to clean burning energy.” 

With this addition, the Technical Advisory Board now includes global experts in both geomechanics and reservoir engineering. “I’m absolutely delighted that Nathan is joining,” said Dr. Mark Zoback, Senior Advisor in Geomechanics. “I’ve known Nathan since he was a PhD student at Stanford, several decades ago. More importantly, I have had the pleasure to connect with him a number of times since then in his leadership roles with both operating and service companies, his activities as a private consultant, and his professional service as president of the SPE. I can think of no one, who could bring a wider range of experience and expertise to and help us to better serve our current and future clients through cutting-edge software and services.” 

An extensive record of industry service. Dr. Meehan’s career in the industry has been extensive. Before his tenure as president of Gaffney, Cline & Associates, he was senior executive advisor for Baker Hughes; vice president of Engineering for Occidental Petroleum; and general manager, Exploration & Production Services, for Union Pacific Resources. Dr. Meehan holds a BSc degree in physics from the Georgia Institute of Technology, an MSc degree in petroleum engineering from the University of Oklahoma, and a PhD in petroleum engineering from Stanford University. 

He is an SPE Distinguished Member and the recipient of the SPE Lester C. Uren Award for Distinguished Achievement in Petroleum Engineering, the DeGolyer Distinguished Service Medal, and the SPE Public Service Award. Dr. Meehan also has received the World Oil Lifetime Achievement Award (October 2016) and the Petroleum Economist Legacy Award (November 2019). He has served on the National Petroleum Council and is a long-standing member of the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission. Last, but not least, Dr. Meehan continues to be a long-serving member of World Oil’s Editorial Advisory Board.

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