David Allard began working as a geologist in the oil business in San Francisco, California after finishing school in Pennsylvania. He moved to Midland, Texas to work for a major oil and gas company in 1981 and in 1988 moved to Houston to work on international projects with that company, involving extensive travels. He joined an independent oil and gas company in 1998, moving his family to Egypt; then five years later, transferred to Scotland. David took on management roles of increasing responsibility starting in 2000 to the present. He returned to the U.S. in 2006 to work in Tulsa, OK, Houston again, then with another independent oil company to Tulsa and finally to Denver. David has had a varied career of over 35 years as a petroleum geologist, playing a part in many new field discoveries, publications and public presentations. A few of his other interests include: music, art, business management and time to help others.
How long have you been writing?
I have written various technical articles through my 35 year career, but writing this book in various versions (from raw journals publication in 2012 to the recent commercial effort) took about 4 years..
What motivated you to write this book?
I feel lucky to see so many places and have the variety of business experiences and I want to share this pro oil and gas business description / inside look. The key aspects of my book that I want to share: A) how the international oil business works and B) various “you were there” cultural observations including political change and government stability issues in the host countries where we were exploring. For example, the fall of Communist Russia, turning Hong Kong back to China, rebel encounters with the government etc.
Who and/or what inspire you most?
I am most impressed with people that make a difference in the world; as well as accomplished artists and pro athletes. As far as writing about the oil industry: people that published insightful books Daniel Yergin, author of the Prize, Michel Thomas Halbouty the great wildcatter, Thomas Petrie’s Following Oil and Lisa Margonelli, author of Oil on the Brain, to name a few.
Why do you write?
I enjoy telling the story that others may be interested in. I was compelled to get my world of oil story out because I was lucky enough have seen so much. The oil business is of interest to many others these days being a political issue – globally; and I want to tell a positive oil story of exploration and value creation.
How did you feel when you finished writing this book?
Like a completed life mission
Do you hope to inspire other writers? What advice would you give for people thinking about writing a book?
Take time to write down your story, share it with others and grow from the feedback
What do you do for a living? What is your day job or is writing your day job?
I am a petroleum geologist working for an independent oil company; my current role is Chief Geologist
What obstacles have you overcome to write this book?
To make the details of business travel and international exploration into a story of interest, a book format worth reading – that others value is the challenge.
How long did it take you to write this book?
5 years after compiling the digital versions of my journals
Did you draw on life experience to write this book? If so, can you share that experience in brief?
While growing up, we moved a couple times as a family and we traveled a fair bit across North America, but the sights and sounds over those years paled in comparison to what I would see in the business world. I selected geology as a career and was lucky to find myself in such a dynamic industry that allowed for amazing international cultural experiences and business opportunities. The point of this book is to share stories and information with the reader about places I have seen, observations of different cultures and customs and business notes of interest, including the international oil business. When I was a child, some of my neighborhood friends moved away and I wrote some long letters – several pages – which looking back, have had some purpose.
The international oil business is an expensive, risky, and fascinating business, which involves many years of effort to find and develop new reserves. I think there are a lot of people out there who are interested and want to understand more about this business and our world.
Is there anything else you’d like to tell us?
This is a tale worth telling. Wherever you may go; may all your life’s roads be beautiful. May this book inspire you to travel your own path in life; a life filled with awe and wonder.