After more than 16 years working in the Middle East, Duffy says the experience has provided professional and cultural opportunities that have enriched his and his family’s lives equally.
“I was fortunate to be assigned to the Arab-D reservoir in the Ghawar Field, the single largest oil reservoir and the single largest oil field in the world. As a geoscientist, there is no better laboratory for the study of the world's greatest hydrocarbon resources than Saudi Aramco,” Duffy says.
A professional highlight for Duffy came when his work in the Arab-D field earned a Top Ten Award for Excellence from more than 550 entries after his presentation at an American Association of Petroleum Geologists conference. “There are a lot of possibilities for original creative thinking and interpretation, and I am encouraged to take risks and explore alternative ideas,” he says.
Duffy and his wife, Carol, raised two sons in Abu Dhabi and Saudi Arabia, both of whom are now college-aged. He credits the cultural diversity of the region for giving his sons a perspective on the world that can't be taught in a classroom. “We've enjoyed the family atmosphere of the Saudi Aramco community in Dhahran and the opportunity to make friends with people of all nationalities and cultures,” Duffy explains.
With their children back in the U.S., Duffy and Carol enjoy long walks on the lighted path around the golf course and attending art classes.
When it's time to get out of town, they split their time between family visits in Tennessee and choosing a new adventure, such as a 15-day mountain-climbing trip to Nepal, where they scaled a 19,000-foot peak in the shadow of Mt. Everest. “It was the most difficult challenge we have ever accomplished in our lives, and the total experience is a lifetime memory,” Duffy says.