“Please accept my resignation. I don’t want to belong to any club that will accept me as a member.” Groucho Marx
The Geneva Petroleum Club began informally in 2000, when three Geneva based oil executives, Marc Lorenceau of Addax Petroleum, Ian Lundin of Lundin Oil AB and Charles de Mestral of Athanor BV, got together for lunch to exchange views, thoughts and news about the sector, as it customarily done in oil centers like Houston or London.
The first meeting, held in May 2000, was dedicated to presenting the activities of Athanor, the smaller of the three companies. The intent was that the three companies should have a general understanding and knowledge of the activities of the two others. This was seen as a must since these were the only three oil known upstream companies in town. The next meeting took place in September 2000 with a presentation of Addax Petroleum's activities; a presentation by Lundin Oil followed later in the year.
It quickly became evident that the gathering would be somewhat narrow in scope if the membership remained limited to the three “founders” new members working in the sector were thus invited to join. From an initial membership of 23 (including 6 non-residents) at the end of 2000, the Club has reached 81 members (including 10 non-residents) in 2010.
The original mode of functioning of the Club, whereby the three founding companies hosted a meeting in turn, became cumbersome as the membership grew. A more formal arrangement was deemed preferable and resulted, in June 2003, in the official registration of the Geneva Petroleum Club in the Canton de Genève, together with a system of paying membership.
Initially, the extensive network of contacts of Adolf Lundin, chairman of Lundin Oil AB, was relied upon to identify eminent speakers; over the years, the Executive Committee (the Club's management) has taken on the function of securing presentations from a wide range of professionals, primarily from the E&P sector, but on occasion from geopolitical, legal or financial fields. Since the beginning, all presentations have been conducted in English, the common language in this sector.
The Club generally meets on the first Wednesday of each month, from September to June at the Swiss Hotel Métropole, Geneva.
Presidents to date
Charles de Mestral (Athanor BV, 2000-2002)
Ian Lundin (Lundin Oil AB, 2002-2004)
Christian Weyer (Enerfin Inc, 2004-2006)
Michel Gisiger (Moletherm Holding AG, 2006-2009)
Christine Batruch (Lundin Petroleum, 2009 -2011)
Members of the Executive Committee (2000-2011)
Charles de Mestral (Athanor BV)
Marc Lorenceau (Addax Petroleum)
Ian Lundin (Lundin Petroleum)
Peter Fleimish (Addax Petroleum)
Jan Roelofsen (IHS)
Christian Weyer (Enerfin)
Johannes E. Sibinga Mulder (Addax Petroleum)
Michel Gisiger (Moletherm Holding SA)
Olivier Lerolle (CEP International Petroleum Ltd)
Richard McKean (Montreux Energy)
John Gault (John Gault S.A. Energy Project Development)
Philippe Probst (Addax Petroleum)
Jean-Luc Vermeulen (Total)
Christine Batruch (Lundin Petroleum)
Bernard de Combret (Ex-Total)
Robert Bulstra (Addax Petroleum)
Luc Henriod (Ex-Iploca)
Michael Suana (Tulip Oil BV)