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Special Features Building your future in five days! Professors and students say what they think The super major factor Tale of the unexpected



years of

innovation >110,000 employees >140 nationalities ~ 85 countries of operation Who are we?

We are the world’s largest oilfield services company 1. Working globally—often in remote and challenging locations—we invent, design, engineer, and apply technology to help our customers find and produce oil and gas safely.

Who are we looking for?

We need more than 5,000 graduates to begin dynamic careers in the following domains: Engineering, Research and Operations Geoscience and Petrotechnical n Commercial and Business n n

What will you be? 1Based on Forbes Leading Companies Report 2011.

Copyright © 2012 Schlumberger. All rights reserved.

Taking responsibility for the next


By Andrew McBarnet


ur Recruitment Special has become a regular feature of EAGE’s publication calendar inviting potential employers, professional recruiters, young geoscience professionals, professors and students to tell their stories, offer opinions, and generally reflect on the oil and gas industry and its role and relevance in the world. What emerges very clearly from this year’s issue is a common purpose which matches this year’s theme for the EAGE’s Annual Meeting in Copenhagen in June – ‘Responsibly Securing Natural Resources’. The upcoming generation of potential geoscientists and young professionals seems keenly aware that the oil and gas industry has responsibilities. On the one had it must dedicate itself to exploring all potential hydrocarbon resources in order to provide the world with future energy. On the other it should ensure that its technologies and operations are sensitive to community and environmental concerns.


Geoscience students represented here seem to have made their own calculations. They rightly detect that their qualifications alone are a somewhat scarce commodity in great demand, and that oil companies and others need them as a resource if future energy growth targets are going to be met. This pretty much takes care of job security as far as any profession can hope. With regard to responsibly securing natural resources you get the encouraging impression that the new intakes see it as their mission to be as proactive as possible within the constraints of their position in the company. At the same time the opportunities in terms of technology challenges, worldwide operations, and contributing to the fulfilment of a basic community need can be matched by fewer other industries. This makes the case for working in the geosciences for the oil and gas industry very persuasive.

SPECIAL intro 

From the evidence presented here it may be that the tide of negativity that deterred a generation of students from pursuing careers in the oil and gas industry and related service activities is turning. Probably the most important change is that oil companies are doing their utmost to reassure potential recruits that a career is on offer and not a job until the next blip in oil price (which is the reputation that the industry earned itself). The investment in training of young geoscientists undertaken by the larger oil companies would suggest that they want people in for the long haul.

Table of contents Recruitment Special EAGE Publications Officer Neil Goulty, Durham University (publicationsofficer@eage.org)

Join the Job Fest in Copenhagen! All the details about the Job Centre at EAGE's Annual Meeting PLUS a five star rating from PGS.

Editor Andrew McBarnet (editorfb@eage.org)


Publications & Communications Manager Marcel van Loon (ml@eage.org) Publications Manager Linda Molenaar (lm@eage.org) Account Manager Subscriptions & Recruitment Stefan van der Kooij (sk@eage.org) Production Co Productions bv (contact@coproductions.nl) Editorial/Advertising enquiries EAGE Office (address below)   EAGE Europe Office PO Box 59 3990 DB Houten The Netherlands Tel.: +31 88 9955055 Fax: +31 30 6343524 E-mail: eage@eage.org Website: www.eage.org EAGE Russia & CIS Office EAGE Geomodel LLC Starokaluzhskoye shosse, 62 Build. 1, korp. 6, 3rd floor 117630, Moscow, Russia Tel.: +7 495 661 9285 Fax: +7 495 661 9286 E-mail: moscow@eage.org Website: www.eage.ru

SPECIAL www.eage.org/rs • page 2 

EAGE Middle East Office EAGE Middle East FZ-LLC Dubai Knowledge Village Block 13 Office F-25 PO Box 501711 Dubai, United Arab Emirates Tel.: +971 4 369 3897 Fax: +971 4 360 4702 E-mail: middle_east@eage.org Website: www.eage.org


EAGE Asia Pacific Office UOA Centre Office Suite 19-15-3A No. 19, Jalan Pinang 50450 Kuala Lumpur Malaysia Tel: +60 3 27 22 0140 Fax: +60 3 2722 0143 E-mail: asiapacific@eage.org Website: www.eage.org Recruitment Special on the Web This publication can be accessed online at: www.eage.org/rs Cover photo North Pole research base ­monitoring solar ­activity. This year’s EAGE Student Programme in Copenhagen includes a lecture on arctic climate issues. See p. 6

Profs and students on the same energy page University staff and students have their say on what lies ahead.

The skills gap: learning and development Simon Drysdale of BP on investing in young talent.

A world of opportunities in the seismic business Arnaud Louis gives us the recruitment word from Schlumberger.





Job Centre will be Copenhagen attraction


PGS rating of Job Centre

6 Building your future in five days! We review packed student programme at Annual Meeting. 8 GeoSkills focuses on attracting the talent Looking ahead to EAGE workshop. 10 Answer the questions honestly That’s the advice from Jonny Arnesen of TGS. 12 How innovation leads to sustainable seismic Employees at CGGVeritas explain why they care.

19 Energy perspective: how professors and students view the prospects Professors and today’s students have their say on what lies ahead. 30 Right choice means job satisfaction Brian Barrett says joining Zetica worked out for him. 32 The super major factor Stuart Long has got all he wants at BP. 34 Just get going Johan Jungholm (RXT) advises jumping into a job right away. 36 Measuring up to the requirement! Statoil woman knows what she is looking for. 38 The skills gap: learning and development Simon Drysdale of BP on investing in young talent. 41 Cross-functionality is at the heart of Total’s winning strategy How it works for new joiners.

48 A world of opportunities in the seismic business Arnaud Louis gives us the recruitment word from Schlumberger. 52 Skills in demand worldwide James Armitage explains Chevron’s recruitment strategy. 55



46 Tale of the unexpected Nabil Elkady travelled plenty to get to PETRONAS.

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Seventh successive presence at Annual Meeting

Stop by the Job Centre

in Copenhagen! T

he Job Centre is one of EAGE’s initiatives to support the industry with recruitment needs. Following successful appearances at Vienna, London, Rome, Amsterdam, Barcelona, and Vienna last year, the 74th EAGE Conference & Exhibition incorporating SPE EUROPEC 2012 will once again feature a Job Centre on the exhibition floor.

More than 300 exhibitors from the geoscience and engineering business and academic community will occupy almost 10,000 m2 of booth space. This year’s call for papers to be presented at the conference reached a record total of over 1000, ensuring that those selected by the panel of experts from industry and academia will be of the highest quality.

Over 6000 participants are expected at this year’s Annual Meeting in Copenhagen, Denmark from 4–7 June. As the most comprehensive geoscience event in the world, the event provides a great opportunity for both experienced professionals and those seeking their first career to meet with companies looking for staff.

The companies in the Copenhagen 2012 Job Centre vary from oil companies to recruitment agencies and service companies. Three companies have a presence both on the Job Centre floor and the general exhibition floor: PGS, Schlumberger, and CGGVeritas. The full list of companies participating at Job Centre includes Beicip Franlab; BP; CGGVeritas; Chevron; ExxonMobil; PGS; Schlumberger; Scout Outstanders; Shell; and Working Smart.

How PGS views the EAGE Job Centre


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PGS has been a loyal Job Centre participant, taking part in the Job Centre for the first time at EAGE’s Annual Meeting in London (2007). Eric Myrind, recruiter at PGS, explains why he values the career fair at EAGE’s Annual Meeting.

How do you value the show in general? The show has great value for PGS when it comes to recruiting. As we focus the bulk of our recruiting on candidates with a geoscience background, the Job Centre at the EAGE is one of the best venues for meeting a large number of students with an educational background that is highly relevant for us, and to be able to present our opportunities to them. The show itself also gives the students the opportunity to see and learn what the seismic industry is all about, which is very important.

How do you value the Job Centre? The Job Centre works well because all the students know that they can go and ask us questions about career opportunities, learn about the companies and what the

different companies can offer. It gives us as a company the opportunity to promote PGS to students, but also to learn from the students what they are looking for in a potential new employer.

"It has through the years been a pleasure talking to so many motivated and knowledgeable students".

How do you value the quality of the visitors? The quality of students is generally very high and we meet a large number of students with the ‘right’ background for

us every year. It has through the years been a pleasure talking to so many motivated and knowledgeable students who are eager to learn about our company and our business.

Do you focus on a special group, for example students, or do you also focus on mid-career and other groups? We mainly focus on students at the Job Centre, as most of the activities organized by the EAGE at the Job Centre are targeted towards students. We do talk to some experienced people who are wandering around the Job Centre, but I have

a suspicion that most of the recruiting of experienced personnel is done outside the Job Centre.

How does it work for you, having both a main PGS booth plus a specific Job Centre booth? How is it beneficial to you as a recruiter? It works very well for us. I always encourage students to visit our main stand to see the technology we have on display. The PGS main stand is impressive, and I have met a lot of students through the years who have been at the main stand and seen our technology first, and then come back to me asking ‘How can I start working for PGS?’


The Job Centre is an important venue for us to present our opportunities to students. Given the number and quality of the students visiting the conference, it is important for us to be at the EAGE to present our career opportunities at the Job Centre. As we also have a large main stand, students can also visit to get a feel of the technology we develop and use within the company.

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What makes you participate at EAGE’s annual Job Centre every year?

your future in


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An extensive student programme is once again being organized for students attending the 74th EAGE Annual Conference & Exhibition from 4–7 June 2012 in Copenhagen, Denmark. Under the theme of ‘Building Your Future’ the programme introduces many exciting educational and entertaining activities for gaining up to date knowledge and skills for pursuing a career in geoscience and engineering. The programme highlights include activities and contests in the Student Court, an area dedicated for students, as well as student short courses, workshop, poster presentations, trial interviews, exhibition tours, and many more. The five day programmes kicks off with the EAGE FIELD Challenge promoting crossdisciplinary geoscience and engineering integration within universities. On 4 June six selected teams from universities in Canada, Denmark, France, India, Pakistan, and the UAE will compete in the student FIELD Challenge programme - Fully Integrated EvaLuation and Development. The multi-disciplinary teams of three geoscience students will analyse the same data-

set and propose a FIELD development plan for a discovered hydrocarbon resource. This year the dataset comes from a Danish field and was sponsored by Maersk. Presentations will be conducted in front of a jury of industry technical leaders and the winners announced in the Student Court on 5 June. Poster presentations of all teams will be displayed in the Student Court and presented by their authors on 6 June. On 4 June students have the opportunity to register for a one day field trip to the famous Stevns Klint section to study the Upper Maastrichtian chalk, the K-T boundary profile, and lower Danian bryozoans mounds. Chalk is the main hydrocarbon reservoir in the Danish North Sea and the Maastrichtian–Danian succession in eastern Denmark is an important ground water reservoir. The trip will focus on the depositional aspects of chalk sedimentation and their implications on reservoir properties. The focal point for students will be, as every year, the Student Court located in the exhibition area. Registration desk for student

activities as well as a stage for student programme announcements and for various presentations will be located here. On Tuesday 5 June the Annual Chapter Award will be announced and the stage will welcome Prof Dorthe Dahl-Jensen from the Centre of Excellence for Ice and Climate of the Niels Bohr Institute. Prof Dahl-Jensen will present what is expected to be an inspirational speech on her research areas which include reconstruction of climate records from ice cores and borehole data, ice flow models to date ice cores, continuum mechanical properties of anisotropic ice, ice in the solar system, and the history and evolution of the Greenland Ice Sheet. The programme theme with a Danish twist will be enhanced by the ‘Building Your Future Contest’ in the Student Court where participants will be invited to unleash their creative potential while competing in building the most creative oil rigs using LEGO bricks. On the last day of the conference a group of judges will select three finalists from up to 45 teams entered to give a small presentation on their construction and then announce the winner.

"Event shows EAGE's commitment to students and their future."

A new feature this year is being launched to support job searching efforts! Students will have the opportunity to meet up with potential employers in an informal and friendly atmosphere during the Recruitment Café. The one-hour of ‘speed dating’ with industry representatives anxious to meet potential employees will start off on Wednesday 6 June in the Student Court. Along with the activities in the Student Court, a student technical programme will be presented as part of the conference. Students can actively participate by submitting a student abstract covering one of the 19 published topics. This year a record number of student abstracts were

Two short courses and one workshop are scheduled in the Copenhagen Student Programme, assisting students to gain in an interactive way specific practical or technical knowledge. A half day ‘Petroleum Systems Modelling’ short course by Michael Hertle and Lawrence Gill from Maersk will consist of mixed lectures and short hands-on exercises. The goal of the course is to give a short introduction to petroleum systems analysis/modelling. The topics cover Source rock deposition and properties (type and organofacies), Source rock maturity concepts and maturity calculation, Hydrocarbon generation and expulsion, and Hydrocarbon migration and entrapment. Prof Jean-Pierre Deflandre from the Centre for Exploration-Production, IFP School, will conduct a short course on ‘Microseismicity: applications in Oil & Gas industry’. In the workshop 'Your future career - my view, your view' a top industry professional, Hon Prof Peter Lloyd, will provide some tips and practical advice on developing a rewarding career in the oil and gas business. After a kick-off presentation a Q&A will follow to share ideas about starting successfully in the industry and evolving career strategies. This year the EAGE Annual Conference will introduce the largest accompanying

Contest will find the best LEGO oil rig.

exhibition in its history and students will have the opportunity to get familiar with it by participating in the guided Exhibition tours, specially organized and dedicated to students. In addition participants will have a chance to participate in the Student Challenge visiting selected booths, answering some questions, and possibly being lucky enough to win one of the daily draws! A social highlight of the student programme will be the legendary Student Evening, this time taking place in the Langelinie Pavillonen, located not far from the famous sights such as the Citadel, the Gefion Fountain, the Amalienborg (Royal Palace), and Nyhavn. The Pavillonen contains some of the finest examples of 1950s Danish design and offers panoramic views of the entire Copenhagen waterfront, looking on to the city’s famous Little Mermaid. The evening will provide an ideal opportunity to mingle with fellow students as well as senior industry professionals, enjoy great food and drinks, music, dancing, and a lot fun! The rich Copenhagen 2012 Student Programme proves once again EAGE’s commitment to students and their future in geoscience and engineering careers. It would not be possible without the support of our sponsors: BP, Dong Energy, Eni, ExxonMobil, Maersk Oil, PetroSkills, Total, as well as the EAGE Student Fund including Shell, CGGVeritas, WesternGeco, and SPE.

Quizmaster Mahmoud Abdulbaqi asking the questions.

For more information on the Student Programme, please visit www.eage.org.

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The Student Programme is also offering a chance for students to advance their career opportunities through advice and tips for professional development provided by recruiters and experienced senior industry experts who will be on hand. Once again, students have the chance to sign up for a trial interview and receive professional feedback useful for formal job interviews in the future. Apart from having a unique chance to practice, some students have actually been offered a real job as a result of the trial interviews!

submitted! The accepted submissions will be displayed and presented along with the regular technical programme posters in the Poster Pavilion.


One of the most popular student activities taking place in the Student Court is traditionally the Geo Quiz. Up to 30 teams – including the winners of the student chapters 3rd online Geo Quiz – will challenge their geosciences knowledge in a quest for the winning fabulous prizes!

Field trip during first GeoSkills workshop.

GeoSkills focuses on attracting the talent


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The EAGE’s GeoSkills Workshop first held in Pau, France so successfully in 2010 is to be repeated in Pau this year on 25–27 September. The event provides a valuable meeting place for anyone in the upstream industry concerned about technical skills or the impending lack of them in the upstream industry.

This conundrum lies at the heart of the GeoSkills Workshop, which assembles professionals from industry and academia to debate the skills issue. This year GeoSkills will focus on local talent generation, in other words developing local talent in whatever country oil and gas are found. It is a question that vexes NOCs and IOCs alike, NOCs because they need to fill national quotas for their workforce and IOCs because they operate in partnership with NOCs and are also required to address national priorities.

What you can expect in GeoSkills 2012 is an eclectic mix of the following: • Understanding the requirements of NOCs • How NOCs and IOCs can work together to develop local capability • The new skills required to extract the ‘hard’ oil and gas • The role of universities and how they interface with industry • Success stories in accelerated ­development • Mentoring and coaching strategies • Simulation and virtual training ­technology • Approaches to competency ­management and assurance

The two-day programme will first address local talent issues, then look for the solutions. Thanks to its reputation, the work-

• Successful technical career ladders • Accreditation and continuous ­professional development. The final day of the workshop includes a short optional geological field trip to the Pyrenees. During this excursion nongeologists will experience the value of seeing rocks at outcrop, and may appreciate the importance of analogy in the understanding and construction of subsurface reservoir models. So who should come? The workshop should be of interest to managers and technical leaders especially those involved in recruitment, training, and career management. Academic staff should attend to provide insights into the latest educational trends. All in all, GeoSkills is a hot ticket for anyone interested in people development in the upstream. The first GeoSkills was an exceptional event, because it brought together for the first time all the key stakeholders. There is every reason to believe that GeoSkills 2012 will be even better. It needs to be because skills development is our most pressing issue. Come, learn and enjoy!

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shop should attract top speakers from all sectors of the industry and top academics. To call GeoSkills a workshop is a bit of a misnomer, since it attracts upwards of 150 participants and features poster sessions and exhibition booths as well as a series of speakers and brainstorming sessions. One thing GeoSkills most emphatically is not is a commercial marketplace for training. The idea is to exchange ideas rather than business, and removing the commercial angle allows the ideas to flow much more freely.


It is no secret that the major constraint in upstream operations today is a skilled geoscience and engineering workforce. Major projects are being postponed because operators and service companies alike are unable to assemble the right team to do the job. This is the result of low recruiting in the 1980s, when oil prices were very low, and the gradual retirement of senior experts who joined the industry in the 1960s and 1970s. Fresh-out recruiting is up, but has not yet had the chance to fill the talent vacuum.

Opportunities are there for the right candidates Jonny Arnesen, HR manager Europe & Russia, talks about recruitment for his company TGS, the multiclient seismic survey specialist with 670 employees.

educated and skilled workers, and there is a wide range of job opportunities out there.


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What is your main way to recruit?

Why should young people consider a career in the energy business?

What degrees and or other qualifications do you require?

The energy business is a global and very exiting business. It gives you the opportunity to work with highly educated and dedicated people, across cultures and countries. The world has a high demand for energy and the industry needs a lot of young and bright minds in the years to come.

We are primarily interested in candidates with a degree in geology or geophysics, but also other degrees like mathematics, finance, and accounting. IT would be of interest too.

What career paths are available? As a progressive, equal-opportunity employer providing multi-client geoscience data and associated products and services to premier energy companies worldwide, TGS can offer both technical and administrative career paths.

What are you looking for in applicants? We are looking for a level of energy and drive, motivation to join us, and a view of what candidates think they can contribute to the future success of TGS.

What advice would you give candidates preparing for an interview? Present yourself in a natural way and always answer questions honestly. Make sure to ask questions about things you would like to know more about, both during the interview and afterwards.

Any other advice you would offer to young people considering a career in the energy industry? The energy industry can offer a wide range of career alternatives and paths, and you can choose to work for small start-up companies or larger more established ones. The industry has a high demand for highly

We recruit our new employees in many ways, for example, seeking graduates straight from different universities and from job advertisements on our homepage and on job boards. TGS has also implemented an employee referral programme that gives our employees a cash payment when they refer a candidate who is subsequently hired with us. We also recruit through a wide range of contacts within the industry.

How do you use social media to recruit? TGS uses LinkedIn to advertise job opportunities. Many TGS employees also have their own profile on LinkedIn, and we encourage them to inform their contacts about the different job opportunities within our company.

Is there a large enough pool of talent to meet current recruitment needs? No, we at TGS think that the pool is smaller than what we would like it to be. We recruit a lot of new graduates and younger professionals to increase the size of our internal pool of talents, and we focus on developing these talents internally so that they can meet our future needs.

Industry-leading technologies and teamwork Are you up for the challenge? bp.com/subsurface/eage

Highly Immersive Visualization Environment at our technology centre in the UK

We’re now hiring Seismic Analysts, Seismic Processors and New Well Delivery Operations Geologists. The oil and gas industry operates at the forefront of technology and our award-winning seismic imaging technology, industry-leading Imaging Flagship technologies and state-of-the-art Field of the Future™ technologies make BP a leader in its field. Together with the capital investment to drill and develop, access to some of the world’s most interesting hydrocarbon basins and our exploration heritage, it’s the perfect environment for subsurface professionals. You will have outstanding technical skills and a passion to learn from and collaborate across our world-class multi-disciplinary teams. With BP, you’ll get to explore exciting new frontiers, work as part of an amazing team and have the opportunity to make a positive impact on the world. BP’s exploration heritage and success has led to an exciting portfolio of career opportunities across the globe – from exploring new territories to maximizing the yield from existing basins. We also have opportunities for Explorers, Geologists, Geoscientists, Geophysicists, Petroleum Engineers, Petrophysicists, Reservoir Engineers and Technologists. To find out more, visit www.bp.com/subsurface/eage Field of the Future™ is a trademark of BP plc BP is an equal opportunities employer.

How innovation leads to

sustainable seismic Employees at CGGVeritas explain how a forward-looking approach can bring sustainability benefits.

"Our core business is about facilitating access to energy and sustaining natural resources over the long term."


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As a member of the United Nations Global Compact initiative since 2007, CGGVeritas continues to make progress every year to put sustainable development and social responsibility at the heart of its business. The recent arrival of Isabelle Lambert, 32, to head the company's Environment and Sustainable Development group, underlines the commitment of CGGVeritas to these concerns. ‘I oversee the company’s environmental stewardship and social responsibility from a strategic to operational level so I get involved in many ways, whether it’s drawing up policies and objectives to achieve our goals, designing and delivering training for our HSE (health, safety and environment) professionals and operational managers, or generally promoting a socially

and environmentally responsible way of operating across the company.’ Isabelle has wide-ranging experience in her field to draw on for her role at CGGVeritas. She began her career researching climate change and biodiversity issues for a large international oil and gas company before moving to an NGO funded by the United Nations Environment Programme where she designed and implemented private-public partnerships fostering cleaner production and energy efficiency across global supply chains. In her last job she worked for a small sustainable development consultancy in Venezuela. Since joining CGGVeritas she has come to appreciate the Group’s pioneering spirit

Sustained performance In September 2011 CGGVeritas was selected for listing in the Dow Jones Sustainability Europe Index (DJSI) based on its strong sustainable development performance and long-term strategic commitment to corporate social responsibility. Out of the 172 companies selected, among the 600 assessed, for the year 2011/2012 CGGVeritas was the only seismic company listed in the DJSI Europe.

Isabelle sets an example by cycling to work every day. CoUrtesy of CggVeritas/soPhie raPhaeL

which she sees as driving its professionals to constantly innovate and find better ways of taking the company’s capabilities further. ‘Our core business is about facilitating access to energy and sustaining natural resources over the long term. With our technological innovations we help our clients reduce their financial, operational and environmental risks, raise productivity, and extend the lifespan of their hydrocarbon reservoirs. We also must ensure that we do this responsibly. This is why I was pleased to see that at CGGVeritas

sustainability is not simply a buzzword or a nice way to reach out to stakeholders, it’s a genuine commitment to go one step further to deliver on our business goals with integrity.’ Isabelle has many examples of how the company is seeking innovative solutions to ensure its activities have a positive impact on its operating environment. ‘In marine, we are proud of our new X-BOW vessels, the Oceanic Vega and Oceanic

Sirius, which we designed to meet the highest environmental standards and which we operate to capitalize on their energy efficiency design. ‘We are also at the forefront of a concerted industry R&D effort to develop passive acoustic monitoring technology aimed at better detection of marine mammals present in the vicinity of our operations so that we can further improve the measures we take to protect

them. On land, our crews are increasingly using solar power to recharge equipment batteries they deploy in the field. We also strive to find new ways of benefiting the communities we interact with in our operations. Right now we are engaging with our employees to do this by giving them the opportunity to support microbusinesses in Peru and the Philippines with CGGVeritas matching every loan made. The response rate for this project has been excellent.’

Four young CGGVeritas employees explain how their work makes a positive contribution to sustainable development.

Yuan Ni, 29, marine research engineer

What is your job and how do you integrate sustainable development into your work?

You’re not a geophysicist – what’s it like working in the geophysical industry if you don’t have that background?

I lead a research project on the marine sources used for offshore seismic acquisition. I spend a lot of time modelling the source signature so that we can optimize it, which is where I apply physics and mathematics. I’m also working on several field projects where I take part in tests on our vessels. On one of these projects we’re co-operating with a Norwegian university and an oil company. Quieter data acquisition is an important part of the company’s effort to be ‘safer, quieter, and better’ and we want to send the pulse with the minimum necessary energy and limit the frequency range to the lower range bandwidth (0–250Hz) in

What do you like best about your job? The marine source project is cross-disciplinary, mobilizing research groups from several of our divisions, such as marine geoscience, engineering, and data processing, so I get to interact with people from different backgrounds which is very stimulating.

It’s true that when I joined CGGVeritas two years ago I had no direct experience in geophysics. I just knew I wanted to apply my scientific knowledge and continue research. The geophysical industry appealed to me because it’s complex, combining physics, mathematics and signal processing, and CGGVeritas is the best in the business. It’s very technically oriented and offers an excellent platform for research, especially fundamental research. Geophysics needs to innovate to overcome the many challenges it faces. We want to explore deeper, in tougher environments, with higher precision, and with less envi-

ronmental impact. CGGVeritas understands what’s at stake and invests in R&D, not just for production needs, but also to improve our knowledge in a wider sense, including the environmental impact of our activity. Such R&D provides space and opportunity for people of different backgrounds, with different skills. CGGVeritas is very receptive to people without geophysical expertise so I fit in well. This mentality is attractive to young people who are often more open to change, and can bring new ideas to the business. Anyone with an open mind who can think deeply and creatively will find a place in CGGVeritas.

Yuan with a photo of the Oceanic Vega seismic vessel in the background. CoUrtesy of CggVeritas/soPhie raPhaeL

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order to mitigate ocean noise and avoid the frequency band audible to most marine animals.


Yuan graduated with a BSc in physics and mathematics from the University of Tsinghua in Beijing, where his research focus was quantum information theory. He went on to study solid state physics and electronics at the Ecole Polytechnique in France. He also studied computer vision and signal processing at Telecom ParisTech engineering school and took a double-diploma course at the University of Paris VII in parallel computing.

Ogechi Chima, 21, data centre specialist intern Ogechi is interning at CGGVeritas while working on a Bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering at the University of Houston.

Where are you doing your internship? I currently work as a data centre specialist intern with the Infrastructure group at the CGGVeritas Houston data centre, which is the biggest hub in our global seismic processing and imaging network. I work for CGGVeritas while completing my studies, and expect to graduate in the spring.

How does your job relate to sustainable development? The Houston centre uses a lot of power to run our latest compute-intensive seismic imaging algorithms on its massive computing infrastructure. Our group is taking the lead to optimize power usage by keeping up with the latest technology and making the best decisions on how to implement new ideas into our centre. We’re constantly investigating and adopting strategies that allow us to save on power consumption and, in effect, improve the efficiency of the data centre. Although saving energy might cost some

extra dollars to innovate and implement, the rewards are vital. Saving energy increases the lifespan of the data centre and cuts down the electric bill! Applying these practical measures, investing in the latest technology, and reaping its benefits create an energy-conscious environment in the company. This practice allows us to make future recommendations on instalments in current and prospective centres.

Can you give us some examples? Up to 75% of the non-IT energy used by a data centre is consumed by the systems we use to cool extremely hot servers. We recently adopted a new technology here in Houston that involves placing servers in special fluid-filled tanks to increase cooling capacity. This has reduced energy costs significantly overall compared to our previous air-cooled systems. As part of my job I model current and prospective data centres using an advanced simulation tool for modelling the energy consumption and air flow to facilitate optimization of a data centre. I enjoy this part of my job the most! Today, a number of our data centres have improved heating and cooling conditions as a result of these simulations.

What is particularly motivating about your job? I consider myself fortunate to have witnessed some of the most fascinating innovations while working here. I also like the fact that every year the company rewards employees or groups that contribute to the innovative nature of the organization with a CGGVeritex Award. These commitments to innovation throughout the company constantly challenge us to strive for the latest and greatest technology.

Why did you choose to do your internship in the geophysical industry? When I started looking for an internship in the oil and gas industry, I anticipated a field/offshore engineering job that would challenge and develop my technical and problem-solving skills. I received an email about a summer internship at CGGVeritas but immediately sent it to friends, as I was not interested in the position and didn’t know much about the geophysical industry. After a second thought, I got on the company website and immediately developed an interest in the company after reading through the ‘Seismic Overview’ presentation. I was fascinated by the comprehensive yet concise information on seismology!

What attracted you to the company?


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Three major factors: people, technology, and growth, both professional and personal. The people here are amazing and always willing to help out! The technology and innovative projects I’ve had the opportunity to work on are mindblowing. I get a good blend of hands-on and office experience, which is ideal for me as an engineer.

Ogechi in the Houston data centre. CoUrtesy of CggVeritas/saChiN PateL

What I appreciate is the environment it offers me to grow and strive for excellence. It’s rewarding for me to work with people twice my age, and not feel intimidated but challenge myself to reach their level of knowledge and expertise.

Paul Tester, 37, energy and environmental manager Paul joined CGGVeritas in 2006 after working as IT manager for a process control company.

What tasks does your current position entail? CoUrtesy of CggVeritas

We had already introduced many energysaving initiatives in Crawley over the years to reduce our energy consumption, costs, and environmental impact, so we actually did very well in the UK Government’s Carbon Reduction Committee (CRC) league table, coming in the top 2% of participating companies. I’m pleased to say that out of over 2000 companies listed, CGGVeritas was the highest ranked company from the oil and gas industry.

Can you give us some examples of the energy-saving initiatives you took? When the Crawley office was recently refurbished, we incorporated more energy-efficient lighting as well as new energyefficient air conditioning and ventilation systems. We also added multiple electric meters around the building so we can break down use by type and geographic area and know what is being used in each

"Within the UK sites, we have been able to install many innovative solutions to allow efficient operation of building services."

wing for air conditioning, desktop PCs, lighting, and other power. This helps us to identify where energy is being used and where it’s being wasted so we can target these areas. Within the UK sites, we have been able to install many innovative solutions to allow efficient operation of building services. This all helps to reduce our impact on the environment by reducing energy, running equipment more efficiently, and minimizing downtime and disruption to staff.

Why would CGGVeritas be an attractive company for young people interested in these areas? CGGVeritas is a great company for young people to join. It’s technology-driven and prepared to invest in technology in all fields where there is a benefit. Certainly in Facilities we are encouraged to innovate and employ the latest technology in our work area. This makes it a challenging, interesting, and exciting place to work. It’s a young company with a constant stream of fresh graduates joining as others move to different jobs and work locations around the company so things don’t stand still.

SPECIAL www.eage.org/rs • page 15

To do this, I’m responsible for our Building Management System (BMS) which monitors and manages the ventilation and air conditioning systems. I’m also the emergency response officer for Crawley, so am ready to respond and manage any emergency incident that may occur. For my energy role, I collate and record all energy and utility bills from our five UK sites as we have to report all this data to the UK Government as part of the its ‘Carbon Reduction Commitment’ programme. We registered for this scheme last year and have to pay a set amount for each tonne of carbon we emit. We have to report all energy used and calculate the number of tonnes of CO2 we consume.

Paul checking the sub-metering installed for the Crawley BMS to monitor energy consumption.


It’s my job to provide and maintain a comfortable working environment for our staff so they can do their job effectively and also keep the Crawley sites in the UK working efficiently to keep our energy usage and costs under control. This can be a challenge with the large heat load given off by the large number of computers, monitors, and processing staff on these sites.

Yann Pichot, 29, land product development engineer Yann joined Sercel, the equipment division of CGGVeritas, after graduating from the INSA de Rennes engineering school in 2005. He previously did two internships for an automobile company.

Please tell us more about your job I am in charge of developing new land acquisition products for Sercel, the market leader in acquisition equipment. This involves either managing the mechanical side of projects for new products or completely designing new products. I spend most of my time interfacing with other Sercel departments, such as manufacturing and quality, and coordinating developments being worked on by the R&D teams at several of our sites at the same time, either in France or the USA. I also supervise a designer and subcontractors working on new product development projects.

How important has sustainable development become for product design? When we design new products we first and foremost take into account our customers’ needs and any feedback we’ve had from them on the performance

of existing or legacy field equipment; then we integrate all of this into the specifications for our new products. We also apply the ‘design for manufacturing’ approach to make sure we come up with an appropriate design for our manufacturing department, which is like another customer for us. This means there is a lot of interaction between R&D and the manufacturing department. Sustainable development has become an important factor in the design of new products as it relates to concerns, such as HSE and energy savings, which are equally as important priorities for our customers. We work closely with Sercel’s HSE departments to make sure we adhere to new standards and regulations. This may mean we validate or reject the use of certain substances in our designs. For instance, the European RoHS (Restriction of Hazardous Substances) directive is evolving and it is up to us in manufacturing and product development to anticipate any changes in regulations. The colouring of the cables we manufacture will change for this reason for instance. We also stipulate in our product specifications

that no new Sercel products should use carcinogenic, mutagenic, or reprotoxic components. This specification limits the kinds of substances we can use. We’re also focused on reducing the size and weight of our products. This is still an important issue for transportation, and reducing the weight of equipment leads to savings in fuel consumption, which is also better for the environment. For instance, most of the weight of a land link is down to the cable. With new cables we optimize the performance/weight ratio which is determined by the size of the conductor and we also ensure the electronics use less energy. This saves energy during transportation, and also reduces the system’s energy consumption during field operations.

What progress has been made in cable-less equipment? Sercel has been working on alternatives to cable systems for many years. Cableless systems reduce the footprint on the environment and minimize the impact on local communities. Our new UNITE cable-less seismic acquisition system has been well received as it gives crews the flexibility to adapt to the changing landscape on a survey with less invasive methods. Its smaller, more portable, and lightweight design offers a cost-effective, HSE-friendly solu­tion for acquiring data in restricted areas.


SPECIAL www.eage.org/rs • page 16 

What attracted you to work in the geophysical industry and do you recommend it?

Yann working on the design of the Sercel DSU3-428 sensor. COURTESY OF SERCEL

I was aware of the geophysical market as I had friends who worked for Sercel. I knew it was a niche market with significant growth potential and I also knew that advanced technology was the keyword. I also wanted to join a worldwide company and work close to the field and to customers. I like working for a market leader that is very committed to a high-quality product offering. All of us at Sercel are focused on delivering high-quality products that deliver on this promise. We’re given consistent resources to explore new technologies and we’re encouraged through group challenges and recognition to be innovative to stay ahead of the curve.

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SPECIAL www.eage.org/rs • page 19

how professors and students view the prospects

Making the case for responsibility Our panel of international academics answer the key questions on ‘Responsibly Securing Natural Resources’ this year’s theme at the EAGE Annual Meeting in Copenhagen. How important is the topic of ‘Responsibly Securing Natural Resources’ to the geoscience community? Al-Shaibani: The topic of ‘Responsibly Securing Natural Resources’ is important to geoscientists as part of the general community, not because of their profession. Most of the natural resources are limited in quantity and not replaceable in our life time, which means that the rate of their depletion depends primarily on the rate of extraction and exploitation. The main job of geoscientists is to explore for and locate natural resources, but other professionals have a role in securing natural resources. If geoscientists are decision-makers in policies and decisions related to means and rates of extraction, then their role is obvious.


SPECIAL www.eage.org/rs • page 20 

Zolotukhin: The topic is very important and its importance will not diminish in the future. Patrick Corbett: Geoscience has always been at the forefront in releasing the natural resources that are locked away in the subsurface and require a specific skill-set to find and deploy. I think it’s safe to assume that the geoscience community has always been ‘responsible’

when securing these resources although it may be seen that using them is also the (ir)responsibility of the wider society. Professional geoscientists are governed by their own professional responsibilities. The Geological Society has a Code of Conduct that all chartered geologists sign up to: ‘Fellows must not be negligent in the practice of Geology and must take all reasonable precautions to avoid any act of commission or omission which might endanger life, adversely affect the health and safety of others, result in needless financial loss, or endanger or damage the natural and/or built environment’. Sukmono: I strongly believe its very important. We presently still depend a great deal on conventional non-renewable natural resources (oil and gas) as our prime energy source. This kind of energy will diminish quickly, therefore we have to start gaining knowledge on how to explore and exploit non-conventional

energy such as coalbed methane (CBM), shale gas, and tight-gas sand, as well as renewable energy such as solar and wind energy. The geoscience community plays a critical role exploring and exploitng this natural resources wisely to secure its availability for future generation.

Can you give some examples of how geoscientists are responsibly securing natural recourses and examples of where this is not being done, but needs to be? Al-Shaibani: Geoscientists can responsibly secure natural resources by producing less damage to the earth and less impact on the environment during exploration and exploitation of natural resources. Zolotukhin: Professional society geoscientists are among the first to address this question. Patrick Corbett: In promoting carbon capture and storage (CCS) the geoscience community is leading the way in addressing unwanted CO2 emissions to the atmosphere. It is unfortunate that the cost of implementing the new technology at a significant scale seems to be beyond the means of even the wealthiest societies at the present time. This is very much a geo-struggle that needs to be won with the public.

"This is very much a geo-struggle that needs to be won with the public."

Patrick Corbett was recently appointed the BG Group visiting professor at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro where he’ll be applying his petroleum geoengineering skill-set to the development of carbonate reservoirs. He formerly worked in industry as an exploration/ development geologist in the UK, Netherlands, and Indonesia. For the last 22 years he’s been at Heriot-Watt University, as lecturer in reservoir evaluation and management, Total Professor of Petroleum Geoengineering, head of the Institute of Petroleum Engineering, and head of the Energy Academy. He has degrees in geology, micropalaeontology, statistics, reservoir engineering, and geoengineering. He’s past Wagener Medal winner for the EAGE, a chartered geologist, and a fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.

"We have to constantly address the question on securing our natural resources for society."

Al-Shaibani: Our curriculum is dynamic. We constantly try to adapt to new major trends and concerns while keeping a core of fundamental courses in the programme. Environmental geology was introduced recently as a basic required course. More recently we introduced a new elective course on ‘sustaining the earth’ that is offered to all university programmes. I will not be surprised to see this course as a core course required of all KFUPM students. Zolotukhin: Natural resources are not decreasing, different types of resources are replacing one another. However, we have to constantly address the question on securing our natural resources for society. The most efficient way to do so and, thus to change the mindset of society is to start educating people in their attitude towards Nature as early as possible. A university system is one of the most efficient ways to fulfill this task. Corbett: The first MSc in CCS has been developed (led by Edinburgh University with contributions from Heriot-Watt University) and CCS-related research projects are often carried out as part of existing oil and gas MSc courses. A focus on improved resource recovery utilizing CO2 by petroleum engineers also helps mitigate against the decline of

Sukmono: We have oil-gas geophysical exploration classes where the students learn advance geophysics methods such as seismic inversion, seismic attributes, and 4D microgravity. We maintain close cooperation with industry to understand the real work challenges. By doing this, we can continuously improve our teaching materials to adapt to the real challenges such as how to face decreasing natural resources.

Currently, there is a lot of interest in unconventional resources. Do you believe that this is the most important new breakthrough for securing natural resources? What other trends can you expect to develop due to this change? Al-Shaibani: It appears unconventional resources have recently become a hot topic to researchers and companies. Unconventional resources include shale gas and other resources such as solar and wind energy. However, I believe that conventional resources, especially petroleum, will remain the main resource for years to come and I don’t think we have seen a breakthrough yet. Zolotukhin: Replacement of conventional by unconventional resources is a natural replacement thread. Even if the amount of unconventional resources is colossal and is enough for centuries, the attitude towards their rational use should be the priority. Corbett: What is unconventional today, might well become conventional tomorrow – we’ve seen these trends in our industry (high angle wells, subsea technology, time-lapse seismic). The addressing of new unconventional resources is covered as specialist elements in traditional courses as they usually employ standard under-pinning techniques in novel applications. Examples might be CBM shale gas,

Abdulaziz Al-Shaibani holds a PhD in hydrogeology from Texas A&M University and has been the chairman of Earth Sciences Department at King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals (KFUPM) since 2005. In KFUPM, he has been teaching courses on hydrogeology, groundwater resources, environmental geology, and other related fields in addition to industry training courses in similar disciplines. Dr Al-Shaibani has published many papers in conference proceedings and refereed journals on different aspects of water resources and groundwater hydrogeology. He has also participated in many research and consultation projects related to water resources, groundwater management, and environmental impact studies and has worked as a consultant for governmental and industrial organizations.

in-situ gasification, and hydrates. These resources will surely play their part in the future and new MSc programmes will emerge to support large scale deployment. Sukmono: I believe unconventional resources are very important for securing natural resources before the availability of economical large-scale renewable energy (solar, wind, etc). Detailed geology and geophysics exploration methods

SPECIAL www.eage.org/rs • page 21 

How is your curricula addressing this issue, and do you have plans to make adaptations?

hydrocarbons whilst contributing to the development of low carbon technology.


Sukmono: Exploration geoscientists working in oil-gas industries have significant knowledge about how to explore effectively to facilitate the increase of reserves and production with minimum cost. But geoscientists are generally still educated and trained to explore structural plays and siliciclastics reservoirs, whilst exploration today needs more emphasis on stratigraphic plays and non-siliciclastic reservoirs (carbonates, fracture basement, CBM, etc).

addressing unconventional resources will develop, starting with rock physics and then viable geology and geophysics exploration methods.

"Only if the demand for energy reduces will there be a reduced market for geo­scientists."

Do you believe that interest in geoscience disciplines may shrink? How will this reflect financial support for education and the number of students in geosciences? How can the loss of scientific knowledge be averted?

Sukmono: In Indonesia I don’t see any loss of interest in geoscience disciplines. On the contrary, I observe that the number of study programmes and students focusing on the geosciences is increasing. To avert any shrinking and loss of scientific knowledge, the academic curricula should be designed to meet future challenges such as how to apply geosciences for exploration of non-conventional and renewable energy.

Al-Shaibani: Interest in geosciences disciplines is already shrinking from my observation. I don’t believe this is caused by any changes in natural resources. It’s probably due to competition from other disciplines and low interest in natural sciences in general among new generations. Any change or shift in natural resources will only worsen the situation. Zolotukhin: Adding to what I have said already, if we believe that resources are inexhaustible, the interest in geosciences should never shrink. Corbett: I don’t think the demands of fossil fuels will decline radically for a generation. Geoscientists of my age will say that ‘when we were at school’ – 40 years ago – the end oil the oil age was already predicted, but it doesn’t seem imminent. The future will see the resources being used ever more efficiently in conjunction with low carbon (wind, solar, geothermal, CCS) with overall harmful emissions reduced.

Do you believe that the reality of declining natural recourses can improve academic/industrial cooperation? Al-Shaibani: Definitely! Industries need to keep hiring young talented professionals to continue in the business of exploring and producing natural resources. Closer relationship should develop between industry and academia to attract the right calibre of students and stimulate their passion and interest in the field of geoscience. Zolotukhin: Academic and industrial cooperation should continuously grow. Cross-disciplinary approaches should be developed further. Best practices should be imbedded in education and should be considered as case studies.


SPECIAL www.eage.org/rs • page 22 

"Academic curricula should be designed to meet future chal­lenges ..."

Corbett: The issue is not so much with academia and industry – where the track record (at least in the UK) of cooperation is good – but with society through various societal funding mechanisms to secure knowledge for the future. As long as society (and that includes university management) appreciates the role of geoscience in securing our natural resources, then courses will run and the students will come to study. Natural resources have delivered vast wealth to many so philanthropy in the western economies also has an important role to play in the future. In many of the emerging economies, the number of geoscientists is being increased as the demand for energy increases. Only if the demand for energy reduces will there be a reduced market for geoscientists. The fact that we have pretty much explored this planet hasn’t reduced the need for geography skills and nor will geoscience skills ‘disappear’. The need for water resources will ensure subsurface scientists will always have a societal role. The importance of professional organizations, such as the EAGE, in communicating the role of geoscience is ever more important. Sukmono: Academia and industry should improve their cooperation by doing research projects to develop exploration technologies for effective exploration of conventional, non-conventional, and renewable energy.

Sigit Sukmono currently works as an associate professor in reservoir geophysics at the Institute of Technology, Bandung, Indonesia. His main expertise is in the field of petroleum geophysics. In the last five years he has been managing and involved in more than 50 GGR (geology, geophysics, and reservoir) studies for major oil companies. Since 2000 he has been teaching regularly more than 10 seismic reservoir classes annually for oil communities in various locations in the world (Tokyo, Moscow, Bangkok, Palma-Spain, Dubai, Abu-Dhabi, Cairo, Hong Kong, Beijing, Kuala Lumpur, Mumbai, Luanda, Nigeria, Tripoli, Saudi-Aramco, Algier, Bali, Jakarta, etc). He was awarded Best Research Award by the Minister of Research & Technology in 2002 and by Toray Science and Technology Foundation in 1988, and he received an international scientific publication award from the Minister of Education and Culture in Indonesia in 1988. He has authored more than 10 course manuals in reservoir geophysics topics and has published many papers in well-reputed international journals/seminars.

Anatoly B. Zolotukhin is deputy rector of international affairs and director of the Institute of Arctic Petroleum Technologies, Gubkin University, Moscow. He is a member of the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences and was vice-president of the World Petroleum Council (20082011). He is also a member of the Academic Council of the European Energy Forum, EUREFinstitute (Berlin, Germany), an honorary professor international at Stavanger University (Stavanger, Norway). He is an author or co-author of 15 books and more than 100 articles and in 2002 was awarded (together with co-editors) the Gubkin Prize (the highest award in the Russian petroleum industry) for the book ‘Basics of Offshore Petroleum Engineering and Development of Marine Facilities in the Arctic’. In 2006 he was awarded the Vernadsky medal of the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences for his achievements

What is your opinion of the interaction between decreasing natural resources and climate change? Are there potential synergy effects impact on the development of geosciences? Al-Shaibani: This is not an issue on which I have any expertise, so will pass on this question. Zolotukhin: The interaction is virtual and exists only in people’s mind. However, a paradigm of the rational use of natural resources and possible climate change should always be in people’s mind. We are responsible for our future! Climate change

in the short- and mid-term is associated with human activities. Development of green/environmentally friendly technologies minimizing our impact on nature and maximizing efficient energy use (net energy) could have an immediate effect on the development of geosciences. Corbett: Understanding how technology, society, and economics interact (the triple bottom line) is becoming increasingly important for all professionals, and geoscientists are no different, and this has led to the teaching of a more sustainable petroleum engineering for some years. This trend reflects industry’s corporate social respon-

sibility agenda of addressing CO2 emission reductions, making efficiency gains, reducing energy consumption in operations, increasing recovery factors, accessing stranded reserves, improving HSR, supporting local communities, and protecting the environment. When industry has setbacks, new standards and procedures follow as in most industries, and usually to great the benefit of environment and society. Geoscientists have an increasing obligation to make their case heard as part of this agenda. Sukmono: I do not think there is any relationship between decreasing natural resources and climate change.

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How the next generation see our energy future sustainable energy future. Why do you believe that the topic of ‘Responsibly Securing Natural Resources’ is important to the geoscience communities? Blanco: Securing natural resources in a responsible way is essential not only for the geoscience community but for the future of the planet itself. Many economies in the world are sustained by the discovery and exploitation of non-renewable resources (which combined are the primary energy sources in the world), while renewable resources are heavily affected by human activities and in certain areas under specific circumstances constitute hazards for the population. Placinta: I think that geoscientists are the most suitable people to educate other communities because they know better than anyone about the importance of this topic. Because geoscientists know that natural resources are not easily found in the earth and that is a long way from the one who exploits a natural resource to those who consume it. Lim: Geoscientists are those who deal directly with Mother Nature, if we are not careful about the way we explore natural resources, it might have disastrous

consequences, hence our Mother Earth has to pay the price for it. Every intelligent creature has the responsibility to protect the Earth and its natural resources. Furthermore, we are the professional communities that understand most of the earth systems. Abu Hijleh: As certain nations continue to grow economically or industrialize, the demand for natural resources is increasing at a pace that may not be met in terms of supply. Geoscientists are mainly concerned with this issue since they represent the supply side of this problem and are involved in many key industries that contribute to economic growth. Moreover, geoscientists play an active role in exploring and monitoring the complex interactions of natural resources within the geosphere in areas including the oil and gas industry, mining, and environmental sector. With the onset of the decline of these natural resources, government authorities are imposing policies that involve the security of such resources for future generations. In response, various industries have adapted natural resource management systems and made efforts to provide and utilize technologies for unconventional

Joan Marie Blanco has a Bachelor’s degree in geophysical engineering (2008) from the Universidad Simón Bolívar. She is currently a graduate student (MSc in Earth Sciences) also at Universidad Simón Bolívar expecting to graduate in May. She is particularly interested in seismic analysis and interpretation and rock magnetics. She includes reading, listening to music, and dancing as her hobbies and loves orangutans.

Can you give some examples on how geoscientists are responsibly securing natural resources? Blanco: Geoscientists are developing new exploration methodologies and techniques to identify resources and extract them in a more efficient way, mitigating impacts and risks to the environment, also researching into the feasibility of alternative energy sources and improving the development of information networks in order to assist the exploration of natural resources. Placinta: Examples that come to mind when thinking about the role of geoscientists are cases in the petroleum industry and in the ore deposits area. In the oil industry geoscientists can diagnose different problems that can appear in the depth of the earth, while drilling, or gas escapes; things that could determine accidents such as eruptions that lead to a waste of resources and also ecological disasters. Geoscientists are the ones who decide not to use a kind of rock for roads and constructions and to cut off an entire area when this material can be used for industries that require less resources. In the mineral deposits field geoscientists are the ones who choose if an area with useful rocks or minerals is worth being exploited and destroyed for a small concentration of gold or silver. Lim: Geoscientists should utilize their knowledge to prevent the failure in exploration projects. Geoscientists should not only explore the resources but should put effort into maintaining them in the best sustainable way. I believe that geosci-

SPECIAL www.eage.org/rs • page 25 

the world provide their perspective on the world’s

resources to minimize the reliance on such resources with geoscientists playing a critical role in carrying out such efforts. Since geoscientists are heavily involved in securing natural resources, ethical values will become the primary component of the outcome for such efforts, which will reflect on the geoscience community.


Four students from different countries around


SPECIAL www.eage.org/rs • page 26 

Wong Lim originates from Sarawak (Borneo Island), Malaysia. She completed her first degree at the University of Malaya in applied geology and is currently doing her Master degree by research with the title ‘Stratigraphy of Ransi – member of the Tatau Formation in the Tatau-Bintulu area, Sarawak'. She is also a representative of the first EAGE Student Chapter in Malaysia.

ence professionals should work to avoid accidents such as the Gulf of Mexico rig explosion that caused ocean pollution which disastrous effects that will last for many years to come. Oil and gas exploration should not blindly follow market demands but should consider the environmental effect in the event of failures. Other examples are to avoid mining exploration that drains high arsenic content water into rivers. Even though rules are set up to control the amount of the arsenic release into water, the enforcement of the law is poor and most of the mining companies take advantage and ignore pollution issues. Abu Hijleh: Geoscientists are responsibly securing natural resources mainly in exploration of natural resources. Geoscientists are responsible for conducting preliminary studies to identify both physical and chemical properties of formations by constructing detailed surveys of regions to understand the geologic structures present and their extents. They are also responsible for conducting deformation studies to understand the properties of the formation and how they interact with

the surrounding stresses or fluids. The data resulting from preliminary studies are instrumental in determining the most efficient method of resource extraction with the minimal risk as it provides a clear understanding of the interfaces present and their interactions. Even during the drilling and development phases of fields for natural resource extraction, geoscientists are responsible, in some cases, for indicating plausible formations for the disposal of drilling fluids, cuttings, and other toxins in order to pose minimal or no harm to the environment. Furthermore, geoscientists can conduct studies that aid in environmental studies of aquifers where water may be secured by studying its properties to explain and monitor the variations in flow and composition of the water, as well as its interactions with surrounding substances that may have been induced artificially such as contamination.

energy resources that might challenge market demand for petroleum and indirectly reduce the market demand for geoscientists. Abu Hijleh: One method to integrate these ideas into the curricula is to increase awareness about this issue and provide opportunities for future professional development by having seminars at academic institutions by guest lecturers and professionals in industries that are affected. Another way is to encourage research or offer research opportunities for students. Reinforcement of such concepts in courses via updated information about the latest advancements in natural resource management may also be effective. Finally, emphasizing ethical practices and professionalism in the geoscience curricula is necessary.

What kind of adaptations in the geosciences curricula will be a must in order to adjust accordingly to decreasing natural resources?

The exponential decrease of natural resources will affect the motivation of fellow students to choose geosciences. What would you advise new students who believe that there is no future in geosciences?

Blanco: Include or reinforce topics such as environment geosciences (detection of contaminants, environmental impact, etc.), alternative energy sources, identification of geo-hazards, climate, remote sensing and other imaging techniques that help achieve sustainable management.

Blanco: I would tell them that there is a future in geosciences and it relies on innovation, diversification, and adaptation, and that the decrease of natural resources constitutes just another challenge to overcome, through the use of sophisticated tools and technologies and with the human resource.

Placinta: Accurate information should be presented through the geoscience communities regarding ways of efficiently exploiting natural resources. For this purpose conferences and lecturers or even courses in universities should be held with themes like ‘industry hazards’, ‘ways of preventing accidents’, and most important, new ways of research in order to exploit the resources that nowadays can’t be extracted.

Placinta: I would advise students to study in our domain because there are more resources to be discovered and there are still things that we don’t know in all the fields of earth sciences, and the world needs new ideas and a new view on what we have, what we know, and what we need to discover.

Lim: The world is moving towards renewable energy and environmental friendly

Lim: Geoscience plays an important role in energy and technology development. There are many other fields where we can contribute not just the petroleum industry.

"I would tell them that there is a future in geosciences and it relies on innovation, diversification, and adapta­tion ..."

"There are plenty of job opportunities available because the geosciences cover a diverse spectrum of overlapping professions ..."

Blanco: No, I don’t think unconventional resources are the only way out of the problem. The use of alternate energy sources, technologies and methodologies, improved mapping and imaging techniques to promote exploration and well informed decisions, and the study of geo-hazards and climate change impacts could be some of the trends to develop. Placinta: Unconventional resources are important but they cannot supply all the needs in the world, so I expect a development of technology to explore the places that could not be explored and to recycle

Lim: Renewable energy should slowly take over from non-renewable resources. The improvement of the more environmental friendly technology which consumes less fuel and releases less carbon dioxide or harmful gas will emerge as non-renewable energy supply decreases. Abu Hijleh: Unconventional resources such as tight gas are gaining attention in certain countries as a means to increase supply of resources and increase capital. However, such unconventional resources require unconventional methods or technologies for their extraction that are not are not very cost effective and still need to be developed to maximize efficiency. The likely approach to be adapted in securing the future supply of natural resources includes a shift towards integrating alternative energy and unconventional energy on a larger scale whereby natural resources such as water and wind are utilized as sources of renewable energy. This is likely to occur mainly because the supply of natural resources might not be able to cover the demand, especially in growing nations such as China and India.

Thus, government authorities and larger companies may increase finance into this sector and increase the responsibility of securing and utilizing these resources efficiently. Another trend may be the increased use of CO2 in carbon capture and storage (CCS) to minimize the effects of its emissions and to continue its use in enhanced oil recovery (EOR) in the oil and gas industry.

Do you believe that the reality of declining natural resources will force the industries and universities to cooperate better? If yes, in which direction should these two parties improve and develop their common work? Blanco: I believe the industry and universities will cooperate better in the future, sharing data, ideas, developing innovative technologies and securing an excellent human resource capable of facing the challenges coming ahead. One of the ways to show that cooperation is through the establishment of grants, contributions and student programs and the creation and maintenance of research centers. Placinta: This is an interesting question because I think that this is an actual problem now, this two parties should function

Maria Placinta was born in Mizil a small town near Ploiesti which is a focus point for the oil industry in Romania. In high school she studied natural resources and environmental protection and obtained a professional technician certificate in natural resources and ecology. Since 2008 she has been studying at the University of Bucharest in the Faculty of Geology and Geophysics in the Engineering of Natural Resources section, and will graduate this year. She is the president of Bucharest Student Chapter of EAGE. She intends to follow a Masters in sedimentology, carbonate reservoirs, or petroleum geology.

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Currently, there is lot of interest in unconventional resources. Do you believe that this is the only way out of the problem of securing natural resources? What other trends do you expect to develop as a result of this change?

some resources that were lost in earlier technology processes (waste dumps).


Abu Hijleh: Due to the decline in the supply of natural resources, it is imperative to stress the importance of geoscientists and their role in securing and maintaining such resources for the demand of future generations. In addition, studies indicate that the number of professionals retiring is much larger than that replacing them; hence, numerous vacancies are being created. Moreover, there are plenty of job opportunities available because the geosciences cover a diverse spectrum of overlapping professions, which is an important incentive for students seeking employment in a competitive job market. Prospects for employment may be found in the oil and gas industries, mining, environmental agencies as well as financial institutions, consulting, and legal firms. Technologies and data modelling methods are currently in development, and thus may create more opportunities for students to expand or enhance their existing knowledge or skills, which is another important motivation to study geosciences as the field appears to have longevity.

Yasmin Abu Hijleh is a junior geoscience undergraduate at the Petroleum Institute in Abu Dhabi, UAE and wishes to pursue a graduate degree in HSE. She has been involved in both technical and human resources research. In addition, she was nominated for a Youth Award at the 20th World Petroleum Congress, Doha, Qatar. Yasmin has also participated in numerous extra-curricular activities at the Petroleum Institute with positions including vice president of the AAPG Student Chapter, president of the Environmental Club, and Arzanah Ambassador.

like a link because universities can prepare better students if they had a better connection with the industry. In order to prepare students for what industry needs and also motivate the research that can be developed easily in the academic area, there’s a need of sponsorship, which can only come through the companies. So I think that this thing it is posible in the future.


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Lim: Industries will cooperate with universities on new technology development. I would expect outstanding researches outcome. Abu Hijleh: Yes, I believe that the reality of declining natural resources will allow for enhanced interaction between industries and universities. This collaboration may take the form of enhanced communication measures, an increased supply of professionals to the industry, or an establishment of a support system between industries and universities. Companies may send professionals or delegates to inform universities about the latest developments and concerns; they can even sponsor certain universities or establish universities that can provide sufficient numbers of graduates that can bridge their deficit. The role of universities may be to encourage research conducted in areas such as resource management or to host confer-

ences to increase student awareness. Universities should also encourage professional development of staff so they will be able to impart this information to students.

How will the interactions between decreasing natural resources and climate change affect the future views of geoscientists? What are the potential synergy effects which can have a reflection on the development of the geosciences? Blanco: It is very important to understand the impact of climate change and to promote adaptation to these changes. Improvements in energy efficiency, risk mapping, monitoring, and the development of awareness campaigns are factors that together could lead to the reduction of natural hazards and the implementation of a sustainable management. Placinta: Geoscientists will be affected by this interaction. Some people will think that geoscientists are people who live in their own world without thinking about the climate disasters that their discoveries generate. Others will understand that even though the exploitation of natural resources is having an increasing effect on climate change, the world is so developed that we cannot live without them. These will be the people who will ask for a better development of geosciences.

"Decreasing natural resources and climate change will force geoscientists to be alert over pollution issues."

Lim: Decreasing natural resources and climate change will force geoscientists to be alert over pollution issues, hence explore the earth in a careful way and developing other energy potentials such as geothermal heat, wind, hydro energy, and so on. Abu Hijleh: Such interactions are expected to generate an optimistic yet cautious outlook for the geoscience communities. The positive outlook would be in the form of sustainable technological development of unconventional resources and unconventional energies, whereas the cautious perspective might generate more responsibility in terms of efficiently utilizing existing natural resources in order to regulate current increases in global temperatures. One major area may be carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology, which can help reduce the effects of CO2 emissions. This technology can allow for CO2 emissions to be reduced by re-injecting such gases into formations. Geoscientists may also continue to take part in utilizing such emissions in enhanced oil recovery (EOR) where CO2 is recycled throughout the life cycle of the project, whereby ultimately the CO2 will have to be re-injected into formations. Since most studies have shown that CCS technology is feasible in offshore settings, an area that geoscientists may study in the near future is CCS and its applications onshore. This will require extensive studies such as deformation studies to ensure that no adverse interactions occur when CO2 is injected into the formation. In terms of synergetic outcomes, geoscientist communities are likely to become from under the radar as governments and financial institutions increase funding for exploration projects and generate a sense of responsibility for such communities. Furthermore, such geoscience communities will have to take more initiative and responsibility in engaging the stakeholders to gain their support and trust in order to maintain sustainable development. In this case, the stakeholders include consumers as well as the populations affected or disrupted by exploration activities. This needs to be a concern aside from the operational domain of exploration activities.

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Finding satisfaction by choosing the right job After post-doctoral research, Brian Barrett joined Zetica, a company involved in 3D mapping and site investigation services. Here he describes how it has worked out for him.

What did you study and where? I took a BSc degree at Adelaide University, South Australia. I initially had an interest in astronomy, but soon realized how wonderful and mysterious the Earth was as a planetary body and that physics provided the tools to learn more about it. So I majored in physics and geophysics. I subsequently took an MSc degree, also at Adelaide, in which I helped to develop new ways to measure the salinity problems faced by the Murray River. In 2003 I moved to the UK to study for a PhD in glaciology at Leeds University. I was using ground penetrating radar to study water content in glacial ice. This required some truly exciting field work involving rifles, tents, helicopters, lots of ice, and the possibility of seeing polar bears!


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How did you start working for Zetica? Finding employment with Zetica was a case of good timing. I was facing the end of a post-doctoral research position and instead of another fixed term post-doc, I sought the security of a permanent position. I didn’t respond to any advertised vacancies, I just wrote to a number of UK-based geophysics companies with an environmental and engineering focus to ask about opportunities. Fortunately, Zetica was bucking the economic trend at the time and looking to take someone on.

Why did you choose to work for an environmental and engineering geophysics company? There are two things I especially enjoyed during my research work: the beauty of my various field locations and the satisfaction of doing something that I felt was

truly important. I expected to find similar rewards in the commercial world, and I haven’t been disappointed. I now find myself doing something important every week. On one day I might be identifying a hazard such as unexploded World War II bombs, voids beneath a school playing field, or holes in landfill liners resulting in environmental contamination. On the next day I could be providing geotechnical parameters to engineers, mapping a geological fault, or comparing alternative potential pipeline routes for construction challenges. All of my work ultimately contributes to improved safety and/or reduced project cost. I get a sense of satisfaction from that. Travel is another exciting aspect of the work and a strong motivation for choosing to work in this sector. Zetica crews travel up and down the UK as well as doing work abroad. I’m mostly based in the office, but opportunities to travel do regularly crop up. For example, during my few years with Zetica I’ve done site work in the Abu Dhabi desert, attended client meetings in Switzerland, and attended conferences in the USA.

What is your position and what tasks are involved? I’m Zetica’s senior geophysicist. My main responsibility and day to day activity mostly involves data processing, interpretation, and reporting. But I manage to fit in a lot more. I get involved with survey design, I work with our research and development team on innovative approaches to instrumentation and data acquisition, I’m involved with training within the company, I run a student research project each year, and I’m on site occasionally, so I get my share of mud and rain too. I also enjoy the responsibility of tweeting for the company (@zeticaltd).

What do you like about the job and what don’t you like?

Are you currently taking any courses to develop your career?

A frustrating part about my work is hearing from a potential client who has been turned away from the benefits of geophysics through one bad experience, especially if it was due to poor practice from another contractor. Each time it reminds me how important it is that our clients are made aware of the limitations of geophysics, but more importantly that we as the contractor understand the client’s ultimate needs.

I’m not enrolled on any long term courses or training programmes, but one thing is certain – I’m still learning! Through a general accumulation of experience and attending various short courses and conferences, I feel that my career development is well supported at Zetica.

A good result in practical geophysics is all about the theory. Manufacturers are increasingly creating blackbox style instruments that can be operated without theoretical knowledge. But to design the most appropriate surveys (i.e., the cheapest that meets the survey objectives) and to get the most information from the data, requires good knowledge of the theory. I regularly find myself recalling my theoretical knowledge or learning new theory to do things such as a forward modelling study, which can support an interpretation or ensure the survey is designed correctly.

Ten years is a long time! I hope to be in a position where I’m still learning and still doing valuable work. For me this means a good balance between project work and research and development.

What advice would you give to the students preparing for the job market? Hunt for a job, don’t fish for one. By this I mean make a list of companies that you want to work for and spend time researching and writing to each one. Avoid writing a generic letter to send to many companies in the hope that one may ‘bite’. Go armed to any interview with good examples of your (relevant) work, and a clear ambition. Also, be prepared to ask questions. A good interview will usually feel more like a conversation than an oral exam.

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How do you find the match between theory and practice?

Where do you see yourself in 10 years from now?


By far the most satisfying part of my job (and there are many), is the moment new data appears on-screen as a beautiful colour image, and I get the first indications of what might be in the ground. There is something about being the first to see what is otherwise hidden from view that I find exciting. Of course, a lot of work follows to improve the data processing and visualization, or to extract numerical results from the data, and then to make a detailed interpretation. But that first glimpse is always special.

Much of my learning is self-motivated though. I have managed to maintain a strong academic interest, despite the pressures of short deadlines imposed by commercial work. I maintain previous academic contacts and through those contacts I lead a student research project each year. I have joined a number of professional societies and I spend a lot of time looking out for relevant news and journal publications.

Brian Barrett: being out in the field is what he likes best.

No end of opportunities

in the world of a

super major

What did you study and where? I studied for an undergraduate masters in physics at the University of Warwick.

How did you start working for BP? I successfully applied for a placement on BP’s summer internship programme. I was placed in a seismic imaging team and was given some fantastic data to analyze for 12 weeks.

Why did you choose to work for an oil company?


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Young geoscience professional Stuart Long describes his career so far in BP.

I felt that working for an oil company could keep me engaged in my work on many levels. It keeps me technically focused, which is my primary interest. However there are many other aspects of the job in addition to this. I am exposed to the financial side of the business, projects undertaken and decisions made can have a very high profile within political circles and the media. Finally, working for a super major gives me the opportunity to gain exposure in many areas of the value chain. A lesser appreciation of these points than my current understanding prompted me to apply for an internship in the first place and I’ve not been disappointed since – I don’t know of another industry/role that would give me exposure to so much!

What is your position and what tasks does it require? I’m currently working as a seismic analyst in the North Sea region. My background as a physicist and a seismic

"I love the fact that every day is different."

and I have been able to get involved in this – good for when I’m craving a bit more science!

Are you currently taking any courses to develop your career?

What do you like about the job and what don’t you like? I love the fact that every day is different – I get the opportunity to get involved in many different projects. A recent week included presenting some analysis work to a field team working on a giant oil find from 2011, spending a day at a consortia meeting for an emerging technology at Imperial College, and then packing my bags before heading off to do a rotation on a seismic acquisition vessel as a seismic processing QAQC rep. The lifestyle is probably the best and worst aspect of the job – sometimes it can be pretty hectic. A five-day stint in the office is a rarity! However, on balance this doesn’t matter because of the quality of the projects and the people you meet in the industry.

How do you find the match between theory and practice? Seismic imaging and analysis is an incredible technical area. Day to day one can be quite removed from the algorithms themselves, however a good seismic analyst or processor should understand the theory that the workflows rely on – this results in a healthy balance between understanding theory and the practical application of the science. In addition R&D work is undertaken within BP

Where do you see yourself in 10 years from now? I want to be in the oil industry in 10 years time. It’s a technically challenging, fast paced, engaging, and exciting environment to work in. What role I’ll be doing, who knows? My outlook on this has changed drastically in my first three years, I couldn’t possibly comment on 10 years down the line!

What advice would you give to the students preparing for the job market? Apply for roles in the oil industry! Don’t get hung up on detail heading into interviews. Employers look for people who can think, not people with knowledge necessarily. With this attitude towards the process I feel people will be much more relaxed in interview – this can only be good for both sides. Finally consider what interests you and makes you happy – write it down on a piece of paper and think about who could make this happen for you. Do not get influenced by who sponsors the sports teams at university or who hands out the best canapés during the milk round (although good canapés are always important!).

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processor means that most of my work is quantitative in nature and involves modelling work, feasibility studies, and keeping abreast of advances in technology. In addition, the QAQC of work undertaken by contractors is another important part of the job.


Stuart Long offshore.

Training is a huge part of being a graduate at BP. There’s a mixture of mandatory and non-mandatory classes to take. They range from one-day classes to two-week residential courses. They are incredibly valuable and help in understanding how the technical and non-technical workflows all fit together within the upstream activities. This is my third and final year on the graduate programme and consequently I have completed all the mandatory courses. I have therefore taken the opportunity to attend courses more targeted at geologists. This helps me in my role as a geophysicist because ultimately the products I create are used by the geologists. Understanding their needs requires a certain level of understanding of the concepts they use.

Just get started should be a job seeker’s motto Johan Jungholm talks about his first job with Norwegian company RXT, which specializes in ocean bottom cable surveys. Johan studied at the University of Pennsylvania, where he obtained a BA in geology and environmental science and a Masters in applied geoscience.


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How did you start working for RXT? I was interested in working with geoscience in a marine environment. I had done quite a lot of coursework in oceanography and knew about marine seismic surveys. RXT, being not only a small and young company, but also on the cutting edge of technology in the industry, provided the best opportunities and very good prospects for a newly graduated geoscientist. I decided to apply for the position of navigator trainee, it seemed to be the position that suited my interest the best, and two weeks later I was on a plane to Bergen for my offshore survival course and first rotation on an ocean bottom seismic crew.

Why did you choose to work for an oil-related company? The oil and gas industry seemed to continuously push technology forward much more so than any other industry, and as the challenges of finding and producing hydrocarbons grow, especially offshore, the industry now both has the means, the drive, and the challenges to help me become better, learn more, and help drive the industry forward. There will always be a need and

I have for the last year been working as a sales executive for RXT after almost five years offshore with the same company. My job today is primarily to liaise with clients, such as oil companies, and understand their needs and challenges and help to provide sound and cost effective solutions. It requires a lot of meetings and interactions of course, but a big part of my job is also to look beyond just the geological and geophysical challenges and try to come up with tailor made solutions for each client. Another big part of the job is to respond to tenders. I would be responsible for compiling all that is required during a tender process, making budgets, work with survey designs, technical clarifications, and in all ways possible respond to the tender specifications and deliver a competitive bid. When I am not in the office, working on survey designs, or creating bids for tenders, I am out on business trips. I get to go to around the world to talk to previous, current, and future clients and partners, whether it is in Abu Dhabi, Stavanger, or Lagos. I also take part in international conferences and fairs around the world and attend talks and industry presentations when I can.

What do you like about the job and what don’t you like? As a sales person I continuously meet and talk to new people about the things I am interested in, such as ships, technology, and geoscience, and this is probably the part I like the most about this job. I also enjoy the travelling and the chance to experience the world, especially since I often go to places I would probably never visit otherwise. I also like the scale and the fast pace of the industry, you really feel like your work has an impact, that you are contributing to the movement forward. That is also very satisfying. The one part of the job I could say I am least excited about is when I have to spend extended time away from home. I recently married and family is important to me but having support from family and friends is important and I still feel lucky in this respect.

How do you find the match between theory and practice? In the seismic industry there is normally a very good match between theory and practice. It contains a very science-oriented community with engineers, geophysicists, geologists, and other experts that use both cutting

Are you currently taking any courses to develop your career? I will be taking a survey design course with EAGE in a few weeks to be able to better understand seismic survey design solutions for OBC. I am planning to do more courses in the near future, both in geoscience and in business.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years from now? I will most likely still be in the oil and gas industry, probably still in the seismic segment as a manager or similar, possibly still in sales and marketing but operations is also close to mind. If I don’t stay in seismic then possibly a position as an operations geophysicist with an oil or gas company, or as a consultant, planning and executing geophysical surveys and projects.

What advice would you give to the students preparing for the job market? It is important to stay informed, study the industry, and the market but never be afraid to take a leap of faith. Look around even outside your comfort zone and do not hesitate to make radical changes or choose something unorthodox if an opportunity arises. There will always be chances to move in whatever direction you want, so by far the most important thing is: just get started no matter what it is.

"I decided to apply ... and two weeks later I was on a plane to Bergen for my offshore survival course."

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What is your position and what tasks does it require?

edge research but also old-fashioned know-how and experience to solve problems and improve. You must however never forget that the work we do will always be at the mercy of Mother Nature and she always seem to be able to surprise even the best laid plans, predictions, or systems.


opportunities for ambition in the oil industry and it is a great place for people who are looking for a challenge, and I am definitely one of those.

Measuring up

to the requirement!

Berit Kuvaas, recruitment officer for Norwegian oil giant Statoil, explains what she looks for when recruiting


SPECIAL www.eage.org/rs • page 36 

for her company.

Why should young people consider a career in the energy business?

What advice would you give candidates preparing for an interview?

Because the demand for energy will increase and we need young and talented people to help develop conventional and unconventional energy sources. This is a great opportunity to develop new and more environmentally friendly methods for production.

Get to know the company through their Web pages. Be properly dressed and on time. Be interested and open, be willing to talk about yourself, both professionally and personally.

What career paths are available?

Through our Web pages and through university visits. Keep updated on Statoil.com/careers so you know when we run recruitment campaigns.

Career paths within the professional pipeline of your own discipline or more multi-disciplinary approaches, nationally or internationally. You need to take responsibility for your own development – mostly through on-the-job training, supported by your leader. Both internal and external learning programmes are available.

What are you looking for in applicants? Positive and curious people with good academic results who are willing to learn and contribute in an exciting environment. People who can identify with our values and our way of measuring performance. We reward and recognize delivery and behaviour equally, i.e., performance is both what you deliver and how you behave.

What degrees and or other qualifications do you require? MSc/PhD within geology, geophysics, reservoir and production technology, petroleum technology, petrophysics, and other natural sciences.

What is your main way to recruit?

How do you use social media to recruit? We are beginning to experiment with using social media to support our recruitment campaigns, to reach out to a wider audience.

Is there a large enough pool of talent to meet current recruitment needs? The pool of graduates could be larger, within some of the disciplines we recruit from. Geologists and geophysicists are currently covered sufficiently, but for production engineers and petrophysicists we could benefit from having a larger pool to recruit from.

Do You Have Experience in Seismic Processing/Imaging? Looking to Join a Fast Growing Company with Leading Edge Technologies?

Please contact Karen.Corsie@iongeo.com for available opportunities.

The skills gap:

learning and development Simon Drysdale, head of upstream human resources, BP, discusses how investing in current ­talent is helping to bridge the skills gap.


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he world of oil and gas has changed dramatically over the past last 10 years. For the best part of a decade oil prices have risen year-on-year, leading to both increased investment in existing infrastructure, and an appetite to look to new frontiers in an attempt to increase production to meet demand. Whilst BP has been at the forefront of investing in existing infrastructure, we have been pushing the boundaries of exploration, from established geographies such as the Gulf of Mexico to the emerging such as Angola. We have a history of being good at finding oil and gas. In addition to the uptick in oil prices, global demand for energy is forever increasing. The International Energy Agency predicts that demand for energy will grow by some 40% by 2030. Fossil fuels are expected to make up some 80% of this demand, and BP’s own ‘2030 Outlook’ suggests that 87% of transport fuel will still come from oil in 2030. Those outside of the sector may think that the future looks very bright for any

oil and gas company, but we certainly face our challenges. Attracting the right talent, with the appropriate skills, is a cross sector challenge which has received an unprecedented level of media coverage over recent years. Whilst a great deal of talk and attention has been given to the need to recruit, there is also a need to retain and maximize the capability of the existing workforce.

try had foreseen the challenge or not, I believe the more important question is ‘why has a skills gap and subsequent war for talent emerged’?

As head of upstream human resources, I have the responsibility of ensuring that our teams are continually learning and developing, both for the good of their careers and for the long term success of the company. Simply put, oil prices above $90 bbl alone will not deliver success; the industry needs to ensure that the global workforce is in a continual cycle of learning new skills and career development.

The oil and gas industry has a history of hiring and up-skilling of the workforce based on the current oil price. Traditionally, when oil prices have fallen workers have been made redundant, and when oil prices spike, the industry battles to acquire as much resource as possible as they embark on a talent acquisition programme. At BP, we are moving away from this model of recruiting and looking to invest whatever is required to ensure we have the right skills in the right places ready to adapt to both macro and micro economic changes.

Bridging the skills gap: why are we where we are? With the constant focus on the need to bridge the apparent skills gap, many people within the industry ask me ‘did you not see this coming’? Whether the indus-

In my view, a combination of sporadic hiring, reflective of the fluctuating oil price, a lack of engagement with younger generations, coupled with an ever ageing workforce, has led to the current skills gap.

Whilst planning and economic forecasting have a role to play in the current skills

ing consistent and structured learning throughout. We have taken advantage of the developments in IT over recent years and each ‘challenger’ now goes through a centrally managed induction learning event which uses virtual learning technology. The result has been huge cost savings for the business and more centralized learning for our recent joiners. A win-win situation.

gap, external influencers also exist. The last 15 years has seen the rise of the City graduate, with an ever increasing number of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) students choosing to pursue a career on a trading platform over a production platform. These highly intelligent and educated individuals have shied away from our sector in recent years, and who can blame them? They have been promised long rewarding careers and salaries to match. As a sector, we have responded by continuing to be poor at engaging and educating tomorrow’s generation about the critical role we play in the world and the fantastic career opportunities we offer. We need to get better at this and build advocacy as a sector.

Need for formal learning We must not forget that whilst bringing new recruits and young talent into the sector is of paramount importance, the continual development of the sector’s employees is of equal importance. Huge investment is required to ensure our employees continually find, develop, extract, and bring to market hydro-

carbon resources in the most safe and efficient way. At BP, we are committed to bringing in young talent and continually training our existing workforce. Development of staff is a key corporate objective and we subsequently now invest over $500 million each year in training and development. We have developed and implemented global flagship programmes specifically for the development of young talent, including the Challenge Programme. This programme maps out the first three years of an individual’s career and allows graduates to sample three differing roles within the organization, provid-

"We are committed to bringing in young talent and continually training our existing workforce."


Lifetime learning at BP.

As previously mentioned, a uniform approach to learning and development is required to ensure existing staff, from all areas of the globe, have a steady, reliable, and consistent training and career development programme. The BP Upstream Learning Centre in Houston is a flagship example of this approach. The 65,000 ft2 centre opened in March 2010 and is viewed within the industry as being an example of future learning. The centre, which is made up of 10 specially designed classrooms for over 300 students, saw just under 14,000 employees and wider industry employees pass through the doors in 2011. Technology is central to the offering with life-sized simulators, 3D visualization capability, dual image displays, video capture and conferencing capability, and purpose-built broadcast rooms to allow teachers to deliver learning solutions in the field. The Upstream Learning Centre is leading the industry and we are currently looking at building supplementary global centres and we would expect others to follow.

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Additionally, we have recognized that the training of new talent needs to be extended beyond these three initial years and have subsequently developed and implemented the E&P eXcellence Programme for our upstream staff. The programme offers a further seven years and aims to offer personal depth and increased operational capability.

Need for multi-company learning By its very nature, the oil and gas industry has a history of being collaborative. Our organizations partner on the overwhelming majority of global projects and we rely on and utilize a great number of service companies to ensure the global workforce remains mobile and adaptable to constant changes in their clients’ needs. Our industry does better than many others at facilitating and encouraging learning and development across multiple organizations, and industry bodies, such as OPITO, are becoming increasingly important in encouraging and facilitating multi company training programmes. That said, more could and should be done. Increasing the skills and capability for the sector as a whole is without doubt a positive for the organizations operating within it.

Need for informal learning Whilst monetary investment in employee learning and development is critical, formal programmes alone are not a proven

recipe for success, and in some corporate cultures formal learning can become a ‘tick box exercise’. Informal learning, the passing on of knowledge to emerging talent, and fostering a collaborative culture is of equal importance. We believe there is a need to ‘develop’ as well as formally ‘train’ our employees and this can only realistically be achieved through structured mentoring programmes. BP is well known within the industry for having this collaborative culture and our graduates and new joiners are always vocal about the level of time invested in them by team members and senior members of staff. We are strong believers in the old fashioned term of ‘mentoring’. All graduates and new joiners are assigned a mentor and meet on a regular basis to discuss challenges that have been faced, both from the technical side and as part of the development of so called ‘soft skills’. From my own perspective I have found the mentoring programme invaluable and it has allowed me to build a network

within the organization that allows me to draw upon more knowledge and advice.

Outlook: what else can be done? The industry as a whole has come a long way in recent years. We have become better at formalizing, standardizing, and collaborating in our attempts to train, teach, and develop our current and emerging talent. That said, improvements could certainly be made. I believe that in order to maximize capability across the whole sector there is a need to move towards standardized international learning and development practices. At present learning and development, and even formal training, differs by company and by country. Change cannot happen overnight, but I believe standardization should be a core area of focus for the industry over the next 10 years. All stakeholders have a role to play, from the international oil and gas companies such as BP, through to the regional and international industry trade bodies and societies. The result can only mean an increase in safety, capability, and operational efficiency.

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Register now! Responsibly Securing Natural Resources



74th EAGE Conference & Exhibition incorporating SPE EUROPEC 2012 | 4-7 June 2012 | Bella Center Copenhagen CH12-V*H.indd 3

03-05-11 11:18

Photography: Leimdorfer Gilles  Copyright: TOTAL SA - COMMUNICATION EP

Cross-functionality is at

the heart

of Total’s winning strategy

Technical skills, of course, are a hallmark of the Group with the determination to promote recruitment in the countries hosting Group operations, as well as heavy investment in the professional integration of young workers through internships, VIE (Voluntary International in Entreprise) opportunities, scholarships, apprenticeships, and mentoring. Furthermore Total believes that its geoscience performance relies on the convergence of perspectives from geologist, geophysicist, and reservoir engineers. The different approaches are constantly juxtaposed, and there is a

This key to success is not only a matter of technical skills but also a matter of human behaviour. Cross-functionality involves listening, one of the corporate values leading the Total company culture. Conduct and behaviour are built around a set of shared professional attitudes. This forms the basis of the company common identity and sets it apart from others, regardless of profession or host country. Christophe de Margerie, Total CEO, says ‘Cross-functionality is knowing how to take into account the multi-dimensional nature of our projects by pooling all our skills and breaking silo-thinking habits.’ From a business standpoint, cross-functionality creates an important competitive advantage. It provides a comprehensive, integrated offering that pools a full range of skills and capabilities and requires moving beyond technical specificities and inventing new solutions. At an individual level, it enriches day-to-day operations, expands our knowledge, and enhances the company’s ability to view all sides of a problem. It can even open up new career prospects, for example, by promoting geographic mobility.

SPECIAL www.eage.org/rs • page 41 

For geosciences and reservoir, Total recruits staff with an eye on medium- to long-term career development prospects. It recruits staff for a huge variety of business lines, most of which involve a considerable dose of technical skills.

continuous dialogue with the other disciplines. Federating expertise in this way, and interacting with the entire range of cross-functional professions in E&P, provides the Group with decision-making factors as robust as they can be.


At its headquarters Total runs recruitment operations in line with the Group’s policy of carefully accommodating country-specific features and cultural factors. The Group prefers to hire local talent in its host countries. So, in spite of Total’s French origins, it employs staff on a worldwide scale valuing diversity, which entails striving to balance the staff in terms of nationality and academic background.

Young professionals tell

their story

Youssef Arroub, 29, has been a geophysicist with Total for four years. He studied in Toulouse, France and Atlanta, Georgia.

I completed two years in engineering school (ENSEEIHT) in electronics, computer sciences, mathematics, and hydraulic and fluid mechanics in Toulouse which has given me a a great deal of knowledge. I chose an option in signal processing because I love Maths. In addition I did a double degree programme in Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta (US). After getting my Masters degree, I was hired by Total in 2008 as a geophysicist.

What are your main activities in Total? Since 2008, I have been working in sonic logs interpretation. Our objective is to help the seismic interpretation. It is a very formative job and I warmly recommend it for young geophysicist who would like to really understand the geological meaning of an acoustic signal. It will be an added value for the next position I will have soon as reservoir geophysicist in a project team.


SPECIAL www.eage.org/rs • page 42

When did you start thinking about looking for a job? Actually I thought about searching for a job during my studies, I participated in several recruitment forums and I also did personal research. I chose the more appropriate options and internships so as to be in position to get a job at the end of my studies.

How did you know more about O&G industry and Total in particular? I discovered the oil and gas industry during one of the recruitment forums in Boston in 2008. Total had a booth, so I talked with the representative and he explained to

"Discussion with colleagues over diverse domains is important to get the know-how." me what Total was doing and how my profile could be suitable as geophysicist.

How did you get your current job ? After the Boston forum, I got in touch with the human resources team at Total and an interview was scheduled just after graduation … and I was hired one month later! It was very fast and simple!

How do you live on a daily base the Total philosophy of “cross functionality”. Discussion with colleagues over diverse domains is important to get the know-how. My current position involves geophysics but also geological knowledge. Cross-functionality is the better way to deliver more suitable results.

Steven Pluymaekers is a GIS project manager and has been with Total for two and a half years. He has an MSc in geodesy/geomatics from Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands.

How and when did you start thinking about finding a job? I started thinking about searching for a job quite late. I was already almost graduated when I became aware of a two year ‘Geomatics’ post-graduate traineeship offered by Shell and Fugro (a main oil and gas contractor). In this programme, I had the possibility of working in a relatively short time in different geomatics positions in the oil and gas industry. Of course, that was an opportunity I wasn’t going to miss!

Total was during a surveying project I did on the Usan field in Nigeria.

How did you get your current job? I wanted to work abroad (outside The Netherlands) and stay in the oil and gas industry and I had some good experience with Total projects, so I decided to apply on the Total HQ website. There was no specific job offer, so I sent an unsolicited application. I was lucky that GIS got a real boost recently in Total and I was hired in Total’s HQ, directly in France.

How do you live on a daily basis the Total philosophy of ‘cross functionality’?

How did you know more about the oil and gas industry and Total in particular?

Geo-Information and GIS is already in itself cross-functional. We are very often the ‘connection link’ between geoscience specialists (geologists, geophysicists, reservoir engineers) and the IT department. As a consequence we are obliged to have a good comprehension of exploration and production techniques to really understand the GIS needs of the different disciplines within Total.

My two year traineeship was a great way to get to know the industry. And because geomatics is a niche discipline in our industry, the relations with other oil and gas companies are quite good. It is a small world. The first time, I really came in contact with

Personally, I think cross-functionality is of vital value and multi-disciplinary teams are a great way to get the best out of everybody and the most out of every challenging project!

"Because geomatics is a niche discipline in our industry, the relations with other oil and gas companies are quite good."

SPECIAL www.eage.org/rs • page 43

As a GIS project manager I perform analyses, define specifications and requirements, and monitor the practical implementation of GIS solutions. This also includes the development and promotion of guidelines and manuals for optimal spatial data management and GIS use. Finally, as a part of my job, I give GIS training both for colleagues in HQ and in affiliates.


What are you main activities in Total?

Delphine Pelisson, geologist at Total Gas Shales Europe, has been with the company for two and a half years. She studied at Marseille Provence University and IFP EN School.

Five years studying at university gave me a strong knowledge in fundamental geology, especially in carbonates. My university was involved in research projects involving oil and gas partners. During the last year of my master degree, my research project dealt with the impact of diagenesis on seismic reflector geometries for carbonate systems. This work, in collaboration with the French Institute of Petroleum and New Energy (IFP EN), was my first contact with the industry. During a meeting, I presented the research project to Total, and the company offered me the opportunity to follow a 22 month training programme (11 months of lectures and 11 months of internship in Total) at IFP EN’s School. The 11 months of internship in the company were divided with five months in the sedimentology department and six months in new ventures. The first part of the internship improved my knowledge in fundamental geology; the second helped me to discover how Total searches new acreage opportunities and makes new discoveries.

What is your current position in Total? I am working as an exploration geologist in Total Gas Shale Europe. My work consists of two main duties – following gas shale activities in Europe and integrating these data to petroleum syntheses. The aim of this work is to get as complete and up to date as possible view, in order to be reactive in case of any new acreage opportunities.

How and when did you start thinking about searching for a job? I considered doing a PhD after my Masters. But when Total proposed training at IFP School, I immediately chose this great opportunity! I do not regret this choice, since IFP School was clearly very complementary to my initial and more fundamental knowledge.

How did you come to select Total?

recruitment cruitment

SPECIAL www.eage.org/rs • page 44

I met Total for the first time when I completed my MSc studies in the Carbonate System Laboratory in Marseille and when I had the opportunity to present my research project to Total.

How do you apply your academic knowledge on a daily basis? There are specific training courses in Total for young recruits. When you are hired you spend two years in different junior positions which give you opportunities to see various entities. For example, I had the chance to discover during six months the world of operations, including a rotation in Canada to participate in a tar sands drilling campaign. Then, I worked one year in a department specializing in well data interpretation.

I am using every day all that I learned before. My knowledge in fundamental geology was helpful tin tackling gas shale petroleum systems. In fact, these systems are very specific, so that still requires a lot of work to reach a good understanding. Of course, I also had the benefit of my previous experience at the New Business Entity, as experience in constitution of a data base and the way to analyses the potential of a prospect. My experience of working closely with operational people showed me the importance to respect a strict planning (especially when operations are planned or are in progress) as well as to work together. Finally the knowledge of the logs interpretation helps me to compare the data and to extract coherent information from various sources.

How do you live on a daily basis the Total philosophy of ‘cross functionality’? I work in a small unit. It is therefore essential to work together and to keep contacts with other entities. I obviously work with the geoscience team of the subsidiary and in particular with the senior geophysicist. He helps me on seismic interpretation aspects and to visualize the well data using Sismage (Total software). Frequently, I create composite logs for key wells to help people in charge of the operation at the subsidiary to plan incoming operations. All expertise entities and laboratories of the Total group are often contacted by the subsidiary to analyze samples. Finally I also work with the non-conventional resources entity located at head office. In brief, complexity of petroleum systems such as the gas shales requires the skills of everyone in order to succeed in our attempts to understand.

Tale of the unexpected Nabil ElKady, who works in seismic imaging and processing at PETRONAS, describes the varied career in geophysics that working in the


SPECIAL www.eage.org/rs • page 46 

oil and gas industry has provided for him.

Geophysics has provided me with my most memorable experiences and has been the best decision that I’ve made regarding which career I wanted to pursue. It all started in 1977, when I was teaching physics at the Technical Military College and Faculty of Science, AinShams University, both in Cairo. There, I was inspired to extend my knowledge to see how physical and mathematical theories could be applied in the oil and gas industry. A few years later, I joined Geophysical Service Inc (GSI) as a seismologist. What started as a simple job led to a whirlwind journey, as GSI passed through several phases of acquisitions by Halliburton, Western Geophysical, Baker Hughes, and finally Schlumberger. Along with these events I’ve had the privilege of being promoted to team leader, party chief, supervisor, and regional depth imaging manager for Middle East and Asia

working in the oil and gas industry Pacific. Wining the prestigious ‘Can Do’ and ‘Performed by Schlumberger’ awards epitomized my performance during my years of service, and I thought that I had reached the peak of my career. Yet I still yearned for more, to gain more out of geophysics. In 2007, I decided to move from service to exploration organization. Seeing PETRONAS and its position as a giant worldwide oil and gas company, I felt that it was the right choice. The interesting part of my current job is dealing with a variety of contractor’s technologies, algorithms, and software. Today, I have the valuable skill set of understanding geophysics from both the contractor (before joining PETRONAS) and the exploration point of view. Now having experienced both GSI and PETRONAS I felt satisfied with my technical performance. However, I felt that the business side of my expertise was lacking.

Another aspect of my geophysical career that I appreciated was the chance to image and process data that represented different geological settings of various world basins. I faced numerous challenges, having to deal with geological structures from North Africa (Libya, Algeria, and Sudan), to the Middle East (Egypt, Yemen, Oman, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Abu Dhabi, Kuwait, Jordan, and Iraq), to the North Sea, to the Gulf of Mexico, and finally to Asia (Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Thailand, Vietnam, and Malaysia). However, there are still many geological challenges that need to be solved, such as near surface anomalies, gas clouds, fault shadows, multiples, subsalt imaging, illuminations, and fracture basement. That is why I opened up another aspect of my geophysical career, working with geophysicists that have contributed practical solutions to our geological challenges such as Craig Basely, Martin Bayly, Alfonso Gonzalez, Robert Bloor, Dave Monk, August Lau, Jack Puska, and Nader Dutta.

"The interesting part of my current job is dealing with a variety of contractor’s technologies, algorithms, and software."

standing of their challenges and learning how to find the appropriate solutions through adequate algorithms. In addition to my daily technical job, I am also teaching short geophysical courses to our junior geophysicists. PETRONAS has excellent programmes that are committed to develop our junior geoscientists. One of these programmes is called Accelerated Capability Development (ACD). Its objectives are to transfer knowledge and experience, fix technical skill gaps, and enhance the application of technical concepts in a practical business setting. Some of the many advantages of this programme are to improve project delivery, align competency development with business objectives, and provide a long term view of personal development needs. It is designed to reduce the time it

takes for juniors to develop their technical competency. This of course will vary on an individual basis. These juniors, armed with the essential technical skills that are learnt from the ACD, will be in a position to lead them to great and successful careers in the future. All in all, my career has been a fun and fulfilling ride. From teaching at education institutions to working through several GSI acquisitions to winning awards to being a part of an exploration organization to getting an MBA to authoring technical papers, my career has partially come back full circle, as I am teaching geophysics again to the juniors at PETRONAS. I can’t imagine where my life would be without working in the diverse and complex world that is geophysics, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Today, the oil and gas industry has matured to the point where many conventional plays have been exploited to the level of near depletion. Accordingly, the industry has shifted towards plays exhibiting unconventional reservoirs. Exploring these reservoirs demands a good under-

SPECIAL www.eage.org/rs • page 47

I also began to address these challenges myself by sharing my experiences in data processing and imaging and participating, presenting and publishing practical solutions to the geophysical community. I have presented around 13 technical papers in international conferences such as the PGCE, IPTC, SEG and EAGE. Currently, I am participating with my colleagues from PETRONAS and Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS (UTP) in compiling case studies from South East Asia in a text book to share with other geophysicists.

Nabil ElKady, PETRONAS geophysicist and world traveller.


That is why I went back to the classroom as a part time student, and two years ago I obtained my Masters in Business Administration, ‘MBA, Strategic Management’.

A world of

opportunities in the seismic business Arnaud Louis, recruiting and university relations manager, Schlumberger in Europe and Africa, examines the diversity of career opportunities associated with seismic technology that are available to today’s


SPECIAL www.eage.org/rs • page 48

young geoscientists.

Arnaud Louis of Schlumberger.

There has probably never been a better time for talented young geoscientists and engineers to embark on a career in the seismic industry. Thirty years ago in the early days of 3D imaging technology, surface seismic surveys were considered a niche service that was rather peripheral to mainstream oilfield operations. Many exploration and production (E&P) companies preferred to spend their entire exploration budget on drilling wells to prove the existence or otherwise of recoverable hydrocarbon reserves. The seismic team usually operated on its own, with little interaction with colleagues in other technical oilfield disciplines, which could impose limits on career progression. Today, seismic imaging has moved firmly into centre stage. Despite great advances in areas such as horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing, most experts in the industry recognize seismic as the single most effective technology for optimizing the discovery and development of oil and gas reserves. The technology is continually improving, and seismic is being used

in an increasingly diverse range of oilfield applications, which is great news for anyone considering a career in geophysics. The quality and integrity of contemporary surface seismic reflection data is not only delivering ever higher resolution information about subsurface structure, it is also increasingly providing indications of rock properties such as pore pressure, lithology, stress, and fluid content. With 4D time-lapse technology, seismic imaging goes beyond exploration to monitor fluid movement and optimize recovery throughout the life of a reservoir. Today’s geoscientists and seismic engineers can contribute and interact with a wealth of oilfield domain experiences, providing new opportunities for career advancement and technological progress. As a fully integrated division of Schlumberger – a worldwide supplier of oilfield services – WesternGeco provides a diverse range of opportunities for geoscientists interested and able to apply seismic technologies to new applications. Among several recent growth areas are seismic-whiledrilling and microseismic monitoring of reservoir fracturing treatments.

Improvements in surface seismic imaging Recent developments in surface seismic technology include ultra-high channelcount point-receiver acquisition and processing systems that can correctly measure noise in the seismic wavefield, enabling it to be effectively removed by custom-designed geophysical computer

Surface seismic data is the primary source of information for building geological models to plan where to drill. Seismic velocities can also provide an indication of rock pore pressures, helping to design mud weight profiles that help minimize risk of formation damage while avoiding blowouts. Subsurface models based on seismic data are relatively accurate in terms of two-way acoustic travel time, but converting seismic datasets to the depth domain remains an uncertain science. As new wells are drilled and logged, new information is correlated with the seismic data to refine the depth conversion. However, if there are no nearby wells, or if subsurface geology changes rapidly laterally, drilling-target depths based on the model are likely to be inaccurate. New seismic-while-drilling technology can

Principles of seismic-while-drilling.

Improving well productivity Increases in global gas prices, coupled with the development of several new technologies, are making economic gas production from shale increasingly viable, opening a massive new resource for the supply of energy around the world, and some interesting new career opportunities for geoscientists. Until recently, because of their low permeability, shales have generally been considered uneconomic for commercial gas production. Natural fractures can improve permeability, but usually do not provide sufficient pathways for the flow of hydrocarbons into a well to support economic levels of production. Most gas shales therefore require hydraulic fracturing to increase flow rates. They are usually developed using horizontal drilling, which creates wells that contact much more of the productive zones than vertical wells. Fluids are pumped into a well at high pressure, causing the formation to crack. Solid proppant materials – typically sieved round sand grains or man-made ceramic spheres – are added to the fracture fluid. These solids hold the fractures open after the injection stops, and provide a higher permeability path than the surrounding formation, so the propped hydraulic fracture becomes a conductive conduit through which fluids can flow from the rock formation to the well. Advanced seismic acquisition and processing techniques, combined with sophisticated interpretation workflows, can indicate fracture densities, fracture orientation, stress conditions, and rock strength parameters from surface seismic data, helping to optimize fracturing strategies. Shale gas projects have also opened new opportunities for seismic applications such as micro-

Neil joined WesternGeco in 1998 after gaining a Masters degree in aerospace engineering at Loughborough University, UK. The first three years of his career as a seismic engineer were spent on board various towed-streamer seismic vessels, combined with periods of learning seismic processing in the office. He later gained experience in multicomponent seabed recording systems. In 2002, Neil relocated to the USA to join a Schlumberger group that was developing and supplying services for seismicwhile-drilling applications. During the next four years, much of his work was based on drilling rigs in the Gulf of Mexico and offshore Trinidad in the Caribbean Sea. Neil is currently located in Stavanger, Norway, from where he supports projects throughout Europe and Africa that use seismic technology to improve the accuracy of drill-bit positioning and well placement in real time.

seismic monitoring. Seismic engineers are now using microseismic data acquired in real time during hydraulic fracturing to help well completions engineers improve the effectiveness of the fracturing process. Being part of such cross-disciplinary teams was once unusual for geoscientists, but they are now increasingly important contributors to E&P processes. The industry budget for fracturing in 2012 is estimated at $30 billion in North America alone, and the technology is rapidly being deployed around the world. Olivier Peyret, Schlumberger vice president for microseismic surface monitoring, says: ‘This high level of investment provides the

SPECIAL www.eage.org/rs • page 49

Real-time seismic to support drilling

deliver real-time information to address this challenge. An airgun source, usually deployed from the drilling rig, is fired during drillpipe changes – typically every 40 m. The resulting seismic waveform is recorded by orthogonally oriented geophones and a hydrophone pressure sensor in a tool located behind the drill bit, and then transmitted uphole by mudpulse telemetry. Through the ability to make these measurements, seismic engineers have today become an integral part of drilling teams, helping to improve the accuracy of well placement even in frontier exploration regions.


processing algorithms. The result is clearer imaging and superior reservoir description for appraisal and development even in the presence of complex geology. Offshore, in-sea equipment can be automatically steered to achieve the best possible match with planned positions, helping to minimize differences between surveys in 4D projects to reveal subtle changes in subsurface images related to fluid movement in the reservoir. The ability to steer the equipment also enables innovative and cost-effective acquisition geometries such as continuous coil shooting, which provides full-azimuth data that can deliver better illumination of the subsurface, higher signal-to-noise ratio, and improved seismic resolution compared to conventional seismic techniques in challenging imaging areas such as beneath complex salt bodies.

"The microseismic monitoring technique....provides new opportunities to geoscientists familiar with the study of earthquakes where the principle is also to listen to waveforms then invert the signal to identify the location and amplitude of their origin." Microseismic data can indicate the

Olivier Peyret, Schlumberger vice president for microseismic surface monitoring.

location and orientation of hydraulically induced fractures.


SPECIAL www.eage.org/rs • page 50

industry with a strong incentive to improve fracturing efficiency. Specialist seismic technology developed by our inhouse experts to visualize the length, height, and width of induced fractures is a key enabler for improvement.’ An ongoing project in the Marcellus shale of Pennsylvania is typical of shale gas developments. An array of seismic sensors has been permanently installed over the area where a large number of horizontal production wells are being drilled. Data is transmitted to a central recording system by a wireless network, helping to minimize environmental footprint. As a well is fractured, measurements from the closest sensor locations are automatically verified and processed, and the results are delivered to the fracturing engineer within 30 seconds. Throughout the project, the seismic engineer – an integral member of the field operations team – continually improves the accuracy of the subsurface velocity model using measurements made

as each well is perforated. ‘The microseismic monitoring technique has much in common with other types of passive seismic,’ says Peyret, ‘and provides new opportunities to geoscientists familiar with the study of earthquakes where the principle is also to listen to waveforms then invert the signal to identify the location and amplitude of their origin.”

Geoscience without borders ‘There are many reasons to be optimistic about the geophysics business,� says Craig Beasley, chief geophysicist and Schlumberger fellow. ‘When I started my career in the 1980s I thought that most of the exciting developments in seismic exploration had already been done. Instead, I have experienced amazing progress, and now I predict that there is even more opportunity over the horizon than everything that has gone before. This is an exciting time for the next generation of engineers and geoscientists considering a career in this industry, because today it

offers them a greater diversity of opportunities than ever before.’ Beasley doesn’t just sit on the sidelines, he firmly believes geophysics will play an increasingly important role in the oil and gas industry, helping to meet the key objectives of improving recovery rates and finding new, often smaller, reservoirs and developing untapped areas of known reservoirs. He also promotes application of seismic technologies developed in the oilfield to benefit a wide variety of other activities. The Society of Exploration Geophysicists (SEG) ‘Geoscientists Without Borders’, programme, initially founded with a grant from Schlumberger, is funding humanitarian applications of geoscience around the world. Current projects include finding sources of fresh water, mitigating the impacts of earthquakes, tsunamis and landslides, analysing ground contamination, and assisting archaeological investigations. For more information, visit www.seg.org/gwb.

Laurence has a Masters degree in naval architecture from the University of Southampton, UK, and a Masters in geomatic sciences from University College, London, UK. She started her career in the French Hydrographic Office, specializing in hydrographic, oceanographic, and geophysical surveys. Laurence joined WesternGeco in 2009 as a seismic engineer, and currently works in its headquarters office at Schlumberger House, Gatwick. Her first challenge on joining the company was to learn its data processing technologies. She recently moved from production processing into a specialist support group where she is testing advanced processing methodologies focused on getting the best results from innovative new seismic acquisition technologies such as continuous coil shooting.

Are you ready for challenges within Petroleum Technology?

Look at our webpage – www.statoil.com/career

Graduate recruitment campaign from September 2012

Skills shortage

likely to persist James Armitage discusses how Chevron approaches recruitment for a company with 62,000 employees worldwide.

Why should young people consider a career in the energy business? The energy sector has some of the most significant global challenges facing any sector over the coming decades. Global population growth with accompanying energy needs will demand innovative, determined and solutionorientated professionals, all of whom will experience their contributions in a real-world environment.

What career paths are available? The energy sector is becoming one of the most dynamic and diverse career arenas for existing and future professionals. The opportunities that careers will offer will be technically, globally, and skill diverse as can possibly be imagined.


SPECIAL www.eage.org/rs • page 52 

What are you looking for in applicants? The core attributes sought are focus and personal interest in the industry, longer-term career and skillset development plus technical excellence to fully achieve and deliver to a full potential.

What degrees and or other qualifications do you require? Engineering degrees (or equivalent) will have value, masters and doctorates have additional benefit but accompanying capabilities with personal career, technical and skills focus are essential to any qualifications.

What advice would you give candidates preparing for an interview? It is essential to research the sector, the company and the role as much as possible. Any candidate who is interview-

ing should ask themselves: why do I want this role and is this really the career direction I want?

Any other advice you would offer to young people considering a career in the energy industry? Anyone interested in the energy industry should keep themselves informed and aware of developments and industry news as much as possible. There will be an increasing need of diverse and flexible skills where career opportunities may arise from unusual situations.

What is your main way to recruit? Chevron advertise on Chevron.com and the main industry websites. We always try to conduct an interview with the key hiring managers to discuss the role and career scope and if the candidate is successful, make an offer as quickly as possible.

How do you use social media to recruit? Chevron has brand profile on leading social media sites, however won’t actively recruit through social media. Non-social but networking sites are used when targeting hard-to-fill vacancies or when niche skills are required.

Is there a large enough pool of talent to meet current recruitment needs? There isn’t and this is not anticipated to change. There is a global shortage of technically experienced professionals and with university engineering or mathematic graduate numbers reducing: this means a longer-term challenge. Skills conversation and internal development are becoming increasingly important.

Get to Know Our SeisAble Benefits CGGVeritas offers unique seismic solutions for oil and gas discovery and reservoir optimization that lower your risks. With our continuous client commitment, the passion of our people and our dedication to health, safety and the environment, CGGVeritas delivers safer, better answers and brings SeisAble BenefitsTM globally to all of our stakeholders.


EXPLORATION IS ABOUT MAKING DISCOVERIES. WHY NOT LET US HELP DISCOVER YOUR POTENTIAL. GEOLOGISTS AND GEOPHYSICISTS WANTED Whether a Graduate or Experienced Professional with Shell, you’ll play an integral part in creating better energy solutions. Solutions like GeoSigns, exploration software that rapidly analyses and visualises untapped energy reserves. Using differentiated technology such as this allows us to deliver superior exploration performance in a fraction of the time it would normally take. This is just one example of where you could contribute and develop your skills. With on-the-job training and excellent rewards, you’ll have the opportunity to define your career in an innovative and challenging environment. To find out where you fit in visit www.shell.com/careers

Let’s deliver better energy solutions together.

Shell is an equal opportunity employer.

Shell Careers




23-25 May


27-29 May


4-7 Jun


29 Jul-1 Aug


20-24 Aug


20-24 Aug


3-5 Sep


3-5 Sep


10-13 Sep


10-14 Sep


23-26 Sep


25-27 Sep


25-28 Sep


1-3 Oct


1-4 Oct


3-5 Oct


7-10 Oct


15-17 Oct


29-31 Oct


26-28 Mar


10-13 Jun


EAGE | Third EAGE / SPE Workshop on Tar Mats www.eage.org Enerchange | 8th International Geothermal Conference (IGC 2012) www.geothermiekonferenz.de AGS Serbia | 3rd International Conference – Geosciences and Environment http://www.agserbia.com EAGE | Copenhagen 2012 - 74th EAGE Conference & Exhibition incorporating SPE EUROPEC 2012 www.eage.org ACGGP | XI Simposio Bolivariano www.acggp.org EAGE | First International Conference & Exhibition on IT for Geosciences 2012 www.eage.org EAGE | GeoBaikal 2012 - Second International Scientific and Practical Conference on EM Research www.eage.org EAGE | Near Surface Geoscience 2012 www.eage.org EAGE | Remote Sensing Workshop www.eage.org EAGE | ECMOR XIII www.eage.org EAGE | Geomodel 2012 www.eage.org EAGE | EAGE Hydrogeology Workshop – Dead Sea Sinkholes www.eage.org EAGE | Second EAGE GeoSkill Workshop 2012 www.eage.org AGH University / SAOGIET | 2nd international Conference - Alpine-Petrol 2012 http://www.alpine.geosfera.pl EAGE | Fault & Top Seals 2012 - From Characterization to Modelling www.eage.org EAGE | Sakhalin 2012 - Second Workshop on Far East Hydrocarbons www.eage.org ASPG | International Conference & Exhibition “Integrated Approach for Unlocking Hydrocarbon Resources” www.aspg.az SPE | SPE Annual Technical Conference & Exhibition www.spe.org/atce/2010/pages/general/future_dates.php AAPG/EAGE/SPE | Shale Gas Workshop www.eage.org EAGE | KazGeo 2012 www.eage.org EAGE | 6th International Petroleum Technology Conference (IPTC) www.eage.org EAGE | London 2013 - 75th EAGE Conference & Exhibition incorporating SPE EUROPEC 2013 www.eage.org

Abu Dhabi


































San Antonio, Texas











20-23 May

SPECIAL www.eage.org/rs • page 55

2012/2013 Calendar 2012/2013

Join us in London! Changing Frontiers www.eage.org

75th EAGE Conference & Exhibition incorporating SPE EUROPEC 2013 | 10-13 June 2013 | ExCeL London 12-04-12 15:00

Looking for a career challenge? Visit the Copenhagen ’12 Job Centre Job Centre Exhibitors: www.eage.org/jobcentre


SPECIAL www.eage.org/rs • page 56 

LON13-V*H.indd 1

74th EAGE Conference & Exhibition incorporating SPE EUROPEC 2012 | 4-7 June 2012 | Bella Center Copenhagen JOBCH12-V1H.indd 1

10-04-12 17:28



You’ve heard there are boundaries, but you see well beyond them. Visit our stands at EAGE Copenhagen & AAPG Singapore With a career in Exploration at Saudi Aramco, a global leader in the hydrocarbons industry, you’ll work with geoscientists dedicated to achieving excellence in everything from regional play-based exploration to focused field development. We have an extremely active exploration program, so you’ll discover incredible opportunities to enhance your expertise, working within remarkably complete stratigraphy, and with reservoirs ranging from Paleozoic polar glacial sediments to Mesozoic sub-tropical reefs. Ready to explore this vast hydrocarbon rich Kingdom? We have the model for generations of sustainable energy. But it all begins with this moment. The limits to what you achieve are up to you. Learn more about the amazing rewards, lifestyle and benefits that come with a career at Saudi Aramco.

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Opportunities Worldwide As a leading technology company in the field of geophysical science, PGS can offer exciting opportunities within seismic exploration. We are looking for new BSc, MSc and PhD graduates with geoscience, engineering and other numerate backgrounds to join us. We are offering careers in the following areas: • Interpretation Geoscientists • Geoscience and Engineering • Data Processing • Field Crew – Marine In PGS you will be encouraged to work hard to learn new skills, supported by an organization that prioritizes innovation, people, delivery and Health & Safety. If you can demonstrate your willingness to meet challenges, you will never lack new opportunities in PGS. To learn more, please visit www.pgs.com/careers, or contact us at recruitment@pgs.com

A Clearer Image www.pgs.com

Profile for EAGE

Recruitment Special 2012  

2012 Edition of annual magazine by EAGE about recruitment issues in the oil & gas industry.

Recruitment Special 2012  

2012 Edition of annual magazine by EAGE about recruitment issues in the oil & gas industry.

Profile for eage