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Special Features Why crystals matter for all of us Learning to be realistic about job seeking Networking success for women geoscience professionals Crew change challenges young professionals


CGG is a fully integrated Geoscience company providing leading geological, geophysical and reservoir capabilities to its broad base of customers primarily from the global oil and gas industry. Through its three complementary business divisions of Equipment, Acquisition and Geology, Geophysics & Reservoir (GGR), CGG brings value across all aspects of natural resource exploration and exploitation. CGG employs 8,500 people around the world, all with a Passion for Geoscience and working together to deliver the best solutions to its customers. CGG is listed on the Euronext Paris SA and the New York Stock Exchange.


NEEDED to keep oil industry career prospects alive By Andrew McBarnet


othing really prepared the oil and gas industry for the dramatic 50% drop in the price of oil in less than six months. Virtually no analyst saw this coming even though the cause – the surge in new production from North America - was hidden in plain view. The decision by Saudi Arabia to enter into a price war was less predictable but in hindsight some kind of market correction was unavoidable. Whatever the circumstances, oil companies have reacted to the prospect of a sharp decline in revenues with direct and immediate action. Deep spending cuts have already been implemented in the E&P realm with exploration budgets the worst affected. The impact on the seismic business, and by extension the geoscientists involved, has been traumatic and there is little optimism about an early recovery of the market. Students and young professionals quoted in this year’s Recruitment Special seem surprisingly sanguine about the current turn of events. They do not seem too discouraged by the spectacle of the industry once again revealing how volatile it can be with obvious implications for job security. For those currently considering or embarking on a career in this sector, it seems to be a case of being aware of what you are getting yourself into. There is the risk of unexpected – or just cyclical – downturns, but there is also the reward in terms of good remuneration, being involved in advanced technology, interesting career development opportunities, life-long learning, the chance to see the world and a work environment increasingly conscious of safety as well as ethical and environmental issues.

Our Recruitment Special is another way for students and new recruits to the industry along with oil company and service sector employers to openly discuss the opportunities and the frustrations of the business. We hope you will find it a valuable source of information and even inspiration.


The challenge for the industry is to convince students and young professionals to stay connected because the good times are worth waiting for. In this respect it is important for EAGE to sustain its activities aimed at attracting and retaining geoscience and engineering students through all its various initiatives such as encouraging the establishment of student chapters, lecture tours, special student programmes at major events, various international student competitions, the student newsletter and the young professionals network.

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Even so, it is clear that a continued hiatus in spending by oil and gas companies will cause long-term damage to the industry’s ability to attract the best and the brightest. These are just the people who may conclude that there may be more stable prospects elsewhere.

Recruitment Special Editor Andrew McBarnet ( Publications Manager Linda Molenaar (

Enter the world of crystals Prof Juan Manuel Garcia explains why the study of crystals is the key to science, art and life

Publications Coordinator Thomas Beentje (


Account Manager Subscriptions & Recruitment Laura van Driel ( Production Co Productions bv ( 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: Website: 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: Website:

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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: Website: 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: Website:


EAGE Americas Office EAGE Americas Office Tel.: +31 88 995 5055 Fax: +31 30 634 3524 E-mail: Website: Recruitment Special on the Web This publication can be accessed online at:

How to tough out the crisis Peter Lloyd offers some sage advice on how to handle the job search during an industry downturn

16 Networking success for women's group Report on EAGE initiative to promote the interests of professional women in the geoscience and engineering community

FIELD Challenge set to test student teams EAGE Madrid will once again see students planning an oilfield development plan, best one wins



4 Insights into the importance of crystallography from a world renowned expert 12 Australian company explains how emphasis on teamwork is key to success 16 Learning how to accept that starting a career in the oil industry is not for the faint-hearted 18 Know what you’re getting into before joining a company 20 Why CGG looks for new people with new ideas 26 Job security makes working at PDO a lot less stressful 28 The sustainable workforce is a must for the petroleum industry going forward 32 Women professionals in EAGE explain the new networking group 36 Russian academic has learned what he wants to do in geoscience 40 Young industry professionals have to step up to meet Crew Change ahead 44 Two suggestions to enhance your time at the Annual Meeting 46 Strike gold with EAGE’s student activities in Madrid 48 Building up a career at PDO 50 FIELD Challenge set to test student teams 54 Calendar


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Table of contents






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"Crystallography can do what no microscope can achieve, allowing us to see the molecular structure and modify it."


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ere is a perfect trivia question. You cannot do an undergraduate degree course in this subject anywhere in the world, yet research on this scientific topic garnered 24 Nobel Prizes in the last century. What are we referring to?

Throughout history, people have been fascinated by the beauty and mystery of crystals. Two thousand years ago, the process of crystallizing sugar and salt was already known to ancient Indian and Chinese civilizations.

The answer is crystallography, and for those students attending the EAGE Annual Meeting in Madrid, there will be the opportunity to hear from Prof Juan Manuel García-Ruiz, research professor at the National Research Council (CSIC) and University of Granada, just why the study of crystals continues to be at the frontier of scientific knowledge and yet so unacknowledged.

Modern fascination with crystals probably began with the German mathematician, astronomer and astrologer Johannes Kepler (1571-1630) who marvelled when a snowflake landed on his coat showing its perfect six-cornered symmetry. This prompted his work Six-cornered Snowflake, said to be the first mathematical description of crystals.

Originally a geologist, Prof García-Ruiz is a world authority on crystallization and passionate about its importance in underpinning so much of modern science as well as inspiring debate about the aesthetics of beauty. Founder and director of the Laboratory for Crystallographic Studies at the University of Granada, he is author of nearly 250 scientific publications, has lead a number of international research projects, and played a prominent role in the 2014 UN International Year of Crystallography, an initiative designed to increase public recognition of the discipline.

Crystallography was revolutionized in the early 20th century by father and son William and Lawrence Bragg, who won the Nobel Prize in 1915, building on work established by Max Von Laue, a previous Nobel laureate. The Braggs showed that the penetrating power of x-rays onto crystalline forms of matter such as table salt and diamonds made it possible to determine how the atoms within a crystal are arranged. For the first time, the atomic structure of matter could be ‘seen’. X-ray crystallography now enables the study of the chemical bonds which draw

one atom to another. This makes it possible to modify a structure and thus change its properties and behaviour, and hence crystallography is now recognized to be at the very core of structural science. It famously helped UK scientists Francis Crick and James Watson to discover the molecular structure of DNA in the early 1950s. Scientists can now better understand and fabricate computer memories, show how proteins are created in cells and design powerful new materials and drugs. According to Prof García-Ruiz, ‘Crystallography can do what no microscope can achieve, allowing us to see the molecular structure and modify it. This is particularly important for pharmaceutical research and technology, for example semi-conductors.’ In fact crystallography permeates our daily lives and provides the possibility to develop new products in sectors as diverse as agro-food, aeronautics, automobiles, cosmetics and computers as well as the electro-mechanical, pharmaceutical and mining industries. One of the UN’s intentions in the International Year of Crystallography was to focus future research on development issues such as

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Image courtesy of Paul Williams (

Image courtesy of Paul Williams (

food security, safe drinking water, health care, sustainable energy and environmental remediation.


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Crystallography tends to be studied in chemistry, biology and geology courses at university level, which is why Prof GarcíaRuiz believes the Masters course at the Universidad Internacional Menéndez Pelayo is unique. In his own research Prof García-Ruiz has been increasingly turning his attention to the origins of life itself, trying to understand why there is no sharp boundary between the world of crystals and our world of life. Going back to early forms of life he argues that ‘the morphology of living organisms were controlled by the same physical parameters that control the shape of abiotic self-assembled structures (e.g., crystals), namely surface tension, membrane elasticity and porosity, and osmotic forces. There is no fundamental difference between the symmetry of the world of crystals and the symmetry of the lifeworld.’

The shape of Prof García Ruiz’s entire career and even earlier has been determined by his interest in crystals. ‘In high school science when I grew my first crystal it was love at first sight, and my choice of geology at university was really to enable me to pursue the object of my desire!’ His PhD at the Complutense University of Madrid and post doc work in Belgium and the USA before returning to Spain all focused on crystallization issues. ‘Their symmetrical perfection is completely different from anything else in nature, because the geometry of nature, for example our landscape, is one of fractals featuring branching and curvature. Crystals are all straight lines.’ Prof García-Ruiz says he first became interested in giant crystals while working on obtaining tiny crystals of proteins. ‘At that time for me a big success consisted of growing a crystal of proteins only a few hundred microns,’ he says. The scale of his endeavours changed somewhat when he was offered the opportunity

to study the formation of large gypsum crystals in a cave near Segobriga, Spain, site of some well preserved Roman remains. For a period the occupying Romans mined the crystals to use as the precursor of modern glass windows in buildings for the wealthy, because the material was clear and easily broke into flat surfaces. Pliny the Elder referred to the crystal as ‘lapis specularis’. However once real glass began to be developed, the mines and the city fell into decline. These rare treasures of the mineral world exist at the geode of Pulpi, also in Spain, and in the Chilean copper mine of El Teniente. But the biggest and most spectacular of them all is the crystal palace of Cueva de los Cristales de Naica at the Naica mine beneath the Mexican desert of Chihuahua. The discovery was made by miners in 2000 during the excavation of a new tunnel, 300 m below the surface. It has been the subject of research for the last 10 years by a team of crystallographers and geologists led by Prof García-Ruiz. Some of these giant crystal formations are 15 m long and 1.2 m in

Studying the Naica crystal phenomenon is not for the faint-hearted as the temperature in the cave is some 50°C with 96% humidity. As a result researchers can only stay in the vicinity for 8-10 minutes at a time losing 2 litres of water in the process. Prof García-Ruiz believes that a combination of conditions facilitated the growth of these giant crystals, a hypothesis that has been tested back at the lab in Spain. Basically the mineral-rich underground waters provided the calcium and sulfate minerals that comprise the crystals, and a nearby magma chamber heated the site, providing the warm, consistent temperatures necessary for crystal growth. At temperatures hotter than 58°C, gypsum crystals apparently cannot form but, down to 54°C, crystallisation can take place. The theory is that as the chamber temperature

Image courtesy of Paul Williams (

passed through this range, the minerals came out of solution and deposited slowly onto the crystal surfaces. ‘The whole process continues to a source of amazement to me,’ says Prof García-Ruiz. In 2010 he advised and scripted a 50 minute DVD documentary ‘The Mystery of the Giant Crystals’ including a visit to the Naica cave among others. He is worried that when the Naica mine is exhausted in 20-30 years’ time, the owners of the mine will simply stop pumping and flood the mineworks losing the colossal crystal caves forever. ‘In these circumstances the crystals could start to grow again, but it would be preferable if somehow this could be designated a heritage site and preserved.’ In a sense he has resolved the mystery of the giant crystals of gypsum. He continues to puzzle over the phenomenum of selforganisation in biological and geological structures with implications from the origin of life to the synthesis of new materials. The artistic side of his nature – he likes to play the flamenco guitar – has drawn him into the aesthetics of crystals and

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diameter, and according to research findings by Prof García-Ruiz, conditions were such that they grew at a rate estimated at the breadth of a hair every 100 years!


"Pliny the Elder referred to the crystal as 'lapis specularis'."


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"In high school science when I grew my first crystal it was love at first sight..."

"Influential 20th Century architects such as Le Corbusier and Mies van der Rohe admired the crystal aesthetic."

More philosophically, he asks the question: ‘Is our brain designed to prefer order, i.e., do we like crystals because crystals were among the first items to be collected or did we collect crystals almost one million years ago because our brain was already designed to prefer order? Is the impact of crystals on culture due to the fact that they are firmly linked to the birth of art, symbolism and conscience?’ His conclusion is that the world needs a new geometry, the geometry of nature not the human imposition of clean straight lines. ‘We have tried to dominate the planet, now it is time to seek harmony,’ he says. ‘So truth be told, I don’t actually like crystals that much even though I have been fascinated by them all my life.’

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Spanish artist Salvador Dali and the Spanish poet García Lorca got into a serious debate on the subject with Lorca accusing Dali - ‘You love a matter definite and exact, where the toadstool cannot pitch its camp. You love the architecture that builds on the absent and admit the flag simply as a joke.’ Prof García-Ruiz has done some light-hearted research on flamenco dancing and the possible crystal

patterns present. ‘One finding is that men tend to be straight, while women exhibit curvature,’ he says wryly.


the origins of art. He says the first known collectible art appears to have reflected our appreciation of crystal structures, and aesthetics haven’t changed if you consider a modern city skyline. He cites authors such as Mary Shelley, Jules Verne and George Sand who all explored crystallization ideas. Influential 20th century architects such as Le Corbusier and Mies van der Rohe admired the crystal aesthetic. The Louvre pyramid in Paris continues the tradition.


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Australian company DownUnder GeoSolutions believes each individual member needs to be valued if the team is going to work.

Dr Matthew Lamont

As the company continues to grow, in spite of many competitors struggling during these hard years, we asked them to consider what it is that has made them so successful. ‘Without a doubt, it is the talent we have been able to hire,’ says managing director, Dr Matt Lamont. ‘From the beginning we have set out with a “no compromise” attitude. We would only hire the best of the best, and if we couldn’t find that person, we’d go without until we did’. Lamont says that from the earliest days, the company attracted some of the brightest minds in the business. ‘We never hire people just looking for a job. We’ve always looked for that special spark, that glimmer that shows us that this is a person that really loves what they do – it’s what they

live and breathe.’ In DUG’s early days the company ran ads looking for ‘Petro-heads’ and ‘Geo-junkies’. This was a tongue-incheek way of attracting those people who were not afraid to say: ‘I love what I do and I’m proud of it!’ Interestingly, hiring the best in the business doesn’t always mean you’re fishing from a small pond. DUG’s approach has always been to look for that special spark in candidates from a variety of backgrounds. ‘We look for Masters graduates and PhDs in areas such as physics, maths, electrical engineering or similar’, he says. ‘If you’ve got that deep thinking brain we’re going to try and tailor a role for you, or invest in some specialist training to give you the skills we’re after’. ‘It’s an exciting environment to work in’, says Lamont. ‘You’re constantly being challenged and pushed. The people that work best in this environment are those who are motivated by the challenge, not intimidated. The role of our HR team is to recognise who will thrive and who will struggle. And then to support those that need help rising to their best potential.’ That’s where the delicate juggling of nurturing and supporting the individual and building the team begins. DUG’s chief

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here is a saying that you are only as good as the people you hire. At Down Under GeoSolutions (DUG) they know that to be the truth, and indeed, it is the philosophy by which they have grown their company. And grow they have. In just 11 years of business, this geoscience service company has grown from the two founders, setting up shop in the back shed of a suburban Australian back yard, to over 200 employees in eight different international offices.



operating officer and head of human resources, Paul Crute, explains that the first step is recognizing that a truly strong team is made up of strong individuals. ‘Each person within the team needs to feel valued and supported. We also want to nurture their raw talent and enable their professional and personal growth’. DUG works with a special model of collaborative mentoring. Each new recruit within DUG is placed in a working group. Teams sit together, work together and learn together. Within each team is a range of experience and expertise – ‘masters’ and ‘apprentices’ at all levels, working together to build each other’s combined knowledge. ‘We are firm believers that the best training and development that you can get is on the job, active learning’, Crute says. ‘Sure, we invest in outside specialist training. But when you have some of the leaders in the field working within your company, you have to tap into that most valuable of resource’.


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It’s a model that has seen graduates grow into respected team leaders within a very short time period. It’s also a model that has encouraged staff to stay on and work through their career within the company.

Team work at DUG.

"Each person within the team needs to feel valued and supported." ‘We do our best to optimize the development and hence contribution to the companies success from our most valuable commodity: our team members,’ Crute adds. ‘We have high performance expectations from our teams, and so we try very hard to provide environments that enable our team members to be able to achieve their best. Individuals like to work in different ways, and within the team there has to be some understanding of that. We’ve always been mindful that one person may work best from nine to five, whilst another is more productive at a different time of day. The ‘chemistry’ of our teams is also important, we understand that an individual’s performance can be significantly impacted by the right mix of team members.’

DUG offers flexible working hours, relaxed dress standards, and transfers within offices whenever possible. The company has identified what’s important to their staff, and realized that rigid rules and inflexible conditions are often not conducive to getting the best results. ‘We’ve come to recognize that there is, in fact, an “I” in Team DUG. And once you find the very best individual you can, nurture their individuality and support them to grow, in return you benefit from a team that is stronger and greater than the sum of its parts’, Lamont concludes. ‘Team DUG is the success story of our company. And as we continue to grow, it too will continue to be our greatest achievement’.



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Peter Lloyd, chairman of EAGE’s Student Affairs Committee, discusses some options for those aiming for a career in the oil business.


have declined previous invitations to write an article for the Recruitment Special for pretty obvious reasons. I retired 10 years ago, have not been involved in hiring people in the last decade, and I had my own last successful job interview way back in the last millennium. 1981 to be precise. That was when I joined Schlumberger. It is an association that continues to this day through my involvement in training activities at NExT, a Schlumberger company. So who am I to give anything but out of date and perhaps fatuous advice on your job hunting strategies? Up to now I have deferred to young and dynamic people involved in the recruitment process as the ones who should be providing such words of wisdom.

The question, then, is what has changed? The answer is obvious. The price of oil at $50/barrel oil has resulted in many organizations putting recruitment on hold. And that has meant our line-up of enthusiastic contributors pretty much dried up as the industry battens downs the hatches and goes into ‘cost control’ and ‘austerity’ mode. This downturn is serious, and has all the hallmarks of imitating the 1986 crash, which wreaked havoc in the professional community and from which we needed seven to eight years to recover. It would be nice if all the companies had learned something from that extended downturn and will manage their human resources with more foresight and compassion. I am sure many have. But as a young graduate

"Working for nothing is a serious option!" these will be tough times indeed, and it would be wrong to sugar coat things and talk about ‘clouds with silver linings’. As always, the question is how bad and for how long. Few pundits agree, and most of the experts are bound to be wrong.

If you do not like this scenario, you may be in the wrong business, as we are all hostage to the vagaries of supply and demand, and it is difficult to see how it could ever change. Engineers and geoscientists who do take a risk and walk away do not lose any respect. And they are invariably welcomed back when the next upturn comes along. Working for nothing is a serious option! Downturns mean the oil price goes down, not the amount of work that engineers and geoscientists have to do in their companies. The lay-offs and recruiting freezes reflect financial health, not the long list of tasks that have to be done to keep energy and service companies fully functional. So offer your services to companies on an

‘extended internship’ deal. If you get your foot in the door like this - step one for any aggressive salesman, and remember, you are selling yourself - you might soon find yourself being offered employment on a salary after all. Another way to go is to work for a Masters or PhD. If you are now just getting your Bachelors degree, then some sort of post-graduate programme will build your experience and knowledge, while giving time for the industry to recover its equilibrium and start hiring again. However, carefully reread the paragraph above on mental toughness, because there are no guarantees we will be out of the current oversupply situation when you graduate a second time. Let’s hope the next contributor to this column will be writing in happier times!


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If you have either just graduated, or are about to graduate, what do you do? My advice would be to work on your mental toughness. The oil business has always gone through these price perturbations and there will be more in the future. If you are not worried about finding a job today, because you already have one, you could just as easily be worrying about losing it tomorrow. Of course, for every trough there is a peak when salaries soar, promotions are offered, bonuses are generously distributed, and all is well with the world. But then there will be another trough, and some of the most gifted in

our profession will find themselves out of work.

Peter Lloyd explains the FIELD Challenge competition.

the SIGN UP Shotaro Nakayama has started to climb the ladder in the Japanese oil company INPEX. He recounts his experience so far.


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Can you provide us with a brief description of your education and professional career to date? After graduating with an MSc in geoscience (seismology) from the University of Tokyo in 2007, I joined the Japanese oil and gas company INPEX. I received in-house training as an exploration geophysicist and worked on projects offshore Brazil, Suriname and Malaysia, and onshore Libya. Since 2010 I have been on assignment from INPEX to Abu Dhabi Marine Operating Company (ADMA-OPCO) involved in acquisition and processing projects offshore Abu Dhabi.

What convinced you to choose a career in the oil industry? I was seeking for an opportunity where I would be able to make use of the knowledge and experience of geophysics and geology that I had learned at university. It seemed to me that the oil industry would be the one that could satisfy my desire, and also I found I would be able to even develop and improve my skills.

Was there any special reason for going with your present employer? There were several reasons why I decided to join INPEX, particularly compared with other Japanese E&P companies

such as the job and the opportunities, the development plan for employees, the prospects for short and mid-long term business and the company people I met through several interviews.

What does your current position involve? Since 2010, I have been seconded to ADMA-OPCO, an operating company whose shares are held by ADNOC, BP, TOTAL and INPEX. I am assigned in a team responsible mainly for acquisition and processing projects.

What do you like about your job, and what if any are the downsides? Geophysics is only a part of my job but this is what I enjoy most. In addition to this, I have to deal with business perspective (time and cost). This involves working with people in different disciplines, often coming from different nationalities and cultures, who sometimes have a bit different mindset from geophysicists. This isn’t really a downside but I actually needed some time to get used to the environment. However, eventually I was able to make the adjustments necessary, and now I am enjoying those aspects not related to geophysics.

How does your company provide training and career opportunities? Both INPEX and ADMA-OPCO have provided me with a lot of training and career opportunities, not only in geophysics but also other perspectives. More importantly, I always try to convey which career direction I am looking at and what kind of training I need to follow. I believe this certainly helps me to manage and develop my career.

"Even within the oil and gas industry, your career will be quite different from one company to the next."

In your experience so far, what have been the highlights and low points of your education, training and professional work

Are you worried by the volatile nature of the business, e.g., the impact of the oil price collapse?

I have been working on a large 3D ocean bottom cable (OBC) seismic acquisition over oil and gas fields offshore Abu Dhabi. Through this project, I have gained a lot of knowledge and experience on several aspects of OBC seismic acquisition such as technical, operational and contractual perspectives. Additionally, I was able to publish three papers from this project in EAGE: one for EAGE conference and two for First Break.

I feel most people tend to focus on the nature of our business in the relatively short-term, i.e., a couple of months to a few years. Of course this short-term business change certainly has an impact both positive and negative. For example, there is a need to optimize our business plan primarily in terms of cost saving due to the current decrease in oil price. On the other hand, in the mid- to long-term, demand for oil and gas is likely to grow according to several forecasts, which will lead to a potential increase in oil price. Thus, I believe it is really important to have a short- as well as long-term vision when predicting how the business in this industry will turn out.

In 10 years, I see myself managing seismic operation, hopefully acquisition projects somewhere in the world, not only technical but also business aspects.

Of course, there is no question that it would be better for the environment if we stop or reduce the use of oil and gas. On the other hand, there is the fact that we cannot sustain the quality of our lives without natural resources. In my opinion, not only our industry but others too, need to consider the balance between environment and convenience of life though it is not easy to reach consensus on this point. There is one point I would like to emphasize. In any E&P company (as far as I know), HSE has been considered as a top priority. When I joined this industry, one of the biggest surprises that I had was the amount of effort being devoted to caring for and protecting the environment in each activity.

What advice would you give to young professionals considering a career in the oil and gas industry? Even within the oil and gas industry, your career will be quite different from one company to the next. It is really important to gather as much information as possible before you decide which company to join. In my case, through the job interviews, I was able to meet different people with different positions - experts, managers and senior executives - and to ask whatever questions I had. This certainly helped me to find out whether I would be able to match the industry and that company, with the kind of career I was envisioning.

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In what position do you see yourself in 10 years?

What do you say to people who sometimes question the ethical and environmental practices of the oil industry?


As mentioned previously, I needed sometime to accustom myself to working with people having different mindsets. I initially thought it was a low point of my work, but I eventually found those are essential elements of the work and learned a lot from this experience.

Image courtesy of CGG Data Library


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CGG WELCOMES NEW IDEAS FOR BREAKTHROUGH SEISMIC IMAGING Oil and gas exploration and production requires the very best seismic images to make informed decisions about the Earth’s complex geology and thereby reduce drilling risk. This is a challenge Chu-Ong Ting knows only too well as head of R&D within CGG’s Subsurface Imaging business line. To help develop ground-breaking imaging technologies, Chu-Ong is always looking for talented people to join his global team.

Can you tell us what your teams do? We have researchers and software developers at a dozen locations worldwide. Our mission is simple and clear - to innovate and develop cutting-edge technology to meet our customers’ imaging needs. Our R&D teams integrate closely with the Subsurface Imaging (SI) production teams located at our 40+ centres around the world, including our main hubs in Singapore, France, UK, Canada and the US, who they support to resolve our clients’ diverse imaging challenges.

computing. Their mission is to develop leading-edge algorithms, such as leastsquares migration and full waveform inversion that go beyond the limits of conventional imaging methods. We also have high-performance-computing developers revamping algorithm implementation to take advantage of the latest computing hardware. For example, we have successfully developed several high-end imaging algorithms on graphics processing unit (GPU) platforms, which help to improve project cycle time.

We have built R&D teams covering a wide range of expertise including signal processing, seismic wave propagation, inverse problem theory, and scientific

Yet seismic imaging is not just an algorithmic number-crunching exercise, it’s also about how results are displayed, visualized, interpreted and eventually analyzed,

These are just a few exciting examples of our R&D activities. We also work on projects spanning several business lines to innovate collaboratively on ideas that may potentially bring even greater impact to our customers and industry. Our projects can last from a few months to a few years, and very often, new unplanned short-term projects are born when people come up with awesome ideas that we had never even imagined.

Why is it rewarding? How can it not be rewarding? CGG’s Subsurface Imaging business line is widely recognized as the industry leader in providing the best-quality products. Working in its R&D department is definitely far from a trivial and boring experience. First, we don’t simply hire people to fill vacancies and take on routine tasks. We want our people, from new hires to managers, to make a difference to everything we do daily. We want to empower our people to grow in their responsibilities and widen their experience and expertise. Our regional managers work closely with individuals to identify their career paths and technical expertise.

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Chu-Ong Ting, 39, joined CGG in 2003 as a seismic processing geophysicist after graduating with a PhD in Physics from the University of Texas at Austin, USA and a BA in Physics from the National ChengKung University, Taiwan. In 2009 he was promoted to imaging director at CGG’s Houston centre where he supervised numerous production imaging projects as well as technology development. From 2012, he also supervised CGG’s Mexico processing centre. In October 2014 he became senior vice president, R&D for CGG’s Subsurface Imaging business Line. Chu-Ong is based in Massy, near Paris.



both quantitatively and qualitatively. This calls for strong interaction between science and art. Currently, we have graphics developers working on advanced 2D and 3D visualization packages to bring the latest visualization technology to our imaging teams as well as our clients.

R&D is closely integrated with our production imaging teams so we can work directly with them to test and deploy our technology. Occasionally, we have production imagers testing our algorithms who come back immediately with a ‘Wow!’ reaction. This is an extremely positive experience but, much of the time, the algorithms don’t work straightaway. This can be frustrating especially for new hires but getting feedback and even ideas from production imagers can help us re-align and move forward in the right direction. For me, having direct interaction with the production imaging teams is priceless for our R&D community. It helps us establish partnerships outside the R&D teams and experience the immediate impact of our work in the real world.


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Another rewarding experience is our interaction with consortia. CGG sponsors a few dozen international consortia around the world. This gives our R&D team a great opportunity to work with top researchers from some of the world’s most prestigious schools. Most of these consortia have their review meetings twice a year and we encourage our R&D people to attend and get involved in brainstorming for future technologies. Participation in consortia can bring us fresh ideas and perspective to fertilize our in-house projects and also establish strong connections with academia. Our researchers and imagers are also encouraged to publish their works collaboratively at international conferences such as the SEG and EAGE. They are able to meet up with their peers in these intellectually stimulating environments. It is the top priority of our managers to empower our talents, giving them the support to work on topics that will bring

great impact to our industry. I believe the journey is full of exciting and rewarding experiences.

How do careers develop? We have people with diversified skills and strengths, so our people development strategy has to be adapted so that our talents can be fully developed. We work very closely with our human resources group to review our talent management process frequently to ensure we have a tailored development plan based on individual performance. Our managers also foster a welcoming culture for the latest generation so their contributions are recognized. We try to be flexible when it comes to career development. Depending on the individual’s interests and strengths, we move people to different positions at different paces. We also transfer software developers into the research group, as well as move production people into various positions in R&D. Since we are supporting worldwide production centres, our people need to be open to following international career paths as they are often given the opportunity to move between different centres to meet local business needs. In terms of training, our CGG University, which runs courses for both our employees and the wider oil and gas industry, helps organize soft-skill classes for our technical staff so they can develop non-technical skills or eventually take on future leadership positions. In return, we also have researchers working parttime at CGG University to offer technical courses to production imagers or even external clients.

At certain stages of their career, we encourage our high performers to take on R&D projects that require global coordination and collaboration. This type of stretch assignment can provide them with global exposure as well as the chance to build relationships with their peers from other regions. This communication can be done either through video-conferencing or in-person meetings, normally held once every 1-2 months. In addition to R&D collaboration within SI, we also have several long-term transverse projects with experts from different business lines and divisions to bring CGG’s best talents together in solving our clients’ challenges.

What kind of people is CGG looking for? Even though our industry is currently going through tough times, we never stop looking for top talents who are ready to make an impact on technology. We are looking for creative thinkers who can look at things from a new perspective and bring new momentum. We need people who are curious and open-minded with a strong background in theoretical and numerical aspects; good at problem-solving and innovating together as a team. They have to be dynamic and flexible so they can be responsive in our international production-driven environment with its inherent cultural diversity and different time zones. For the more scientific research positions, we are looking for people with a Bachelor, Master or PhD in math, physics, geophysics or general engineering. For software developers, we seek computer engineers, computer scientists, electrical engineers, and anyone who has a strong scientific programming background.

"Because we work in teams to support production, good communication skills are essential."

THREE MEMBERS OF CGG’S SUBSURFACE IMAGING R&D TEAM DISCUSS THEIR CAREERS SO FAR RESEARCH AND TEACHING IS THE FORMULA FOR CAREER FULFILMENT Céline Lacombe, 39, has a PhD in seismology from Université Joseph Fourier, Grenoble and is a senior geophysical researcher based in CGG’s subsurface imaging centre in Massy near Paris.

In 2012, I decided to change. First, I moved to the R&D team in Massy, France. I also wanted to have more contact with people, and because I am very interested in teaching, I decided to start part-time as a trainer for CGG University. In this role, I trained company employees and also external clients. The course range was quite wide, from seismic processing for beginners to more advanced 4D processing. As a researcher in 4D processing, the 4D processing courses gave me a good opportunity to have direct discussions with the people using the tools I

developed. I was also able to show them the latest technologies, which made the training attractive for them. In 2014, I left CGG University to return fulltime to R&D, working on 4D and AVO. But I do still give some of the more advanced technical training courses when the need arises.

What do you do in your current job? I lead research projects to develop new technologies for time-lapse processing and AVO which means scientific skills such as mathematics, signal processing and geophysics are really important. Part of my job is to work alongside processing staff in the Massy centre to help them use these new technologies and provide support during processing projects. I also regularly support production teams worldwide. We can share screens to look at data or presentations easily. Because we work in teams to support production, good communication skills are essential. My projects are cross-disciplinary, mobilizing people from several different business lines such as marine geoscience research, land acquisition research and our GeoConsulting seismic reservoir characterization

team. It is very stimulating to work with people from different backgrounds. I work as part of an international team of nine with people located in Crawley, Oslo, Aberdeen and Massy. Cross-regional projects can only work when good communication is in place. We have video conference meetings every two weeks where projects are reviewed and discussed. Our weekly activity report is sent to the entire team so that we all know what is happening. In between meetings, we share a common database for documents so that we all have access to the same information. For one-to-one communication within the team, we tend to use the phone for more personalized communication.

What do you like about your job? Firstly, working in an international environment is a great opportunity to learn about others and to interact with teams at other sites. It’s also fulfilling to work for a technology-driven company like CGG that provides opportunities for people from different backgrounds and skills to progress and try new things. As a large international company, it allows career moves, either between business lines or internationally.

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I joined CGG in 2002 straight after my PhD. I started out working for the R&D team at CGG’s London centre where I worked on time-lapse and signal processing projects. In 2007, I was offered a position as a researcher in one of CGG’s client-dedicated centres in Aberdeen where I worked on 4D processing research projects with the client. I enjoyed this time as it gave me a unique opportunity to work in close collaboration with the oil company’s geophysicists and interpreters in their office every day. This allowed me to better understand their needs and how they use the data we deliver.


Tell us about your career so far?

INSPIRED TO THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX Gordon Poole, 39, has a BSc in Geophysics from Leicester University, UK and is currently a research principal in CGG’s Crawley subsurface imaging centre in the UK.

How has you career developed? After graduation I started out in production data processing as a processing geophysicist for another geophysical company. I quickly progressed to running my own projects, including one of the first time-lapse processing jobs in the industry. After three years I moved into research where I wrote data viewing software. It was useful to write such software after being in processing as I knew what the geophysicists wanted. In 2002 I joined CGG and worked again in processing for 18 months before joining its Subsurface Imaging research department. I initially worked on data regularization in 2D which was an emerging technology at that time and gradually progressed on to a 3D implementation and later to 5D data regularization. Over time I have moved through several research positions in CGG, most recently becoming research principal last year.


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Tell us about your current job and why you enjoy it? I am currently working in the areas of simultaneous acquisition, deghosting and multiple attenuation. Some of my projects are cross-business which means I work closely with our Marine Acquisition business line and chief technology officer (CTO) to ensure processing technology is keeping up with acquisition innovations.

New acquisition techniques always involve new processing challenges. For one such new technique, simultaneous shooting, many different acquisition geometries may be used which all bring different processing challenges. I have regular videoconferences with the CTO and marine groups to discuss new ideas, communicate our work and the challenges we’ve encountered. I also make regular trips to our Massy site as well as occasional business trips further afield to present our research work to clients as well as brainstorm with my colleagues. I enjoy the challenges set by various business lines’ strategies which inspire me to think outside the box and go the extra mile to find solutions. I am pulled in several directions with my responsibilities to support the processing centres as well as longer-term research, and I find this stimulating. There are lots of interesting projects being awarded to CGG and I enjoy the feeling of providing new solutions to the problems encountered during processing.

What key skills are needed in R&D? A thorough understanding of data processing as well as good computer programming and mathematical skills are essential. It’s also useful to have the ability to adapt technology that has success in one area to solve problems in another.

"New acquisition techniques always involve new processing challenges."

"I like the challenge of R&D because we're working on leading edge technologies that no one has ever done before"


My PhD research focused mainly on variational methods for image and geometry processing. After graduating from NTU, I continued my research as a postdoc at the Israel Institute of Technology for one year and then joined CGG three and a half years ago. I started out working as a software developer in the APAC programming team for over two years where I focused on GPU and high-performance computing applications.

As an example of our work, we came up with a new type of programming model which can more effectively and efficiently utilize hardware. We first developed two prototype modules, which our Houston team helped to integrate into our processing software system and then the production teams in Singapore, Houston and Crawley helped to finalize all the production testing. Last year, I presented this new model to our SEVP, Geology, Geophysics & Reservoir and now it’s being used in production.

still working on them! Also, teamwork is always better than working alone, because someone will always remind you about something you’ve never considered. Working with people from different cultures and educational backgrounds helps us to see different aspects of the problem, and makes the whole process more fun. Moreover, the different technological needs driven by the variety of geologies in different regions make us develop a complete global solution for our clients.

What is your current job at CGG?

What makes your job interesting?

What else can you tell us about your job in R&D?

I’m currently a research geophysicist in our APAC research team working on improving seismic images. Our daily work is to develop and support processing modules worldwide and provide cross-regional cooperation. I’m currently assigned to a joint project with our Crawley centre involving five people and we organize weekly video conference meetings to catch up with progress and exchange ideas. We also discuss how work should be divided and what the objectives are for the next week.

I like the challenge of R&D because we’re working on leading-edge technologies that no one has ever done before. It’s also stimulating because of the collaborative working environment among highly skilled colleagues. I appreciate the support our managers give us to dedicate our work time to do experimentation, thinking and testing new ideas. The big benefit of working on cross-regional projects is that when you’re asleep, your colleagues in other parts of world are

The working environment is friendly and sometimes joyful. Fast learners can always find opportunity to grow. Every year we are given plenty of training to improve not only our technological skills but also our soft skills. Excellent programming skills and a strong mathematics or physics background are also necessary. Communication skills and a collaborative team spirit are useful as well as excellent problem-solving skills and a strong focus on results.


Tell us about your background?

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Wang Yu, 33, has a Bsc and Msc in Mathematics from Sichuan University, China and a PhD in computational mathematics from Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore and is currently a research geophysicist in CGG’s Singapore subsurface imaging centre.

A MAJOR BONUS WORKING FOR PDO IN OMAN Hamed Bulushi provides some insight into working for Petroleum


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Development of Oman after nearly eight years in the company.

Can you provide us with a brief description of your education and professional career to date?

Was there any special reason for going with your present employer?

In 2002 I joined Sultan Qaboos University as a student in the Department of Earth Sciences. I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in earth sciences and was then offered an opportunity to work for Petroleum Development of Oman (PDO) as a petroleum engineer.

PDO is the foremost exploration and production company in the Sultanate of Oman. It accounts for more than 70% of the country’s crude oil production and nearly all of its natural gas supply. It offers a multi-cultural work environment, career development opportunities and competitive remuneration packages. PDO´s vision is to be renowned for the excellence of its people and the value it creates for Oman and its stakeholders. In addition it is considered the best in the country in terms of staff development.

By end of 2007 after four months of intensive E&P industry introductory grounding, I started as an operations geologist for the Nimr Cluster. I was responsible for planning, interpretation, coordination and execution of the corporate well delivery process. This involved planning and following daily operations for more than 80 wells (vertical, horizontal and multi-lateral) in complex clastic fields in the South of Oman. Since late 2011 I have been working in the challenging position of production (appraisal) geologist focusing on reservoir characterization and 3D geological modelling for clastic reservoirs in the South of Oman. In addition I am responsible for well planning and coordinating well proposals and drilling plans.

What convinced you to choose a career in the oil industry? It is a challenging and rewarding industry that is considered amongst the top professions in global opportunities. The industry provides mobility, work-life balance, training and qualifications, future career growth prospects and relatively high salaries.

What does your current position involve? In support of PDO Nimr Cluster's shared vision ´Unity of our collective talent will enable a sustained 100,00 bbl/d plateau over the next 10 years´, I am currently working on two different oil fields; one is a brown field consisting of 200 million m3 of STOIIP where we are executing an existing field development plan that includes primary field development, a large-scale water injection project and trials of some EOR concepts. My tasks focus mainly on well planning and coordinating well proposals and drilling plans. On the other relatively smaller field I am mainly working on reservoir characterization and 3D geological modelling and incorporating relevant aspects of other disciplines in order to support field development activities for the purpose of maximizing hydrocarbon recovery.

"Oil companies need to change their strategy with respect to oil price..." opportunities. My plan would be to further develop my technical competencies as a geologist via the study centre. Once I feel that I have developed strong technical expertise I would like to pursue managerial opportunities. I believe having a strong technical ability is a key element to becoming a successful manager.

Are you worried by the volatile nature of the business, e.g., the impact of the oil price collapse?

How does your company provide training and career opportunities? PDO is one of the best local companies in developing its staff. The company supports graduate and post graduate programmes in industry related disciplines. It ensures competency development of its staff via various learning programmes and training (in-house and overseas), seminars and conferences and through the company’s e-learning, distance-learning and web-based network. There are opportunities to gain unique work experience abroad through an exchange with a Shell-based office anywhere in the world depending on the availability of a vacancy, the relevance of the job in your career development and the company’s business needs.

In what position do you see yourself in 10 years? It is a tough question because it not only depends on one’s personal situation but also on business needs and

What do you say to people who sometimes question the ethical and environmental practices of the oil industry? It could be the case in the past; but nowadays I believe most operators, if not all, are very strict when it comes to the health, safety and environment practices. The ethics of the industry vary from nation to nation and I happen to be very fortunate that Oman does not allow and accept unethical practices within the industry. Hence I am not too concerned with this aspect.

What advice would you give to young professionals considering a career in the oil and gas industry? It is an evolving and dynamic industry in which there are always challenges and the learnings never cease. Once you take a path in this industry, be prepared to expand your knowledge and seek out a good coach and mentor at the beginning of your career until you establish yourself as a standalone professional. Always ensure that you build expertise in different technical and non-technical areas as this will allow you to be well grounded in the future.

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What I like most about being a petroleum engineer (production geologist) is the integration between all petroleum engineering disciplines within the asset team and having the opportunity to work in small, medium and large scale projects. As a result of the fast track and intensive daily operations I do not find sufficient time to focus on my own studies. This remains the only drawback for me in my current position.


What do you like about your job, and what if any are the downsides?

That is the nature of business it is never stable and can get affected by many factors. It remains a concern for many people in the industry but in my case as an employee in a national oil company there is no risk in terms of job security and the company continues developing its staff whenever required. In my opinion volatility in oil price is good chance for organisations to evaluate their businesses and projects in order to further streamline the business to ensure efficiency in a cost effective manner. Oil and gas companies need to change their strategy with respect to oil price as it will always be volatile and should always be prepared for such events in order to ensure long-term sustainability.

WHY A SUSTAINABLE PETROLEUM WORKFORCE IS VITAL Deirdre O’Donnell, managing director of specialist petroleum recruitment company Working Smart since its establishment in 1996, reflects on her experience of the impacts of


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downturns in the upstream oil and gas industry.


very day we are faced with more news about the state of our great industry. Some news is optimistic, predicting an upturn by the end of 2015. Other forecasts are less encouraging, and assume prices will remain low until mid- to late 2016. Like any commodity, oil and gas prices are affected by market forces over which we have little control. Only time will tell what will be achieved in the months ahead, but there is little doubt that global demand for hydrocarbons will continue to rise, leading

to a return to a more healthy exploration and production (E&P) business environment. As in all downturns, cuts are inherent. We have already seen tens of thousands laidoff globally and more workforce reductions are expected to come. The casualties have been many, but more worrying is the expertise being lost to companies and our industry as a whole. Costs may have to be cut to meet the short-term expectations

of company shareholders, but what about the long-term damage caused when we lose valued individuals, many of whom have unique knowledge. This serves to reinforce an already negative perception about the industry amongst talented young people considering their future career paths?

Time for reflection History tells us again and again that it is a great tragedy to ignore past mistakes,

“History tells us again and again that it is a great tragedy to ignore past mistakes, yet as an industry we appear to be adept at doing so.”

Oil prices as low as $9 per barrel led to major production cuts, mergers, acquisitions, and layoffs. Reuters reported that there were 50,000 job-cuts globally over the three month period January–March 1999. Organisational structures changed within months, and the ‘Flexible Organisation’, which had been around in other industries for many years, was forced upon us. Many companies decided to gain financial, numerical and functional flexibility through outsourcing what they considered ‘non-core’ activities (see Figure 1). Research undertaken by Working Smart in 1999 examined how that year’s crash impacted the structure of E&P companies. It found a major growth in the number of consultants and a shift in how they were contractually engaged and paid. New graduate hires reduced as oil and gas companies hired for their core activi-

Meanwhile, universities saw a major decline in the number of graduates entering science and engineering. Enrolments in the Department of Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering at Austin Texas University plummeted more than 80%, from a high of 1200 in 1982 to 222 in 1999. In 2001 there were 1300 students enrolled in undergraduate petroleum engineering programs in the US – a reduction of more than 11,000 since 1983 (Source: US Congressional Record – 26 June, 2001, 12196).

2008 crash The years 2003 to 2008 saw a steady improvement in graduate recruitment and training and development spend, and overall good-times prevailed. The pipeline of young geoscientists and engineers was being replenished, albeit slowly, but pro-

gress was being made. Some initiatives as to how to engage more effectively with young people were also coming to the fore. In 2006 Working Smart researched leading geoscience and petroleum universities in the UK to determine the career choices of their current and past graduates. The study discovered that a staggering 52% of geoscience graduates joined other industries. It was widely recognised that greater collaboration and support between the E&P industry and academia was required in order to counteract this situation. However, the global economic downturn in 2008 saw tumbling oil prices and the commencement of another cycle of layoffs and cost cutting measures. In January 2009, an estimated 100,000 staff were laid-off from the oil and gas industry as a whole in the US and this trend was reflected elsewhere. 2008 was another poor year for graduate hires across all industries with a 28.2% decrease in graduate intake across the oil and energy sector (Source: High Fliers Research, June 2009).

Fierce competition From 2010 to 2014, we witnessed a vibrant recruitment market for experienced personnel, especially for consultants. Competition was fierce and with it came escalating day rates, salary packages and a requirement for strong negotiations. Our graduate registrations soared, which was

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1999 crash

ties only and numbers were low. At the same time, many oilfield service companies also cancelled their graduate programmes. Many technological research and development (R&D) projects were abandoned, outsourced, or offloaded to service partners. Training and staff development budgets were also severely cut. Overall industry recruitment remained low until 2002/2003, leading to today’s low mid-career demographic. The adage of ‘a company is only as good as its people’ died a death. The ‘career for life’ model had truly been expunged in our industry. Loyalty on both sides took a battering.


yet as an industry we appear to be adept at doing so when it comes to ensuring a qualified workforce for the future. The ‘great crew change’ debate was first identified in 2005 and it was widely recognised that a large demographic of experienced professionals were close to the end of their careers (i.e. >50% more than 50 years old); we had a decline in new graduate intake; and we had a considerable shortage of mid-career personnel. How did we get to this situation?















Flexible organisational





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structure through outsourcing.

encouraging for our industry, but unfortunately with more than 150 applicants for most graduate roles, of which over 40% had or were studying towards an MSc, it was not a healthy state of affairs. In addition, companies were so busy doing their day-to-day work that they did not have time to support new graduates and so the cycle continued. The current downturn appears to be more characteristic of 1999. The service industry has been badly affected, with reported costs cuts of 45%, and layoffs in the region of tens of thousands for some of the larger players. Many oil and gas companies have cut exploration programmes, shut down wells and laid-off large numbers of highly qualified personnel. Many of Working Smart’s 3000+ registered consultants have already adjusted their day rate expectations, some by as much as 35%.

Recruitment challenges Like all aspects of the E&P value chain, recruitment costs have been cut and therefore agencies need to address their pricing models whilst maintaining a high level of service. Working Smart has developed specialist technologies to reduce cost while optimally matching the skills of potential recruits to employers’ needs. For example, an online screening capability, tailored by job role, combined with an up-front interview report and video-conference interviews, removes the expense of flying potential candidates to remote locations. Working Smart is also assisting its E&P company clients manage redundancies by offering outplacement services; working with their employees to prepare for and secure other roles; helping them to position their skill set, prepare attractive

CVs, set up consultancy practices, and consider how and where to investigate roles outside our industry. There is a high level of nervousness in the market with concern over job security. On the flip side, candidates are less likely to move to a new employer for fear of redundancy. Those who have long tenure are hoping to reap high redundancy packages. Above all, we need to be honest and realistic with candidates about opportunities and earning capabilities. From a recruitment perspective we are faced with many long-term challenges, not least of which is the loss of expertise. Oil & Gas IQ research of 67,000 members concluded that ‘half of all geophysicists and engineers would leave the industry by 2018’. Research by Schlumberger in 2014 stated that retirement rates were 20% for people aged 55-59, 50% for those

aged 60-64, and 70% for those over 65. Working Smart’s 2011 research, performed with support from the American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG) found the average age for retirement was 65, with 23% working beyond this age as contractors. We have already witnessed many leaving the industry – their 2008 pension pot has been restocked or the redundancy package has enabled other interests. Our challenge is to continue to engage with this remaining demographic, to retain their interest and enthusiasm as their expertise will no doubt be required, especially when the upturn comes.

There is also a shortage of leaders. The most sought after demographic in recent years has been the 12-15 years experienced candidate (circa 33-40 age) who represents 9-13% of our workforce (based on industry society statistics and the Working Smart database). Companies are investing heavily in this group for future leadership roles. Research by Schlumberger in 2014 indicated that the industry would have to generate 60% more leaders over the period 2013-2017 than in the previous four years. Identifying and securing the next generation of leaders is a challenge that might require looking outside our industry. Maintaining interest at graduate level requires greater collaboration between our industry and academia. We need to engage with young geoscientists and engineers, support their learning and involvement in industry, and improve their awareness and interaction with potential employers. Building the pipeline may

require extending the engagement to young people before they decide on their university courses, creating enthusiasm for the exciting engineering and science challenges of our industry. As recruiters, companies like Working Smart need to remain focused and proactive in trying to support the resource challenges we face as an industry. Recruitment is our business, its remit is wide and it affects a diversity of individuals. Working closely together with E&P companies and their employees we can take control of some of these challenges and overcome them. Working Smart was established in 1996 as a specialist upstream oil and gas recruitment company providing permanent and contract staff to the global upstream oil and gas industry. The company works closely with its clients and candidates and has developed a strong loyal international base. Having already experienced the crashes of 1999 and 2008, it is confident that its service quality and expertise will support the company through this downturn.

Offshore platform workplace.


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Certain skill shortages have already become apparent, especially in the engineering disciplines. LM Survey states that ‘33% of businesses in the upstream oil and gas sector have hard-to-fill roles’. We need to harness expertise by identifying advisors and mentors and helping them share their knowledge. Research by Working Smart in 2011 revealed that 77% of the over 55s mentored; however, only 9% did this through formal programmes, 31% on a one-to-one basis and 60% through team

participation. A better structured system may be required if mentoring programmes are to deliver results.




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FOR EAGE’S WOMEN’S SPECIAL INTEREST GROUP EAGE founded its Women in Geoscience and Engineering Special Interest Community (WGE SIC) in November 2013. Already the network is building in its bid to support women’s careers and experience in the oil and gas industry.

”As we have a large number of talented professional women across the globe, WGE SIC aims to provide them with a platform for networking and to promote activities that increases their participation in technical committees, awards nominations, workshops, courses, and many other activities to share their experience and pass on knowledge.” Nadia Al-Zeabot (R&D Senior Planner at Kuwait Oil Company)

The WGE SIC is led by a committee. Six EAGE female members volunteer to take

responsibility for main roles within the WGE SIC network for a period of two years. At this time the committee comprises of the WGE SIC chairperson Nadia Al-Zeabot (Kuwait Oil Company); co-chair Caroline Le Turdu (Schlumberger); discussion moderator chair and co-chair, respectively Andrea Cadena (Marathon Oil) and Susanne Lehndorfer (PGS); social media chair Mariella Amza-Prein (Paradigm Geophysical) and social media co-chair Núria Fatjo de Martin (CEPSA E&P). Explaining the mission, chairperson Nadia Al-Zeabot states: ‘As we have a large number of talented professional women across the globe, WGE SIC aims to provide

them with a platform for networking and to promote activities that increases their participation in technical committees, awards nominations, workshops, courses, and many other activities to share their experience and pass on knowledge.’ Since the start in 2013 the WGE SIC has indeed been successful in providing the planned networking platform. Using LinkedIn as a communication platform, the group currently consists of close to 350 members and we welcome as many as possible to join. Al-Zeabot says: ‘We encourage all women to join WGE SIC on LinkedIn, get involved in posted discussions, and participate in future activities to

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he WGE SIC aims to be a worldwide reference group for women in Geosciences and Engineering. It was created by EAGE to facilitate communication amongst women and to promote their active participation in EAGE related activities. Its mission is to enable the exchange and mutual support among EAGE members, particularly women, for increased professional competitiveness and retention in the geoscience/engineering industry through promoting scientific knowledge, mentoring and guidance on career development.



“We encourage all women to join WGE SIC on LinkedIn, get involved in posted discussions, and participate in future activities to enrich themselves as well as others with an influential exchange of thoughts, experiences and support from the tremendously growing female community within our industry.” Nadia Al-Zeabot Gladys Gonzalez, former EAGE president, introducing the special session in Amsterdam.

Through the LinkedIn group a wide range of topics for discussion, mentoring, motivation are covered. Announcements from EAGE Board and committees are also shared. Initiatives such as ‘Motivation Monday’ and ‘Advice of the Month’ are meant to inspire career success, help find balance between personal and professional lives or simply encourage people by letting them know that they are not the only ones with these challenges.

Exhibition in Amsterdam in 2014 hosted a special session ‘Women in Geoscience and Engineering’. Two amazing speakers were invited to share their experiences and their advice for success in the energy industry. The session started with a short introduction by Gladys Gonzalez (EAGE President 2013-2014) and the WGE SIC committee members. Then, Roberta Camuffo (exploration director, North America & Brazil, Repsol) and Intisaar Al-Kindy (exploration director, Petroleum Development Oman) took over with inspiring speeches. The meeting was closed with some time for questions, discussion and the opportunity to mingle.

LinkedIn is not the only place for this community to meet up and engage with each other. The 76th EAGE Conference and

Based on the success of the special session in Amsterdam, another session will be held during the EAGE Annual Meeting in


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enrich themselves as well as others with an influential exchange of thoughts, experiences and support from the rapidly growing female community within our industry.’

Madrid on 2 June 2015. The session will feature two inspirational speakers: Susan Rosenbaum (Schlumberger) and Bettina Bachmann (Shell) will provide their insights on How to navigate a successful career in the oil & gas business and on Making choices and choosing opportunities in life: technical vs management options. The talks will be followed by an interactive discussion moderated by Gladys Gonzalez, the first EAGE female president, and time to mingle with fellow participants. So whether it is through LinkedIn or by attending the special session in Madrid, join, participate and enrich yourself and others with an exchange of thoughts, experiences and support from the constantly growing female community within the energy industry.

Sustainable Earth Sciences Third Sustainable Earth Sciences Conference & Exhibition 2015 13-15 October 2015 | Celle, Germany EAGE would like to invite you to register for the Third Sustainable Earth Science Conference & Exhibition (SES 2015). Following the theme ‘Use of the Deep Subsurface to Serve the Energy Transition’, this conference aims to provide geoscientists with discussion, learning experiences and networking opportunities. SES 2015 will be linked with the Second EAGE Workshop on Geomechanics and Energy,, themed ‘The Ground as Energy Source and Storage’. Participants will have the opportunity to visit both events. You can find SES 2015 online at and on LinkedIn!

Register Now! Deadline: 1 October 2015




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Native wit and personal modesty, thorough knowledge of the subject and readiness for new challenges, vast experience of practical work, tireless inquisitiveness and, most important, readiness to impart the knowledge and experience to the younger generation — these are the qualities you would eagerly seek in a teacher or mentor for students with ambition. Universities in Russia take great pride in the increasing number of their talented young teachers. We are pleased to introduce one of them — Sergey Shimansky, associate professor of geophysics at the Institute of Earth Sciences of St. Petersburg State University since 2012. He graduated from the department of geology of St Petersburg State University. In 2011, he earned the degree of candidate of geological and mineralogical sciences in geophysics and geophysical methods of mineral exploration. His PhD dissertation was on ‘The depositional environments and the forecast of zones of reservoir development in productive Jurassic complexes of the southern part of the West Siberian oil-and-gas province on the basis of integration of seismic data with the results of lithofacial analysis’. Between 2003-2007, he worked as a geophysicist at the St Petersburg data processing centre of Naryan-Mar Seismorazvedka. This was followed by a leading geophysicist position at ARIS Nefterazvedka executing a number of projects in the Gulf of Cambay (Gujarat, India), off the northeast coast of Sakhalin and in the transit zone of the Mediterranean Sea (Israel). During the same period, he was under contract to the oil department of FGUNPP Geologorazvedka performing complex analysis of seismic and GIS data for facies modelling on a number of fields in the West Siberian oil and gas province. Now, as associate professor of geophysics, his main scientific interests are hydrocarbon systems modelling, paleogeographic reconstruction, and dynamic interpretation of seismic data.

What did you study and where? I received both my Bachelor and then Masters in geology at the department of geology of St Petersburg State University. It was also where I obtained my PhD in geological and mineralogical sciences. I specialized in geophysics. During my third year I started working part time at the St Petersburg data processing centre of Naryan-Mar Seismorazvedka where I got to know the basics of seismic data processing and interpretation. I studied both land and marine seismic techniques during field work in India. In 2007 I joined a small Russian company undertaking seismic survey work in the transit zone of the Gulf of Cambay (northwest of the Indian peninsula), focusing on quality control and data processing. A task as complex as subsurface imaging on the basis of seismic data recorded

via various types of sources and receivers provided me the opportunity to acquire the necessary knowledge and practical skills.

What is your current position and what skills are required? Since 2012 I hold the position of associate professor of geophysics. Currently I teach five courses (geological interpretation of geophysical data in hydrocarbons prospecting; complex analysis of near-surface geophysics and GIS data; sedimentary basins; basics of geological modelling; and also additional topics for the course on seismic exploration for graduate students). Teaching any course assumes comprehensive study of the subject, a systematic approach to the analysis of literature and structuring the knowledge gained. The skills of public speaking are also necessary. This particular skill comes in handy beyond the classroom and can make a big difference to presentations at conferences. Nevertheless, an associate professor requires both scientific and pedagogical skills, and above all the scientific ones. The sphere of my scientific interests focus mainly on seismic exploration, facies modelling and basin analysis. Besides scientific and pedagogical activity I have a number of administrative duties, such as the organization of guest lectures, supervising student chapters, and providing assistance in field work organization. For all this it’s essential to be sociable and fluent in English.

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I represent the third generation of oil geologists in our family, but it doesn’t mean that I didn’t consider other options in my career. Most of my schoolmates chose to study economics or law. It was obvious to me that the discipline most demanded in real life would be the sciences related to the exploitation of mineral resources, the basis of our country's economy. Besides, geology allows you to combine studies of the most ancient history of the Earth with the most advanced modern technologies, and that is very exciting.


What brought you into geosciences?

"I represent the third generation of oil geologists in our family..."

Why did you decide to work at the Institute of Earth Sciences? A few years ago St Petersburg State University launched a new specialization — oil and gas business. For me, as a young student of of geological and mineralogical sciences, it was interesting to participate in the development of this new specialization at my alma mater. Moreover, at that time I had two principal activities — academic science and production. The production activity was field processing of seismic data. In parallel I conducted scientific research in facies modelling on the basis of seismic exploration and GIS data. The scientific component of my work was simply more interesting to me, and I was happy to grab the opportunity of becoming associate professor at St Petersburg State University. To tell the truth, it was a difficult choice. Sometimes I miss those carefree days when I was an eternally suntanned field specialist and could go to work in shorts and a t-shirt.


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What do you like and dislike about your job? Every day at the university I learn something new, every day I grow as the expert. So for me the university is the right place. At the Institute my colleagues are engaged in all areas of geoscience: from global evolution of the Earth to studying substances at the nuclear and molecular level. Moreover, cooperation with foreign higher education institutions allows us to communication with the world’s leading experts. We are able to make use for research purposes any equipment which is available at the numerous resource centres of the university. It is difficult to say what I dislike about my work. Perhaps it is the shortage of time and the impossibility to always be able to follow the interesting new directions which appear in my specialty.

What were the defining moments in your career and how did they influence you professionally? In 2003 as a second-year student, I was very fortunate to participate in my first international conference in Cairo. It was a shocking experience. Honestly, I could understand very little from what I heard, but I also realized that I definitely wanted to understand everything that was said. The second moment was my internship after the third year, which I spent with PetroAlliance. The company was a solid group of professionals with huge computing capacities and modern software — all this seemed to me like science fiction turned into reality. I could really feel the power and versatility of seismic exploration

as a tool for petroleum geology. Yet another moment was my first business trip to India. Hello adventures! I definitely chose the right profession! After the Indian project I went to Sakhalin, from there to Israel, and then to the Barents and Kara Seas. Finally, I understood that my chosen profession, probably as well as any part of geosciences, was an ideal combination of an interesting job and romanticism.

What role did EAGE play in your professional development? EAGE is a fantastic means of communication with the best experts in geosciences, a great opportunity ‘to watch others and show off yourself’. At EAGE conferences it is possible to experience current trends in the oil and gas industry, learn about the new achievements of colleagues and make your own statement. For a scientist, it is also possible to publish in journals with a high impact-factor. I participate in EAGE Educational days (as a listener so far) and find this event extraordinarily important. At these short courses you can check whether what you are doing is correct, according to high international standards. and what needs further improvement. EarthDoc also became an irreplaceable resource for me that I use almost on a daily basis. When you need to select literature on any topic of geosciences, there is no better way.

In what position do you see yourself 10 years from now? Of course, professor of geophysics!… and, why not, an EAGE Distinguished Lecturer!

What advice can you give to young specialists for a successful professional career? If you are still a university student, pay attention to all disciplines. You shouldn’t consider, if you specialize in seismic, that geochemistry, for example, will never come in useful. I think that in the modern world it is impossible to stay a narrowly focused expert. All new discoveries are made on the crossroads of sciences, and the majority of top positions in the service and production companies are occupied by people whose careers involved several specializations. If you already earned a degree and have a job, continue to develop even if your work routine is busy. For example, find the time to visit a short course related to your specialization, or participate in a webinar. I am sure, you will feel deep satisfaction from learning something new and you will certainly find application for this new knowledge.

Important dates Deadline Call for Abstracts

01 October 2015

Early Rate Exhibition

01 October 2015

Deadline Early Registration

25 January 2016

Deadline Late Registration

20 March 2016

Under standing t he Harmony of t he Ear t h’s Resou rces t hrough Integ ration of Geosc iences

7 th Saint Petersburg International Conference & Exhibition Saint Petersburg, Russia

! E T A D E H T E SAV 11-14 April 2016

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The ‘big crew change’ is under way in the oil and gas industry as a generation of geoscientists and petroleum engineers hired before the deep recruitment cuts of the mid-1980s is approaching retirement age. For this reason, young professionals will play an increasingly important role in the oil and gas industry as the ‘big crew change’ continues.

share experience and knowledge, and be situated in the right place for networking within the global oil and gas industry. A committee of three people oversees the YP SIC with the chairperson also reporting to the EAGE Committee for Membership and Co-operation. Currently, the committee comprises YP SIC chairperson Filippo Broggini (ETH Zürich), and committee members Romain Chassagne (Heriot-Watt

University) and Dan Clarke (BG Group). EAGE Oil & Gas Division Committee members Craig Duguid (Tullow Oil) and David Halliday (Schlumberger Gould Research) provide additional support to the committee. In 2014, activities centred on both the creation and growth of a LinkedIn group to facilitate online communication between the members. Additionally, activities at the

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he Young Professional Special Interest Community (YP SIC) is aimed at industry professionals (aged 35 or under) in the early stages of their careers. It was created to ensure that an active community of young professionals exists within the EAGE, and that the expectations of its members can be better articulated. The community aims to provide an ideal platform for young professionals to start establishing their presence in the industry,




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Broggini, YP SIC Chair.

76th EAGE Annual Meeting in Amsterdam featured a presentation by Dirk Smit (Shell chief scientist for geophysics) titled Exploring the Past to See into the Future: Geophysics’ Role in the Energy Transition. Another highlight at the 76th Annual Meeting in Amsterdam was the inclusion of a young professional at the opening ceremony. Pierre-Olivier Lys (Total) made an impressive contribution as a panel member during the opening ceremony debate on Experience the Energy – Good boundaries make good neighbours.

To emphasize its commitment towards the community, EAGE annually presents the Arie van Weelden Award to a young professional who has made a highly significant contribution to one or more of the disciplines in our Association. For 2015, the eligibility for this award has been changed to be in line with that for membership of the YP SIC, and EAGE Awards Committee chair Phil Christie reported that ‘…the van Weelden category attracted five top-class candidates this year, increasing last year’s nominations in both number and overall strength, most probably due to the harmonisation of age qualification with EAGE young professionals.’ As the YP SIC keeps growing, the aim is to build on the first year’s activities. Another

All young professionals are invited to join the LinkedIn group to participate in discussions and to discover the opportunities available. These opportunities range from involvement in reviewing material for the Annual Meeting, to co-chairing technical sessions, and especially participating in the organisation of future events for young professionals. The current membership criterion for the YP SIC is to be 35 years or younger. Full details can be found on the EAGE home page.

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Dr Filippo

special session for young professionals is planned for the 2015 Annual Meeting in Madrid with the participation of three guest speakers: Johan Robertsson (ETH Zürich) on Some Perspectives on Working in Research in Industry and Academia, Francesco Perrone (CGG) on From a PhD Program to the Industry - Back to School Again, and Kristian Mogensen (ENI) on A Career in a Mid-Size Operating Company. The special session will be held on Wednesday 3rd June at 14:30 in the Retiro room.


Additionally, the EAGE Middle East office organized the Second EAGE Middle East Forum for Students and Young Professionals. This event was held at the Sultan Qaboos University in Muscat, Oman, with the theme of Empowering and Developing Young Talents.

2015 Here are two ‘learned’ suggestions which will greatly


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enhance your visit to EAGE’s Annual Meeting.




625  IHRDC






‘There are many ways of going forward, but only one of standing still’ is one of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s famous quotes. As a professional in the oil and gas industry it’s important to keep on learning as the industry is rapidly evolving and standing still is therefore not an option. As Roosevelt writes there are many ways of going forward. Whether it is by finding a new job or following a course, one thing is for certain: to stand still is to backslide. During the Annual Conference & Exhibition in Madrid, EAGE offers a variety of ways to keep on learning. Two of the most important are the Job Centre where you will be able to find companies recruiting and the Learning Geoscience Area where you will find companies offering various training opportunities and courses.

Job Centre It doesn’t need to be said that the Job Centre is the place where students, young



and experienced professionals get in touch with various companies that are recruiting. It is also an opportunity to expand your network. Besides talking with your possible new employer, companies in the Job Centre can help you find out what the must-have qualifications are for the job you desire. You’ll get to know what a job in geoscience is like with a specific employer.

Learning Geoscience area Following training programmes is a great way to develop the professional skills you need. That’s why EAGE has set up a Learning Geoscience Area at the Annual Exhibition. Various training companies have signed up for a booth in the location to show you their courses and training programmes for your lifelong learning experience. The maps above show the companies that will be represented at the Job Centre and Learning Geoscience Area in Madrid.

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Word must have got around by now that EAGE always puts on a rewarding and fun Student Programme intended to help you mix with your international peers, meet representatives from a variety of companies and share your work during the student technical programme. This year we aim to ‘fuel your future’ with a variety of activities taking place from Monday 1 June to Thursday 4 June. Read on to get a flavour of what’s on the agenda.

The central place to meet fellow students, network with industry professionals, and gather for a large variety of the student activities organized during the conference is the Student Court, located at booth #1120 on the exhibition floor. You can visit the Student Court from the Icebreaker Reception on Monday evening onwards. The Court is where our traditional GeoQuiz and Recruitment Café will be organized. For those in need of some golden tips about recruitment and entering the job market, the Recruitment Café is the place to be on Wednesday afternoon. Here students will meet the representatives of the student activity sponsors and receive advice on job opportunities, the current market and the developments in the industry. A more formal way to meet up with the sponsors and to practice job interview skills is through participation in the trial Interviews. This year, the Student Court is larger than ever, hosting the Siesta Lounge Corner, the EAGE Student Chapters area and the EAGE Gold Rush activity. The staff present at the Student

Court can also assist you with finalising your student registration, learning more about how EAGE can help you with your future career development and guiding you towards our sponsors and recruiters.

Find gold in the Student Court If you are at the conference to find golden opportunities, then you have come to the right place. This year, you can find actual gold with our EAGE Gold Rush Challenge. Learn how to pan for Spanish gold during the tutorial and keep the results for yourself. You can participate in the panning activity Gold Rush Challenge from Tuesday morning to Thursday afternoon, so there are plenty of chances to find your share of gold during the conference. Those interested in expanding their golden opportunities on more intellectual matters should not miss out on the Student Short Courses on offer during the week. On Tuesday and Wednesday, students can find out more about a variety of topics presented to you by local experts. The Student Programme will end on a high note with the EAGE Student Chapter Meeting. Join us on Thursday afternoon for the inaugural gathering where we provide a platform for our student chapters to exchange ideas with young professionals, learn how EAGE can support you with expanding your academic and professional network, and find out what EAGE does to help young professionals in the field. Students participating in the Madrid 2015 programme will also have the chance to get familiar with the EAGE membership communities – the Young Professionals

and the Women in Geoscience and Engineering. Their representatives will meet the students on several occasions and show how involvement in EAGE communities can help students with their further professional and academic development and to bridge the gap between their student life and the upcoming start as a young professional. With these activities, EAGE aims to provide students with a programme that is appreciated and prized by delegates and companies alike. The value of the Student Programme is also supported by the companies involved with the activities. Nils Sorenses (Statoil) sees the EAGE Student Programme as a good opportunity to promote the Earth Sciences further. He says: ‘The Student Programme allows students to meet representatives from the industry, establish contacts and get advice for further career planning.’ Sue Nicholson (ExxonMobil) agrees: ‘Having our employees attend key events allows students to find out about our company, often in a relaxed environment’. She also notes: ‘Sponsorshop enables students to attend an international conference, allowing many their first experience of such an event. It is very important for us to interact with students from all over Europe, especially from countries where we don’t currently have a strong geoscience presence.’ You should have got the idea by now that the EAGE Student Programme offers a tremendous opportunity to sow the seeds for your future professional life. To learn more about what’s on offer – and register make sure to visit our website at event/madrid-students-2015.

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he EAGE FIELD Challenge is the epitome of student research collaboration in a competitive environment! During a full day meeting on Monday, six finalist teams will present their findings and FIELD development plans based on a dataset (provided by Repsol) of an existing hydrocarbon resource. At the end of the day the winning team will be selected by a panel of experts, with the awards presented during the Student Evening by EAGE president Philip Ringrose. Read more about the FIELD Challenge and finalist teams on page 50.



BUILDING UP IN SUBSURFACE IMAGING Can you provide us with a brief description of your education and professional career to date? I graduated with a bachelor degree in geophysics from the Sultan Qaboos University (SQU) College of Science in Oman in 2010. Immediately after graduation I worked part-time at the Earthquake Monitoring Centre at SQU. I helped to work on a big project covering the whole Muscat area that aimed to study the strength of the first 20 m of the subsurface and produce a contour map showing the distribution of the earthquake wave effect. Then, in 2011, I moved to work for CGG as a seismic processer in its client-dedicated centre for PDO in Oman. After two years I was promoted to project leader and have been in this position for the past two years.  


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What convinced you to choose a career in the oil industry?

Sami Altalbi, project leader at CGG’s dedicated subsurface imaging centre for Petroleum Development Oman (PDO) in Muscat, Oman, talks about his career so far.

First of all, my bachelor degree studies are directly related to the oil industry so it was a logical decision. Also I am convinced that, because of the competition between oil service companies, workers in our industry have more opportunities for training and career development. This is definitely an attraction.

Was there any special reason for joining your present employer? As I studied geophysics and CGG is well known as one of the largest geophysical companies, it really was the best place for me to apply practically what I have learned in theory at SQU.

What does your current position involve? My most important responsibility is to handle and manage the main steps of the seismic processing projects we conduct for PDO from start to finish. I’m also involved in


What do you like about your job, and what, if any, are the downsides? I like the challenges in my job. With every project you face a new challenge such as dealing with different noise levels, static issues or time and quality requirements. Actually, I haven’t found any real downsides but sometimes long projects and long steps such as statics and velocity picking can become a little tedious, but these jobs improve my picking skills and make me more efficient for future picking tasks.

"Make contact with oil industry companies early on and try to find out more about the oil business."

CGG provides a series of training programmes for new employees from their first day in the company. This begins with a three-week induction programme which covers all the required knowledge for their level of work. On completion, they join another long-term programme where they gain various technical and soft skills to make sure they are up-to-date with the latest technologies in the industry. In addition, all employees follow various courses relating to their job tasks and these programmes are updated on a yearly basis. CGG also gave me some financial and time support for my Master’s degree in petroleum geosciences which I started in March 2014 and expect to complete in 2016. In what position do you see yourself in 10 years? I see myself in a technical position, possibly as a geophysical technical supervisor.  

Are you worried by the volatile nature of the business, e.g., the impact of the oil price collapse?

I am not overly worried about the oil price. This is a normal life cycle. If we look at the history of oil prices we can see that it fluctuates and this can happen in any business.

What advice would you give to young professionals considering a career in the oil and gas industry?

I would say don’t wait until you graduate! Make contact with oil industry companies early on and try to find out more about the oil business. When you are thinking of joining an oil industry company, I would recommend that, in addition to asking about the salary, you also ask about the training and development programmes they offer. You should also be clear about your future career path and what you see yourself doing in the industry or the company after one, five and 10 years.

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I also help train graduate new hires from SQU and other colleges as well as students from SQU that CGG takes for summer training as part of its ongoing support of SQU’s Geophysics Department. As part of this scheme, I supervise final-year projects that CGG provides for some students and offer hands-on support during the lab sessions for the SQU’s seismic data processing course.

How does your company provide training and career opportunities?


some important decision-making related to those projects such as selecting the grid size for picking first breaks. Working directly in the client office can be quite intense. The client can keep a much closer eye on projects and issues that need to be addressed quickly and openly. But it means the work environment is more collaborative and communication with the same client is easier. You get used to their requests and the standards they are expecting and projects can progress quickly as decisions can be made early on. Among my other duties I help to perform specific tasks such as refraction statics or testing a new module.





Six student teams from around the world are set to compete in the grand final of EAGE’s FIELD Challenge 2015. The successful teams were chosen from an original entry of 47 and are already winners. Their travel to Madrid for the live competition on Monday 1 June at the 77th EAGE Conference & Exhibition is sponsored by EAGE.


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he EAGE FIELD Challenge is a very special project where EAGE offers geoscience students the opportunity to take part in a competitive hands-on learning experience that creates great value for their future careers. The ‘challenge’ is to design a field development plan for an existing hydrocarbon resource in a truly multi-disciplinary exercise involving geophysics, geology, petrophysics, reservoir engineering, and production engineering. This year the FIELD Challenge started with an essay submission round where student teams were asked to write an essay on the topic ‘Professionalism: what it means and why it is critical to the Oil and Gas Business’. After a plagiarism check, each of the ‘approved’ essays was carefully reviewed by at least two industry experts. In the April edition of the EAGE Student Newsletter Peter Lloyd, chair of the EAGE Student Affairs Committee, commented on the excellent quality of the essays that were

submitted. ‘Ideas ranged from introducing a hippocratic oath to be sworn on entering our profession, to having measurable standards of competence, to simpler things like dressing neatly in the office and being respectful to one’s co-workers. Case studies were delved into and one team conjured up a mythical character to reinforce the principles of ethics and professionalism. References were made to several recent disasters which might (indeed, almost certainly would) have been avoided had the players adopted a more professional approach when interacting, communicating and making decisions.’ The six winning university teams from around the world with the best essay submissions have received a dataset provided by Repsol based on the company’s Poseidon Field offshore Spain. They are expected to propose a field development plan that aims to extend the producing life of the field and to get the highest recovery factor out of two nearby gas fields/structures.

Rosa Maria Aguilar Sánchez-Dehesa, reservoir geologist at Repsol and one of the expert jury members during the FIELD Challenge presentations in Madrid, explains the competition.

his year’s FIELD Challenge dataset is being provided by Repsol, an integrated oil and gas company based in Spain. We have exploration and production projects on every continent, with one of the world’s fastest-growing portfolios in terms of production and refining assets, among the most efficient in Europe. For the FIELD Challenge students received a dataset with real data from two neighbouring development fields. It includes subsurface and facilities information (raw data, interpretations and reports). Real data means that the information may not always be ‘perfect’ and ‘fit for purpose’. The finalists will have to QC, analyze, classify and sometimes edit some of the data received and make it useful for their pur-

poses. This data-mining method, together with the decision-making process, should ideally be carried out by an integrated team of geoscientists and engineers. The challenge is to inject new ideas to extend the producing life of these two fields and maximize the potential recovery factor. We hope the FIELD Challenge provides students with the opportunity to face a real oil industry problem, dealing with realistic information that is very often limited and needs a QC check before using it. During the early years of education at different universities and research centres, the case studies available were generally simplified. However, the real world is somewhat dif-

ferent because the problems are more complex, as a result of the combination of multiple factors as well as the data quality and availability. The FIELD Challenge comes at the right time and it surely complements a student’s education, preparing them for the world to come. At the start of a professional career, it is not expected that a newcomer will immediately solve complex problems. However the new recruit’s willingness to bring a fresh and open perspective to problems is something that companies value. They also look for those able to acknowledge their limitations due to a lack of experience but are not afraid to ask questions. It is through asking those questions that you learn!



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! S T N A T S E T N O C E H T MEET China University of Petroleum (Beijing) This year saw the establishment of the EAGE Beijing Student Chapter. For the China University of Petroleum team this is a moment of ‘Shuang Xi Lin Men’ which means ‘a double blessing descends upon the house’. The team is being advised by Professors Lizhi Xiao and Yang Liu. Two team members, Yongzhen Ji and Minjie Yu, are majoring in geophysics and information engineering; Youwei Wang is in geology; and Ziqing Pan and Zehao Lv major in petroleum engineering.

University of Barcelona (Spain)


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Pablo Arvelo is a petroleum engineer from Central University of Venezuela. At the moment, he is studying in Leoben (Austria) and completing his Master’s thesis in collaboration with the Applied Geophysics Department of the Montanuniversitat of Leoben. Previously, he was working at the Venezuelan Oil Company PDVSA, where he was an economic evaluations analyst. Alba Carrión graduated in geology at the University of Barcelona and benefited from an Erasmus student exchange opportunity in the NTNU (Norway). An internship with Repsol gave her the chance to work side by side with professionals prompting her to apply for a Master's in reservoir geology and geophysics. José Silva is a geological engineer from the Central University of Venezuela with three years’ experience in the oil and gas industry at PDVSA. He is currently doing a Master's thesis entitled ‘Adding value to a field development decision process by assessing and using the interpretation and time-to-depth conversion uncertainties’ supervised by Roxar Solution and Dong Energy. Jormary Jackson has a Bachelor of Science in geophysical engineering from Simón Bolivar University, Venezuela. She

has two years’ work experience in Colombia, USA and Venezuela. Her Master's thesis covers ‘Prospectivity of Mio-Pliocene sequences in the Provençal Basin, Western Mediterranean, Spain’. Guillermo M. Prados Andrés studied geology at the University of Zaragoza, Spain. During the third year of his Bachelor´s degree, he was an Erasmus student in Bologna, Italy. Now, he is working on his Master's thesis on ‘Synthetic forward modelling of diapiric salt structures in the Central High Atlas: evaluating the impact of lithology on seismic image resolution’.

Dalhousie University (Canada) Darragh O’Connor completed his BSc from Dalhousie University in 2011. He then successfully attained internships with Vale and Imperial Oil, leading to an interest in sediment distribution and reservoir characterization of early Mesozoic sediments offshore southeastern Canada. This ultimately led to his current focus, undertaking his MSc in earth science at Dalhousie University. Charles Carlisle graduated from the National University of Ireland, Galway in 2011 with a BSc in earth and ocean sciences. Following graduation he worked in mineral exploration, environmental geophysics ultimately in geological consultancy with SLR Consulting Ireland. In 2014, he moved to Halifax to begin his MSc project at Dalhousie University, focusing on the geochemical characterization of hydrocarbon source rocks of Atlantic Ireland. Connor Wentzell is a fourth year undergraduate BSc student at Dalhousie. He is currently working with the Basin and Reservoir Lab studying datasets from Western Canada. Connor also competed as a team member on Dalhousie’s Imperial Barrel Award team in 2014.

Kenneth Martyns-Yellow is a fourth year BSc student from Nigeria, on an undergraduate scholarship to Dalhousie University. He joined the Basin and Reservoir Lab in the summer of 2014 as an undergraduate research assistant. Prior to joining the team, Kenneth volunteered to facilitate the Source Rock and Geochemistry of the Central Atlantic Margins Consortia, held in August 2014.

OMSK State Technical University (Russia) The three members of the Russian team - Viktoriya Denisova, David Kalitsev and Alexander Kabanets are all students at Omsk State Technical University in the Transport, Oil and Gas Faculty.

Heriot-Watt University (Dubai) Adil Afzal graduated with a BEng (Hons) in chemical engineering from the University of Manchester, UK and worked for about two years with AkzoNobel Pakistan as a graduate engineer. Venkata Chandramouli Chimmapudi is a BE (Hons) in mechanical engineering from BITS -Pilani, Dubai and spent a year as a trainee on an offshore jack up rig. Onyinye Onuma is a 2005 graduate of surveying and geoinformatics from the University of Lagos Nigeria with seven years’ work experience with WesternGeco, Schlumberger as a navigation seismic engineer.

UAE AGH University of Science and Technology (Poland) Kacper Lalasz, Iga Pawelec and Michal Strugala - are all students of geophysics at AGH UST. They have diverse interests which they believe allow them to look at the bigger picture when it comes to the oil and gas business. Kacper has broad knowledge of geology and reservoirs, Iga knows her way around seismic and wellbore geophysics and Michal provides a background from drilling.

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“Case studies were delved into and one team conjured up a mythical character to reinforce the principles of ethics and professionalism.”


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2015 17-20 May


17-22 May


20-23 May


25-27 May


31 May-3 Jun


1-4 Jun


8-12 Jun


10-13 Jun


3-6 Aug


6-9 Sep


6-9 Sep


6-10 Sep


6-10 Sep


6-10 Sep


7-8 Sep


7-11 Sep


7-10 Sep


SEG / EAGE | Forum Integration of Different Types of Geophysical Data for Reservoir Characterization - Joint Inversion and Imaging GSTT | Caribbean Geological Conference (CGC) BgGS | 7th BgGS National Conference Geophysics 2015 Baku 2015 | Increasing the Knowledge about Oil and Gas Reservoir AAPG | Annual Convention & Exhibition EAGE | 77th EAGE Conference & Exhibition 2015 - Madrid 2015 Earth Science for Energy and Environment Workshop on Active and Passive Seismics in Laterally Inhomogeneous Media (APSLIM) AMGP | Congreso Mexicano del Petroleo SBGf | 14th International Congress of the Brazilian Geophysical Society SAGA | 14th Biennial Conference and Exhibition SPE / EAGE | Geosteering Workshop EAGE | 21st European Meeting of Environmental and Engineering Geophysics Near Surface Geoscience 2015 EAGE | First Conference on Proximal Sensing Supporting Precision Agriculture Near Surface Geoscience 2015 EAGE | First European Airborne Electromagnetics Conference - Near Surface Geoscience 2015 EAGE | Full Azimuth Seismic Workshop EAGE | Petroleum Geostatistics 2015 EAGE | Geomodel 2015 - 17th Science and Applied Research Conference On Oil and Gas Geological Exploration and Development



Port-of-Spain Sofia

Trinidad and Tobago Bulgaria








Czech Republic



Rio de Janeiro



South Africa















15/2016 2015

13-16 Sep


20-24 Sep


28-30 Sep


4-7 Oct


5-8 Oct


12-13 Oct


13-15 Oct


13-15 Oct


18-23 Oct


20-22 Oct


1-4 Nov


3-6 Nov


15-18 Nov


18-20 Jan


11-14 Apr


2-4 May


30 May - 02 Jun 2016

EAGE | Second EAGE Workshop on High Performance Computing for Upstream AAPG | International Conference & Exhibition EAGE | Fourth International Conference on Fault and Top Seals SPE | Annual Technical Conference & Exhibition EAGE | Third EAGE/AAPG Workshop on Tight Reservoirs in the Middle East BGS | 8th Congress of the Balkan Geophysical Society EAGE | First EAGE Workshop on Oil & Gas Business Analytics Beyond the Hype EAGE | The Third Sustainable Earth Sciences Conference & Exhibition EAGE | Second EAGE Workshop on Geomechanics and Energy SEG | International Exposition and 85th Annual Meeting EAGE | Horizontal Wells Workshop EAGE | Third EAGE Workshop on Naturally Fractured Reservoirs EAGE | First EAGE/IAPG Workshop on Geophysics for Unconventionals EAGE | Third EAGE Workshop on Rock Physics EAGE | First AAPG/EAGE Hydrocarbon Seals Workshop EAGE | Saint Petersburg 2016 International Conference & Exhibition EAGE | Fifth EAGE Shale Workshop EAGE - 78th EAGE Conference & Exhibition 2016









Abu Dhabi










New Orleans






Buenos Aires






Saint Petersburg Russia Catania





13-16 Sep

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Calendar 2015/2016

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Register now! 21st EUROPEAN MEETING OF




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6-10 September 2015, Turin, Italy

13-03-15 14:07

78th EAGE Conference & Exhibition


Efficient Use of Technology - Unlocking Potential

JOIN US! 30 May – 2 June 2016

LEADING THROUGH TECHNOLOGY Our Ramform fleet and GeoStreamer® technology deliver proven operational capabilities and superior efficiency

PGS is a focused Marine geophysical company that provides a broad range of seismic and reservoir services, including acquisition, imaging, interpretation, and field evaluation. The company’s MultiClient data library is among the largest in the seismic industry, with modern 3D coverage in all significant offshore hydrocarbon provinces of the world. During the EAGE we will be delivering a series of 15-20 minute presentations. Visit our stand (640) to find out more about us and an overview of our presentation schedule.

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MultiClient Marine Contract Imaging & Engineering Operations

Recruitment Special 2015  
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