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recruitment special 2010




Opportunities Worldwide As a leading technology company in the field of geophysical science, PGS can offer exciting opportunities within seismic exploration. We are looking for new BSc, MSc and PhD graduates with geoscience, engineering and other numerate backgrounds to join us. We are offering careers in the following areas: • Interpretation Geoscientists • Geoscience and Engineering • Data Processing • Field Crew – Marine

In PGS you will be encouraged to work hard to learn new skills, supported by an organization that prioritizes innovation, people, delivery and Health & Safety. If you can demonstrate your willingness to meet challenges, you will never lack new opportunities in PGS. To learn more, please visit www.pgs.com/careers, or contact us at recruitment@pgs.com

Special Features

A rewarding career in geophysics Professors and students on the geosciences job market The team behind the Delft Geothermal Project The fastest man in the oilfield?

A Clearer Image www.pgs.com


Join the TGS Team


International developments

TGS is a progressive, equal-opportunity employer providing multi-client geoscience data and associated products and services to premier energy companies worldwide. We’re a dynamic, technology-driven, fast-growing company with offices in the United States, Norway, United Kingdom, Russia, and Australia.

Geologists - Reservoir engineers - Geophysicists

copyright : Total/Corbis.

Junior and Senior M/F Total is a global oil and gas producer and provider with 100,000 employees including some of the top-tier technical specialists, in nearly 130 countries worldwide. At Total, we understand that our people and their multi-faceted talent are our competitive advantage.

TGS is constantly looking for talented geologists and geophysicists. For further information visit:


That is why our priority is creating and developing teams that are at ease with innovation and state-of-the-art technology and why we offer exciting, flexible career opportunities in an environment endowed with the finest specialist expertise available.

www.careers.total.com Our energy is your energy

Geophysical Products

Geological Products

Imaging Services


Green shoots of recovery? An introduction by John Kingston, editor of this special supplement on the recruitment of geoscientists and engineers for the oil and gas industry.

It’s encouraging to see an increasing number of job advertisements appearing in the geoscience industry press after a long period of relative absence. Opportunities recently on offer include depth imagers with seismic service companies, geophysical research scientists, and geosciences professionals in major oil companies. Companies are not only looking for experienced professionals but also new graduates with the right mix of talent and ambition.

Our industry is constantly evolving, and will doubtless continue to have its ups and downs; however we seem to have come through this latest economic downturn relatively unscathed. The long-term outlook is positive, and most forecasts agree that the demand for energy will continue to rise. To meet this challenge, the development and application of new technology, people, and processes will continue to fascinate geosciences professionals for generations to come.


This edition of the Recruitment Special has a broad range of articles from operators, service companies, academics, consultants and industry bodies. It includes the career histories of some successful industry-leading scientists and entrepreneurs, designed to inform and inspire young people about the great opportunities available in our business. Several recent starters also tell their stories, providing a taste of the range of training and development programs on offer. The views of professors and students indicate that academia is, in general, optimistic about graduate employment opportunities and long term careers in geoscience.

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The recent slowdown in recruiting, even if only temporary, will not have helped address the loss of knowledge caused by the retirement of the “baby-boomer” generation. Realizing their value, organizations are developing an increasing range of mentoring opportunities and alumni schemes, including one recently announced by the EAGE, to help share the knowledge of senior professionals with a new generation of geoscientists and engineers. The EAGE is also making significant contributions towards attracting more young people to the industry, with a range of initiatives both during the annual conference and ongoing throughout the year. Recruiters are usually of a different generation to the people they are trying to attract, but they need to keep up-to-date with the latest communications technology. Understanding and taking advantage of technologies such as Web 2.0 will become increasingly important to organizations for engaging, recruiting, and training the future geoscience workforce.

Table of contents Recruitment Special EAGE Publications Officer Neil Goulty, Durham University (publicationsofficer@eage.org) Editor John Kingston (jvictork@hotmail.com)

Career success story Hank Hamilton, Chairman of TGS, talks about his life in the seismic industry.


Publications & Communications Manager Marcel van Loon (ml@eage.org) Senior Publications Coordinator Linda Molenaar (lm@eage.org) Publications Coordinator Salima Gader (sgr@eage.org) Account Manager Advertising Jeroen Peek (jpk@eage.org) Account Manager Subscriptions & Recruitment Stefan van der Kooij (sk@eage.org) Production Co Productions bv (contact@coproductions.nl) Editorial/Advertising enquiries EAGE Office (address below)   EAGE Head Office EAGE Office PO Box 59 3990 DB Houten The Netherlands Tel.: +31 88 9955055 Fax: +31 30 6343524 E-mail: eage@eage.org Website: www.eage.org

SPECIAL table of contents • page 2 

Regional Office Russia & CIS EAGE Geomodel LLC Starokaluzhskoye shosse, 62 Build. 1, korp. 6, 3rd floor 117630, Moscow, Russia Tel.: +7 495 611 9285 Fax: +7 495 611 9286 E-mail: eage@eage.ru Website: www.eage.ru


Regional Office Middle East EAGE Middle East FZ-LLC Dubai Knowledge Village Block 13 Office F-25 PO Box 501711 Dubai, United Arab Emirates Tel.: +971 4 369 3897 Fax: +971 4 360 4702 E-mail: middle_east@eage.org Website: www.eage.org EAGE members change of address notification Send to: EAGE Membership Dept at EAGE Office (address above)

Professors and students answer questions about the job market Academia seem optimistic about graduate employment opportunities and careers in geoscience.

The team behind the Delft Geothermal Project Four young geoscientists who aim to demonstrate the use of geothermal heat in The Netherlands.

The fastest man in the oilfield? Simon Vroemen describes how he has managed his dual careers as an engineer with Shell and also as a world-class professional athlete.




Career success story Graduate careers Recruiting technology Company feature Career success story Company feature

Barcelona 2010: The 72nd EAGE Conference & Exhibition Supporting recruitment and knowledge transfer Go for the Goal: The Student Programme in Barcelona

10 Training and developing E&P professionals - Stephen Pickering, EAGE Education Officer 14

The spice of life - Philip Evbomoen, Schlumberger

18 The not-so hidden cost of lost knowledge - Jon Glesinger, Expert Alumni Limited 20

A rewarding career in geophysics - Hank Hamilton, TGS

22 Professors and students answer questions about the geosciences job market 34 Using Web 2.0 to engage and recruit the future geoscience workforce - AGI 40

The work of a marine geohazard specialist - Gardline Geosurvey

42 My wandering life as a geoscientist - Bernard Pierson, Shell International and UTP Malaysia 46 A world of career opportunities in geosciences - Pascal Rosset, CGGVeritas

Professional development

52 Raising the standard: professional recognition in today’s workplace - EI

Company feature

54 Learning and development in PGS Data Processing - Petroleum Geo-Services

Career case histories


Career success story

62 From the Amazon jungle to North Sea geophysics - Mariano Floricich, Shell

Recent starters Managing dual careers

Company feature

Conference preview


66 68 70 72

The team behind the Delft Geothermal Project

Raik Bachmann, Geologist, SGS Horizon Ferdinando Rizzo, Seismic Processing Geophysicist, Eni Foriane Bie, Interpretation Geophysicist, Total Manuel Ron Martin, Exporation Geologist, Repsol

74 The fastest man in the oilfield? - Simon Vroemen, Shell engineer and world-class athlete 76 Worldwide opportunities: the challenges of an international career Ute Sattler, OMV 78 Women's Global Leadership Conference in Energy and Technology, October 2010 82

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Company feature Knowledge management

4 6 8


EAGE News Training




14 -17 June The 72nd EAGE Conference & Exhibition incorporating SPE EUROPEC provides a unique opportunity to meet potential employers, learn about the geosciences industry and enjoy the


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fabulous city of Barcelona, Spain.

Since the incorporation of the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) EUROPEC meeting, the annual conference of the EAGE has become the world's largest multi-disciplinary geoscience event, offering an amazingly diverse range of contributions. Barcelona 2010 is expected to attract more than 6,000 visitors to the conference, and the technical programme will include 888 presentations. The 8,000 m² exhibition will feature 300 companies and organizations presenting the latest developments in geophysics, geology and reservoir engineering. There are also 11 workshops, 3 field trips, and several short courses. Keynote speakers at the general session on the first afternoon include Jose Maria Egea Krauel (Gas Natural), Tim Cejka (ExxonMobil) and Tom Kerr (IEA). Executive sessions will address the challenges facing Latin American national oil companies (NOCs), and managing the expectations of corporate responsibility. Dedicated sessions will cover a wide range of topics,

such as flow in carbonate rocks; seismic and GPR diffraction modelling and imaging; and geomechanics. A session is scheduled on Latin America and a special session on full waveform inversion (FWI) will honour Albert Tarantolla, who was born in Barcelona and was leader of the Geophysical Tomography Group. With so much on offer, the meeting is an excellent opportunity for everyone interested in geoscience. The theme for this year—A New Spring for Geoscience—captures some of the major challenges faced by the world. The event is being held in a demanding economic environment, and these conditions make creativity, inspiration, innovation and efficiency more important than ever for our industry. While the world is counting on a growing supply of unconventional energy sources, the need to replace conventional resources will not diminish. The geosciences industry has a major role in meeting these challenges. Barcelona will bring together a

global talent that will update us about the leading-edge technologies that are being applied to the quest to develop an expanding range of conventional energy resources together with a new breed of geoscientists who will disseminate their accumulated experiences in the vast array of unconventional alternatives.

Recruitment Opportunities Barcelona 2010 will have a lot to offer to those who are interested in recruitment. It goes without saying that an event of this size provides an excellent platform to network. There are few other opportunities to find more than 6,000 geoscientists from all over the world in one place to exchange knowledge and learn about the latest developments in the field. Don’t forget to pass by the Job Centre on the exhibition floor, a platform created by the EAGE for recruiters, students and professional job seekers to meet in a pleasant and informal environment to learn about and discuss potential career opportunities (more information on page 10).

The social programme organised for Barcelona 2010 will provide excellent opportunities to network in informal settings, offering delegates and family members, culture, hospitality and gastronomy in original surroundings. The programme includes the Icebreaker Reception on the exhibition floor on Monday 14 June and a spectacular conference evening on Wednesday 16 June in El Poble Espanyol (The Spanish Village), a unique open air museum developed since 1929 in the natural surroundings of the hill at Montjuïc close to the middle of Barcelona. An evening not-to-be-missed!

Barcelona, a great city This will be the first time the EAGE event is held in Barcelona, Spain’s second largest city with a population of 1,615,908 (2008), and capital of the Catalonia province. This cosmopolitan city on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea has some fascinating Roman remains, enchanting medieval districts, and several of the world’s

most beautiful examples of Modernism and 20th Century avant-garde art. Barcelona is an important cultural centre and a major tourist destination with a rich cultural heritage. Particularly renowned are the architectural works of Antoni Gaudí and Lluís Domènech i Montaner, which have been designated UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Barcelona has become Europe’s most popular short-break destination. June 2010 may be at the start of summer in Barcelona, but it will also be a New Spring for Geoscience! For more information, and to pre-register for Barcelona 2010, visit www.eage.org.

See you in:

SPECIAL eage news • page 5 

Social Programme


The EAGE has an exciting Student Programme on offer for students and graduates interested in geosciences careers, with trial interviews and much more. Developed over several years, the Student Programme has continually improved its standards while maintaining the core fundamental offerings in up-to-date industry knowledge and skill development; providing student participants the best opportunities towards pursuing their careers in geology, geophysics and petroleum engineering. The Student Programme will also be a lot of fun. Barcelona has a long sporting tradition, including the famous Futbol Club (FC) Barcelona, which has the motto "més que un club" (more than a club). The local love of football and the fact that the conference is taking place at the same time as the FIFA World Cup have inspired the theme of this year’s Student Programme: “Go for the Goal”. The Student Sports Café will feature an exciting and entertaining range of football-related activities.

Supporting recruitment and


SPECIAL eage news • page 6 

knowledge transfer says Abdulbaqi. “It is a competitive global market, and young talented people have a completely different take on careers and expectations of what kind of work will suit them”. Abdulbaqi talks as much as he can to EAGE members around the world so that his views are fully reflected in EAGE activities. “I believe that everything will get done and the great crew change can be accomplished successfully – with the EAGE playing its role in achieving this objective”.

Over recent years, increasing concern has been expressed in the oil and gas industry about the “big crew change”. The departure of many professionals of the “baby boomer” generation, happening at the same time that demand for energy is rising, makes this concern justified. In addition, let’s not forget the impact of the current recession, which is causing E&P companies to face real concern and anguish over choices between cutting costs and retaining talent. It is therefore a difficult time for HR professionals and companies to develop long-term workforce strategies and make the right choices in this process. There are, however, signs that recruiting efforts are slowly beginning to increase, and the EAGE is playing its part.

perceptions that exist about working in the geoscience and engineering sectors of the oil and gas industry. In addition, the Association is well placed to facilitate better dialogue between the industry and students about the opportunities and rewards for young geoscientists joining the E&P community.

The EAGE, a growing global organization, currently with more than 15,000 members, believes it can play a positive role in recruiting and helping to improve the image of the industry among the public; in particular among young people. The organization is striving to change some of the negative

"We will further increase our emphasis on recruiting a new generation of geoscientists and engineers." Mahmoud Abdulbaqi, EAGE President

EAGE President Mahmoud Abdulbaqi has made it one of his personal priorities to further increase the EAGE’s emphasis on recruiting a new generation of geoscientists and engineers. “Students have preconceptions about the industry which are not always positive. We have to sell the right image, but also be realistic,”

Job Centre: fifth successive presence at EAGE The Job Centre is just one of the EAGE’s initiatives to support the industry with recruitment needs. For the fifth time in a row, the Job Centre will be part of the exhibition floor at the 2010 annual conference & exhibition in Barcelona, following successful appearances in Vienna,

The EAGE realizes that encouraging more graduates to enter the industry is an absolute necessity. Its student activities are an important step towards securing the future of the industry in anticipation of economic recovery. This is reflected in the theme of this year’s annual conference: “A new spring for Geoscience”. EAGE will be giving out 85 travel grants to students from all over the world to join them in Barcelona. EAGE student activities have grown significantly in recent years, and a 15% increase in student membership during 2009 is an

Leveraging the experience of senior members Since October 2009, the EAGE has offered its senior members the opportunity to stay connected with the geoscience world and

work through the Expert Alumni organisation. Supported by several industry bodies, Expert Alumni helps its client companies and organizations to assess, understand and deal with the potential risk, impact, and effects of retirement on their operations. Generally speaking the E&P workforce is getting older, and this certainly applies to EAGE members where over 20% are now older than 55. You can read more about EAGE’s senior member’s initiatives on page 19.

Recruitment Special This Recruitment Special is the result of another initiative that was initiated by EAGE to support the industry’s personnel challenges. It was first published in May 2007, and this is the fourth edition of the publication. It is EAGE’s biggest publication of the year, with a worldwide circulation of over 25,000. In addition to all EAGE members, it is distributed to a wide range of appropriate non-members, including students and professionals worldwide.

SPECIAL eage news • page 7 

Serious about students

indication of the success of its efforts. The EAGE Student Fund, launched in June 2008, is another of the Associations initiatives to support efforts aimed at convincing students to consider a career in the oil and gas industry and other geoscience and engineering-related fields. The fund recently reached its first EU 1 million from existing sponsors that include Shell, PGS, CGGVeritas and WesternGeco. The Association looks forward to contributions from many more companies; and several have already expressed interest. The fund supports a range of activities; including student scholarships, free student membership to the EAGE, student lecture tours, and student programmes at international conferences, together with travel grants to enable attendance at conferences.


London, Rome and Amsterdam in previous years. The Job Centre will have a coffee point where visitors and recruiters can have an informal chat over a cup of coffee or tea. There will also be a job wall filled with industry vacancies, and visitors can leave their CVs for recruiters to review. A wide range of oil companies, service companies and recruitment agencies have already booked their space on this year’s Job Centre, including Addax Petroleum, BP, Dong E&P, ExxonMobil, OMV, Petroleum Geo-Services, Scout Recruitment and Working Smart. Students, graduates and industry professionals looking for new career opportunities are sure to find a visit very worthwhile.

"The EAGE Job Centre is a superb way of meeting and finding new candidates the quality of the visitors is very high." Manager, GTS Geotech


SPECIAL eage news • page 8 

A bigger and better Student Programme than ever before has been organised for the 2010 EAGE Conference & Exhibition in Barcelona. The EAGE has brought this successful programme to the next level, and has selected a theme that reflects the international fame of Barcelona’s football team, Spanish passion for the game, and the fact that the conference coincides with the opening group stages of the FIFA World Cup. Students will be encouraged to “Go for the Goal!” by enjoying a variety of football-related activities while, at the same time, expanding their career potential and strengthening their knowledge base to support their ambitions to complete their future goals! Building on the ever increasing success of previous years, the programme has once again improved its standards while maintaining the core fundamental offerings in up-todate industry knowledge and skill development; giving student participants the best possible opportunities towards pursuing careers in geology, geophysics and petroleum engineering. The economic crisis, although hopefully now recovering, has made it even more challenging for student and graduate job seekers to be competitive in a tough labour market. Participating in events such as the EAGE Student Programme can give students a significant advantage. This programme will enable them to meet industry professionals whose companies share a specific interest in them; companies that know students are the future of this industry, and are able to offer interesting opportunities to those that are willing to work hard to receive them. The programme provides building blocks for developing a strong network for students looking to work within a geosciences or engineering career anywhere in the world.

Go for the



The Student Programme will run from Monday 14 June until Thursday 17 June, and has grown to offer four parallel programme sections throughout the 4 day conference and exhibition. These four sections will take place in the student sports café, the student short course lecture hall, the poster pavilion and the trial interview meeting rooms. The student sports café will include a registration desk that will provide information about all the activities available to students. The sports café will also encompass this year’s theme “Go for the Goal!” by offering a variety of activities, including showing a selection of World Cup matches on a big screen and some more physically challenging football activities to test participant’s skills and strength. The student sports café will also host the newest additional to the Student Programme; the Young Professional Debates. This activity will be delivered by volunteer recent recruits debating current “hot topics” within the industry that are of specific concern to students and

new recruits. The debates are designed to motivate and increase awareness among the student and professional audience regarding these current and future issues. The ultimate goal is to help promote future change and improvements within this dynamic and important industry. The young professionals will also have the opportunity to provide students with a short overview of their experiences since becoming employed within their company. The student sports café will also be the meeting point for Exhibition Tours, which will each day visit different company representatives who will offer information appropriate to students and promotional items from their companies. Students can register for exhibition tours, and will meet with the EAGE Student Coordinator coordinating these tours, in the student sports café. Since the Student Programme was established, interest by students in presenting posters at the EAGE annual conference has more than doubled. 2010 has seen the

Practice makes perfect! Trial Interviews, running from 10:00 to 16:00 Tuesday to Thursday, will offer an amazing opportunity for students to experience a 30-minute official interview including a 10-minute feedback session. This opportunity allows

The many highlights of the Student Programme in Barcelona will include the now famous, and ever evolving, GeoQuiz; challenging University students to demonstrate the knowledge and skills they have learned during the course of their studies. Our returning quizmaster— Dr. Patrick Corbett—and his new partner, and current EAGE President, Mahmoud Abdulbaqi, will challenge 20 student teams to compete to outwit one another to win fabulous prizes sponsored by PetroSkills, a leading provider of training to the petroleum industry. The student chapter winners of the first ever online Geo-Quiz will take part in the live quiz, and special acknowledgements will be given to the chapter members being supported to attend the live quiz because of their efforts. The ever popular EAGE Student Evening will take place at the Vella Beach Club on Tuesday 15 June from 19:00 to midnight, The event will enable students to enjoy

Spanish tapas, drinks, DJ and dance floor, an international environment, a beachfront paradise location, eventful and entertaining industry interactive activities and lots of fun. It will also enable them to meet VIP industry professionals and EAGE board members. All participating students will receive a special student gift sponsored by ExxonMobil. The EAGE has initiated a wide range of activities to assist young people in their personal development from “starving student” to “flourishing professional”. The Barcelona Student Programme is a direct reflection of those efforts. The Association will continue to provide support and guidance for current and future student members; providing exciting opportunities to explore options leading to a bright future within a competitive but rewarding industry. None of this would be possible without the foresight and generosity of its sponsors. The Student Programme and EAGE Student Evening are supported by ExxonMobil, CGGVeritas, Statoil, BP, Repsol, Total, Eni and SPE. Contributors to the EAGE Student Fund include Shell, CGGVeritas, PGS and WesternGeco. The Student Programme schedule overview is available online at www.eage.org. Don’t miss this great opportunity to broaden your horizons.

Hasta la vista in Barcelona!

SPECIAL eage news • page 9 

Student Short Courses (SSCs) will take place in the lecture hall to assist students in gaining specific knowledge to benefit their technical and career development. The student short courses will run for half-days on Tuesday 15 and Wednesday 16 June. The morning soft-skills courses will last 2 hours and afternoon technical courses will last 3 hours. The courses are designed to cater to an intimate audience and offer a personal and interactive learning experience. There are 4 short courses to choose from and the topics and instructor details are available in the schedule overview.

students to experience the interview process and learn from the professionals. Time slots are limited, so students are encouraged to sign-up as soon as they can. As in previous years, during the Amsterdam conference in 2009, several students were offered real jobs through the trial interview portion of the Student Programme, which proves that anything is possible in Barcelona!


most poster presentation applicants to date; and due to this increase, three days have been allocated to this part of the programme. Student Programme Poster Presenters will join the conference technical programme presenters in the poster pavilion from Tuesday 15 to Thursday 17 June to present their work. The student and professional delegate presentations, covering a wide variety of topics, will be evaluated onsite. Details of the poster topics will be listed in the programme and catalogue available in Barcelona.

Training and developing

E&P professionals st

in the 21 Century Stephen Pickering, EAGE Education Officer and Project Manager, Schlumberger Competency Management initiative

So what do Bob Dylan, Kondratiev cycles, and YouTube have in common? And what about the Pyrenees?


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When Bob Dylan wrote “The Times They Are a-Changin’”, released in January 1964, he was writing about the political and social change of his time. However, visionary that he was, Dylan probably had a good idea that the 21st Century would usher in change that would dwarf the industrial revolution of the 19th Century in terms of innovation, design and technology – the so-called digital revolution. This is change on a massive scale. Nikolai Kondratiev understood the process of change. Kondratiev was a Soviet economist whose book The Major Economic Cycles (1925) identified long-term cycles of innovation and entrepreneurship in capitalist economies, each cycle lasting up to 50 years. Soviet leadership at the time considered these conclusions to be a criticism of Stalin’s economic ideas, and he was exiled to the Siberian Gulag where, it is believed, he was executed in 1938. However, his business cycles were

later renamed, in his honour “Kondratiev cycles”. Within each Kondratiev cycle, there are periods of improvement, prosperity, recession and depression, which are related to the changes in the pace of innovation. The pace of innovation has exploded recently in information technology. Tim Berners-Lee invented the Internet less than 20 years ago, and in terms of its use as a global communications network, it is only just over 10 years old, yet today it is changing our social, economic and even political landscape. YouTube is even younger, invented by three PayPal employees Chad Hurley, Steve Chen and Jawed Karim, who activated the domain name www.youtube.com on 14 February 2005. The digital era in which we currently live is undoubtedly one of these Kondratiev cycles. We live in an age of explosive innovation and more importantly, it has only just begun. Dylan was right -- “the times they are a-changin’”. And they are a-changin’ fast and irrevocably.

In education, who, what, how and when we teach are also changing. My own career began in 1973 at the very beginning of the digital revolution. The seismic industry in which I worked had just moved to digital recording, and the IBM computers we used were large mainframes that were, in today’s terms, extremely slow. I entered information to programmes using a key-punch machine and communicated to customers around the world with a device called Telex. Our industry has subsequently changed beyond recognition. How we learn is a-changin’. Today, the product of the digital revolution is now entering the workplace—a generation of young professionals who have been reared on the Internet, mobile telephones, video games, YouTube, and social networking with Facebook: the Twittering Class. Marc Prensky coined another term for them—digital natives—in his work Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants1 published in 2001. Undoubtedly the current generation of university fresh-outs

Gulf of Mexico, wide-azimuth seismic acquisition, combined with mathematical depth imaging algorithms, is providing subsurface images that allow oil companies to successfully explore for complex subsalt traps in geologic basins previously considered no-data areas. Many of the new technologies being developed are far more complex than those they supersede, and they often require far greater integration and multidisciplinary skills. We face technical, societal and environmental challenges for greener and more socially responsible energy. More complex hydrocarbon reservoirs are the exploration objectives of the future, including ultra-deep water; highpressure/high-temperature; Arctic, and low-permeability carbonate reservoirs. In the future, carbon sequestration and unconventional reservoirs such as tight

Courtesy of Schlumberger.

reservoirs, shale gas and heavy oil deposits will present additional technological challenges. Who teaches is a-changin’. In a global organization, virtual teaching allows the training organization to reach far more people at lower cost and a smaller carbon foot print, but we still need the personal touch. The industry’s growth means that there is now a critical shortage of expert trainers. This is only expected to get worse in the decade to come as large numbers of geoscientists and engineers who developed their skills in the North Sea and other petroleum provinces in the 1970s retire and leave the industry. Furthermore, many of today’s trainers are “digital immigrants”, often in the twilight of their careers. We need a new generation of digital natives to teach digital natives. In fact we need everyone to be a mentor. We need to change the teachers, and develop a mentoring culture in many organizations! When we teach is a-changin’. We can be fairly sure that training in the 21st Century will need to be continuous, not stop-start. Investment in training is as important as investment in research; it is an investment in the future survival of the business. Training and developing human capital is of strategic importance, but is often sacrificed to meet shortterm business objectives and profitability goals. The Reverend Thomas Bayes was an 18th Century theologian, mathematician and a Fellow of the Royal Society; his most famous work on inverse probability

SPECIAL training • page 11 

What we learn is a-changin’. Despite the recent short-term recession, the global demand for energy still appears to be increasing, and some industry analysts are predicting that during the next 10 to 20 years the supply of hydrocarbons will struggle to meet demand. To meet this surging demand, the oil and gas industry will not only have to recruit large numbers of new digitally savvy graduates, but must also develop and deploy complex imaging technologies to enable them to discover, develop and recover more hydrocarbons. For example, in the

Image courtesy Turrini & Burridge, First Break, 28(3) pp 73-78.


entering the workforce are these digital natives, whilst persons such as me are mere immigrants to the world of digital technology. We are, by nature, slower to learn, and less intuitive in the way we adopt new technology than today’s university graduates. Digital natives will not learn in traditional classrooms. As Paul Helm, Manager of Collaborative Business Architecture, Hewlett-Packard said: “Virtual 3D oilfields, seminar rooms in cyberspace, led by realistic avatars and other visually lifelike tools, are emerging as a highly effective means to training incoming engineering and geoscience professionals”2. This new generation of geoscientists will learn through simulation, game playing, and knowledge networks. In the 21st Century, the way we train and develop the next generation must be radically different from the way in which we have traditionally taught and developed our workforce in the past.

was published after his death. His thesis, today known as Bayes Theorem, sought to quantify the value of information. Bayes realised that when information or knowledge was relevant, the probability of success increases and that the value of information could be calculated. Training and development of employees should not be viewed as a cost to be borne on the balance sheet, but as an investment in the future and a corporate asset. It is also clear that learning needs to be a life-long endeavour. There is no graduation from the training and development academy, no end to the process of assimilating all that we have learned. Take Captain Chesley Sullenberger III, for example. In January 2009, Captain Sullenberger landed US Airways flight 1549 in the middle of the Hudson River in New York, minutes after take-off from La Guardia airport. All 155 passengers and crew survived. The New York mayor described their survival as a miracle, but it was no such thing. Sullenberger later

Courtesy of Schlumberger.

rapidly, to succeed, continuous professional development is not a choice – it is a must! Failure of the work force to continuously adapt may mean the failure of the business. As Dylan says: “….And the first one now - Will later be last - For the times they are a-changin'....”. Lifelong learning is essential or you’ll get left behind!


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"Life-long learning is essential or you’ll get left behind!" said: “For 42 years I have been making small regular deposits in this bank of experience, education, and training. On January 15, the balance was sufficient to make a very large withdrawal”. Sullenberger drew upon his lifetime of learning and expertise to produce an outstanding personal performance at just the right time. Someone less well trained or less experienced may not have been so capable. In the 21st Century, organizations and individuals will need to invest heavily in training and development. Our industry faces significant technological challenges and this will force us to change significantly, what, when, where, who and how we train and develop our E&P professionals. At a time when technology is changing

I nearly forgot to mention the Pyrenees and what they have to do with education and training! In September the EAGE will host the conference Geoskill 2010 - The challenges of training and developing E&P professionals in the 21st Century. This will be held in Pau, France, in the shadow of the Pyrenees. Issues discussed at the conference will include: •  Training staff across the globe •  Accelerated, distance and blended learning •  Simulation and virtual technology •  Competency development •  Technical career ladders •  Accreditation and continuous ­professional development •  The role of universities and ­professional societies

In addition to attending lectures, participants will be able to give poster presentations of best practice and/or demonstrations of technologies that facilitate learning and professional development. The final day will include a short optional geological field trip to the Pyrenees. This excursion will give non-geologists a chance to see geological outcrops and allow them to appreciate the importance of analogy in the understanding and construction of subsurface reservoir models. The workshop should be of interest to managers and technical leaders, especially those involved in recruitment, training and career management. Academic staff should attend to gain insights into the latest industry developments and educational requirements. To submit a poster, make a technology demonstration proposal or to register to attend, please find Geoskill 2010 under Conferences at www.eage.org. I look forward to seeing you there!

References: 1 Marc Prensky, Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants, from On the Horizon NCB University Press, Vol. 9 No. 5, October 2001. 2  Paul Helm, Immersive Technology as a Training Methods for Young Professionals, Journal of Petroleum Technology January 2009.

© 2010 Schlumberger. 10-se-0038

Depth imagers needed.

What’s next in your Earth modeling career? If you’re a talented geoscientist building velocity models for depth imaging, maybe you’re wondering what’s next. How can you build on your skills—take the next step? In WesternGeco, our depth imagers are growing their expertise by combining other measurements, such as borehole, rock physics, and electromagnetics. The result: limitless career opportunities for our multidisciplinary teams, bringing together geophysical data processing and dynamic Earth models. This is the future of depth imaging. To join our worldwide team, apply today by e-mailing your CV to depth@slb.com www.westerngeco.com

About EAGE • • • • •

World’s largest multidisciplinary geoscience society European headquarters with regional offices in Moscow and Dubai Two divisions: Oil & Gas and Near Surface 15,000 members worldwide (geologists, geophysicists and reservoir engineers) Conferences, workshops, publications, educational programmes, student activities

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Petroleum Geoscience, Basin Research or Near Surface Geophysics (with access to archive)

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The spice of Philip Evbomoen, Schlumberger

Although salary and benefits are the obvious compensations that an employee expects from his or her employer, there are a host of immaterial factors that provide job satisfaction. These factors include a positive working environment, a sense of achievement, satisfactory work life balance, good management and effective career planning initiatives. However, one of the key characteristics that defines the most recent entrants into the workforce — Generation Y — is the need for variation in their work. Today’s graduates are looking for a career where no day is the same; where they are meeting and building relationships with an ever increasing network of people; and where they are continually learning and developing their skills. To maintain a productive workplace and minimize turnover, employers must ensure they foster an environment where career-minded employees can gain new experiences while optimizing their skill set. The oil and gas industry has always provided versatile career opportunities and there is already a common perception of exciting, international, offshore and onshore field roles. Schlumberger has introduced a scheme that takes the variation of field life further—the Access program—a scheme that enables employees to work in both the field and the office,

enhancing the skills needed to succeed in either environment.

The Access program The Access program is designed to offer employees a combination of field and office-based training to become a petrotechnical expert in their chosen field of interest. In other words, the program can be seen as offering the best of both worlds—providing hands-on exposure to the field to ultimately deliver more effective services to customers from an office location. New recruits to the program begin by working in the field. Here, they hands-on experience with the men and women who are using tools and technology in extreme terrains and weather conditions to acquire data that will allow oil and gas company customers to optimize their operations. The hours can be long and it can be very demanding physically and mentally. Recruits then experience a complete contrast by working in an office-based role. Tasks include dealing closely with customers and maintaining good contacts with the field. Recruits spend their office time analyzing and interpreting the data collected by tools and sensors in the field, and using that data to help customers make critical operational decisions. This can directly contribute to a customer’s business performance.

Less ordinary lives Violeta Lujan Flores holds a Bachelor’s degree in electronics and communication, and a Master’s degree in Earth Sciences.

SPECIAL company feature • page 15 

The English poet William Cowper once wrote; “Variety’s the very spice of life; that gives it all its flavour”. Cowper’s words are just as significant today as they were in the 18th Century, and are particularly applicable to employers and employees in the current, ultra-flexible, employment market.



"In the oilfield, it is the variety of field work that is the spice that gives life its flavour!" She joined Schlumberger and the Access program in April 2007. Violeta’s experience of field life began in Villahermosa, Mexico, where she worked as a Wireline field engineer. She was sent straight to the well site on her first day to learn about formation evaluation data acquisition. During her time in the field she assisted with logistics, electronics, quality and interpretation. She also had two mentors to provide advice and support.

Akanimoh Nkanga recently joined the Access program after having gained a Masters degree in petroleum engineering and project development. Akanimoh says “I was keen to find a job where I would obtain both field and office experience. I was certain field exposure would enhance my understanding of the tools, services and knowledge of rig operations and ultimately provide me with the correct skills to advance my career.” Akanimoh was assigned to a Drilling & Measurements team in Port Harcourt, Nigeria. He started work as a Measurement While Drilling (MWD) engineer, before working as a porosity Logging While Drilling (LWD) engineer. During this time he became familiar with running logging tools while working on various offshore rigs. “My time offshore


SPECIAL company feature • page 16 

In October 2007 Violeta moved to an office where she began to work for the company’s Data & Consulting Services division. Here, she worked with a senior petrophysicist, analyzing data to learn more about the condition of a particular oilfield. Violeta was expected to deliver answers quickly and accurately to clients. “My time spent training in the field was critical preparation for office life. Without my field experience, I would not have been able to analyze data as effectively,

or have the background knowledge to advise my colleagues and clients,” she says.

Akanimoh Nkanga during an offshore well logging project.

enabled me to put theoretical knowledge into practice while making a wide network of friends and field contacts,” he says. Akanimoh has just been transferred to the Schlumberger Data & Consulting Services division to work as a reservoir engineer. He is currently undertaking data interpretation training before he commences his next role. He already believes that his field experience has been essential to his career and is very much looking forward to starting his new office-based role.

The value of field experience All experiences gained in the field are invaluable to employees, regardless of what program they participate in. Some employees will decide to remain in the field and build their careers from there. Others will prefer office-based roles where they will go on to use their skills in interpretation, management, sales, marketing, logistics or recruitment (to name but a few options). In the field, experience has high value, no matter what role an employee ultimately does. Field employees learn the challenges and rewards of field-life, while understanding the workflows that go into supplying high-quality field data to the client. Exposure to the field also highlights that every link in the chain is vital and that one very minor error in a workflow can quickly magnify into a major service quality issue. Field roles are varied, and every day brings with it different challenges. There is no time for boredom and employees are continually learning new skills. In the oilfield, it is the variety of field work that is the spice that gives life its flavour!

He knows there’s a well out there. So do we. ViSit uS


JC0 3

AGE at tHe E na Ba rCe l o


Why are nine out of ten appraisal wells drilled by OMV Exploration & Production GmbH successful? Just as the camel finds water where others see only sand, we find oil where others can’t. Our experts use the most advanced technology, such as fine-tuned 3D seismics, prestack depth migration and CRS processing. With a success rate 20 per cent above the global average, our results speak for themselves. To become part of OMV’s worldwide team of experts apply online and go to: www.omv.com/jobs

Move & More.

The not-so hidden cost of

lost knowledge Jon Glesinger, Expert Alumni Limited


SPECIAL knowledge management • page 18 

I have happily hosted many a lunch with senior executives from a wide variety of industries and, not surprisingly, the conversation at some stage usually moves to people. One of the concerns often expressed is about the potentially catastrophic effects of highly talented people being given too much responsibility too soon. I have also read opinion that suggests that the cost of lost knowledge is hidden. Well, it really shouldn’t be, and if we were only to read the reports and stop thinking that it always happens to someone else, maybe it would become less hidden. The fact of the matter is that the increasing rate of baby-boomer retirements is going to put a severe strain on the depth of expertise that companies have to draw upon. Too much comfort is being taken from the expectation that people will stay-on or will easily be persuaded to re-engage in an organization. Leaders often won’t invest resources to reduce the impacts of lost knowledge because they don’t understand the true costs of failing to act. Making the costs of lost knowledge more visible is the best way to create a sense of urgency that will lead to executive action. Expert Alumni is continually building its database of examples to help organizations understand this serious threat to future performance. Here are some examples:

Bad oil After a maintenance technician retired from a plant producing soybean oil, large batches of oil suddenly started to go bad during production. It took the company two years to rediscover the simple trick that this retired technician knew made

the difference. Unexpectedly losing this veteran employee’s knowledge cost the company millions of dollars in lost product and sales revenues, not to mention the unmeasured loss of brand value.

Aircraft production delays When Boeing offered early retirement to 9 000 senior employees during a business downturn, an unexpected rush of new commercial airplane orders left the company critically short of skilled production workers. The knowledge lost with the departure of the veteran employees, combined with the inexperience of their replacements, threw the firm’s 737 and 747 assembly lines into chaos. Overtime skyrocketed and workers were chasing planes along the line to finish assembly. Management finally had to shut down production for more than three weeks to straighten out the assembly process, which forced Boeing to take a $1.6 billion charge against earnings and contributed to an eventual management shake-up.

Errors at NASA One of NASA’s multimillion-dollar space probes was lost on Mars in 1999. In evaluating the accident, a flight safety director concluded that the loss was caused by an obviously flawed design that would have been readily detected and corrected if more experienced engineers had been overseeing the project. It also seems that NASA would today struggle to repeat its 1969 achievement of putting a man on the moon. In an article in Knowledge Management Magazine, Geoff Petch writes that, astonishingly, the blueprints for the Saturn rocket have been lost and much of the knowledge of the 400,000 engineers that

made the first moon landing possible lies in documents that are devoid of meaning without the contextual and personal knowledge of those who generated them. NASA now has a programme of “knowledge archaeology” to excavate and add meaning to its repositories of information in order to prepare for any future manned landing. The importance of retaining knowledge must not be overlooked. Some companies are dealing with it seriously, but the vast majority are saying a lot more than they are doing, perhaps hoping that it will be OK. Can we learn from recent history and hard-earned experience? That remains to be seen. Nearly seven years ago, I began to look into the effects of an ageing workforce. Initially, this was focussed on the effects upon leadership, and in particular with reference to the energy sector. Following a significant—now published—study conducted in conjunction with The Energy Institute and Deloitte, the scope has broadened to all sectors. It soon became clear that the wave of retirements that has now started will have a significant effect on a wide range of industries and that the momentum will pick up quickly, particularly in areas where there

are already serious problems attracting and retaining talent. The loss of experience due to retirement will create major problems over a broad range of industries, not only in the western world but globally. This includes energy, construction, healthcare, IT, insurance, banking, legal, financial and consulting organizations. Indeed, there will be few sectors without casualties. The basic premise is that as half of the working population is about to retire, how will companies cope without their experience? In the past 5 to 10 years, one of the main preoccupations in the energy sector has been the skills shortage as the sector grew again following the downsizing associated with the oil price collapse of the 90s, combined with the effects of significant consolidation that created the super-major oil companies. Additionally, there has been a significant worldwide shortage of graduates in engineering and science disciplines, which has served to create a generation gap. Regardless of how much graduate recruitment is carried out and no matter how

many people are up-skilled or cross-trained, there is a gap that cannot be filled. This is manifest in two ways. First that the baby boomers will retire, and second that they take with them the invaluable experience that the graduates so desperately need. In order to identify the problem more explicitly and suggest solutions, I and my co-directors worked with executives in BP, Shell, Halliburton and other key companies, spoke on the conference circuit, and researched with the Energy Institute and Deloitte. I was honoured with a fellowship of the Energy Institute (EI) for work in the area.

The defining moment in the initial establishment of Expert Alumni was in May/June 2007 in Houston when senior executives from several client companies became excited about the opportunity to harness experience through facilitated services. Today, Expert Alumni is working with senior professional people and companies that want to tap into the experience they have developed over decades. The EAGE has recently become a Partner of Expert Alumni, along with the SPE, EI and several other international energy and related industry organizations. For more information, visit www.expertalumni.com.

Service for EAGE senior members EAGE values the knowledge and experience of its senior members. For this reason, EAGE has teamed up with Expert Alumni. EAGE members can sign up with Expert Alumni for free and indicate their area of expertise. These details are then saved in a member-base of retired professionals. Companies contact Expert Alumni daily to ask for experts in a certain field, which allows Expert Alumni to be the link between the retiring workforce and the expertise the current industry is looking for. Sign up via www.eage.org (see careers / senior members). Please use the referral code “EAGE-REF” when registering.

Professor of Exploration and Environmental Geophysics

Please submit your application, including a detailed CV, publication list, statement of research interests, and the names of three potential referees, to the President of ETH Zurich, Prof. Dr. Ralph Eichler, ETH Zurich, Raemistrasse 101, 8092 Zurich, Switzerland (or via e-mail to faculty-recruiting@sl.ethz.ch), no later than May 31, 2010. With a view towards increasing the number of female professors, ETH Zurich specifically encourages qualified female candidates to apply. For more information, interested applicants can contact Prof. Dr. A. Jackson (ajackson@.ethz.ch). CC02995-MA000 Publicitas International AG.indd 1

06-04-2010 15:31:28


The successful candidate will lead a research program engaged in the application of modern methods of active and passive surveillance for the solution of applied geophysical problems. Techniques may include but not be limited to seismic, electromagnetic or potential fields, and it is expected that the application of modern computation strategies will play an important role. Additionally, the new colleague will foster a close interaction between field programs and modeling, and will participate in the undergraduate and graduate programs of the Earth Science Department. The appointee will be ultimately responsible for the joint administration of the IDEA League Joint Masters in Applied Geophysics, hosted in collaboration with the TU Delft and RWTH Aachen. The new professor will be expected to teach undergraduate level courses (German or English) and graduate level courses (English).

SPECIAL knowledge management • page 19 

The Department of Earth Sciences at ETH Zurich (www.erdw.ethz.ch) invites applications for a chair that is focused on the application of geophysics to the realms of exploration geophysics and/or environmental geophysics, to complement the three existing chairs within the Institute of Geophysics.


rewarding career

in geophysics Hank Hamilton, Chairman of TGS, talks


SPECIAL career success story • page 20 

about his life in the seismic industry.

Hank Hamilton joined Shell Oil Company in 1981 after graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in Physics from the University of North Carolina. Based in New Orleans, he became a “Party Chief”, responsible for managing some of Shell’s seismic acquisition and processing projects in the Gulf of Mexico. In 1987, he joined Geco in Houston, initially providing technical support for marketing marine seismic acquisition services. Within 2 years, Hank became manager of Geco’s nonexclusive (multiclient) group in the USA, where he was instrumental in expanding the company’s marine 3D activities. In 1991 he moved to Stavanger, Norway, as manager of Marine Seismic Acquisition in Europe and Africa. In 1993, Hank returned to Houston to be Vice President of the North and South America region. This period provided experience of running a diverse land seismic business, as the company had crews active in Latin America, various areas of mainland USA, and Alaska. In 1995, Hank left what had by then become Geco-Prakla to be chief

executive officer (CEO) of TGS, a small privately owned company specialising in multiclient projects. Since 2009, he has been Chairman of TGS-NOPEC Geophysical Company ASA, a major global supplier of multiclient geoscientific data and imaging services.

What did you want to become as a child? I always loved mathematics and science; perhaps because I was the son of two high school math teachers. Also, NASA and space exploration in general were headline news at the time. I knew from an early age that I wanted to be a scientist but was not sure what type, although I was particularly interested in geology and astronomy. I didn’t really think about the oil industry until much later.

What brought you into this industry? Shell, along with several other major oil companies, presented at careers events in my university. The oil industry was recruiting heavily at the time, and I had done some geology and geophysics courses

Hank Hamilton, Chairman, TGS.

while studying for my Physics degree. I applied to Shell and they gave me a job.

What would you regard as your career highlights/achievements and why? I left Shell in 1987 to join Geco because I felt that I could make much more of a personal impact and get a better idea of the business in a smaller company. At the time, most multiclient seismic data was 2D. Our team managed to turn the idea of 3D multiclient acquisition into a real business and make it pay, despite the fact that state-of-the-art 3D vessels at that time could only tow two streamers. Making the business profitable required innovative business arrangements with clients; and projects of ambitious scales, involving multi-million dollar investments. Multiclient marine seismic remains a major business component of many geophysical companies today. When I moved to Norway, there were 6 vessels in Geco’s Europe Africa region. When I left 2 years later this had grown

"Some people prefer to be technical and leave the business to someone else, but I find that P&L really focuses the mind and is very stimulating."

this period really helped to evolve my leadership style. Another defining moment came in June 1998 when TGS changed from a privately owned company to a larger public limited company through a merger with NOPEC. As a result of this change, I very quickly learned lessons on how to deal with investors and the public markets in general.

I was attracted to TGS because I wanted the challenge of managing and directing a small company to help it grow. I also liked its focused multiclient business model. When I joined in 1995, TGS had annual revenues of about $15 million and the company was valued at $10 million. Today, annual revenues have risen to around $500 million and the market value is above $2 billion. While still focused on multiclient projects, it also provides advanced imaging technologies, and has expanded its multiclient expertise into other non-seismic geoscientific data types such as well logs and regional interpretation products.

Have you undertaken any further studies/ courses throughout your career?

When I became Party Chief at Shell it was a supervisory role, making me for the first time responsible not only for my own actions, but also for the performance of a whole group of people. Joining Geco gave me my first responsibility for the financial side of the business: profit and loss (P&L). This changed my perceptions a bit, because it objectively measures the results of a team’s labour. Some people prefer to be technical and leave the business to someone else, but I find that P&L really focuses the mind and is very stimulating. The move to Stavanger gave me my first real exposure to people and culture outside the U.S., and I think that

Would you recommend this industry to a young person considering their future career?

A career in oil and gas will inevitably be impacted by the ups and downs that will always affect the industry. Sometimes, unfair things will happen beyond your control, but what you can control are your reactions to those bumps in the road. Keep a positive attitude whatever the state of business because, in my experience, even the bottom of an economic cycle can provide opportunities for an organization to expand, so long as there are innovative people who can see them.

Definitely yes! Hydrocarbons will continue to play a very important role in the global economy for years to come. I am confident that we will expand options for alternative sources of energy, but for the foreseeable future, the world will need more oil and gas. There are a lot of technical challenges to overcome, providing lots of rewards for skilled and creative people. There are also plenty of opportunities to travel and work among different cultures. People in this industry include some fantastic personalities: innovative pioneers willing to take risks and push the limits of technology.

SPECIAL career success story • page 21 

What were the defining moments of your career path and how did these moments influence you professionally?

During my first 2 years at Shell I spent about 16 weeks on training courses. After 3 or 4 years with the company, I found myself becoming more interested in the business side of things, so I enrolled in Master of Business Administration (MBA) evening classes at Tulane University in New Orleans. While at Geco and Geco-Prakla I attended a lot of courses organised by the parent company: Schlumberger.

start, but there is plenty of opportunity to achieve your goals. Even after you have graduated from university and landed a job, continue to take every chance you get to learn: try reading for 15 minutes every day; listen more than you talk; and accept every opportunity for training. Lastly, I recommend periodically setting goals; both for career and life. Put down on paper what courses of action you plan to take; this can really help to give your life direction.

What advice and goals would you give to someone starting out in the industry to help them achieve a successful career? This is a great industry. You might not get exactly the job you want from the

Hank Hamilton, Student.


to 17. This period saw the integration of Prakla Seismos and SSL, plus joint ventures with Russian and Chinese geophysical companies. In addition, Geco started its program of building “Gem” class vessels to meet growing demand for high-specification 3D acquisition. I got very little sleep during these 2 years, but they were very exciting!

Professors and students


SPECIAL graduate careers • page 23 

answer questions about the geosciences job market

The professors’ views: How would you describe the current job market and opportunities for graduating Earth Science students? Aigner: I think the job market is not bad, and in my experience, graduates in the petroleum geosciences sector who have done a thesis in a relevant and applied topic can get a job in no time. There are good opportunities for well-trained and dedicated people. Cabrera: The ongoing economic crisis, the constant revision of energy strategies and the re-evaluation and optimization of available resources should result in new opportunities for geologists, geophysicists and geo-engineers. First of all, I expect that the traditional demand from mining and hydrocarbon industries will be maintained, despite recent staff reductions in some major companies. Secondly, I predict sustained, or even increased, demand for professionals by public administrations and private companies to address new tasks related

to CO2 storage, environmental management and remediation, and alternative energy sources such as shallow geothermal. Clark: For Master’s level graduates, employability remains high, but they still need to be proactive to get the jobs. Landrø: My impression is that the job market is good. The best students get job offers a long time before they deliver their thesis. There is a good mixture between contractors and major oil companies.

What starting annual salary you think graduating students can make in their first jobs in 2010? Aigner: This is very variable depending on the company and the sector of work.

substantiated after personal interviews. Students must be aware that traditional communication skills such as oral expression, well structured speaking, and writing, are still very important. Clark: I haven’t heard much about the FaceBook/Twitter world but I do see companies requiring online applications only. Student feedback is that they do not like this. It can be hard to know if the submission has been received and how it is being assessed. IT “glitches” can, and do, lead to erroneous rejections. “HR” should be about personal contact. Landrø: I think it eases the recruiting process. However, the main hurdle is still the job interview, and the grades achieved during the university study.

Cabrera: "Recruiting tasks are becoming more and more efficient and sophisticated..." Cabrera: It depends a lot on the specialties (e.g. oil industry, environmental management and remediation, CO2 storage) and varies greatly between different regions and countries. An average ranging between €55,000 and €65,000 ($75,000 $90,000) could be considered reasonable for the major oil companies. Lower starting salaries would be attained in other oil or mining companies.

Does the university you work for offer internship opportunities for students and, if yes, what percentage of students are hired through an intern placement? Aigner: We attempt to keep close contacts with companies and help with internships. I estimate that roughly half of the new hires get their job this way. Cabrera: No, to date.


SPECIAL graduate careers • page 24 

Clark: £30,000 - £35,000 ($45,000 - $55,000). Lluís Cabrera is professor of stratigraphy and basin analysis, and dean of the Faculty of Geology at the University of Barcelona, Spain, where he gained his Sc. degree and Ph.D. in Geology. His research interests include the application of sedimentology, sequence stratigraphy, and 3D reconstruction and modeling of sedimentary bodies to the exploration, development, and production of coal and oil.

Landrø: This will vary, but I estimate an average of around €50,000 ($70,000).

Today’s students communicate a lot through electronic networking sites. How do think this affects their chances on the job market? Aigner: I see this as a new and exciting fairway, but in my view, personal contacts, such as through internships, are still very useful. Cabrera: The generation of job networks and exchanges is obviously improved by electronic networking, but it must be remembered that job offers are finally

Clark: Informal summer internships are possible, but it is very ad hoc and tied to individual staff members’ research funds. Landrø: Yes, but only for a limited number of students. It is more common that the students do summer internships with industrial companies.

Do you feel there is a shift in the long term employment security versus new hires in the current industry? Aigner: This is something I can not fully oversee and comment on. Cabrera: The situation was never homogeneous; there has never really been

Thomas Aigner is professor and head of the sedimentary geology group at the University of Tübingen, Germany. He studied geology and paleontology in Stuttgart, Tübingen and Reading, UK. For his Ph.D. dissertation on storm depositional systems he worked at the Senckenberg-Institute of Marine Geology in Wilhelmshaven and spent one year at the University of Miami in Florida. He has worked as an exploration geologist at Shell Research in Rijswijk, Holland and Houston, USA. His current focus is on sequence stratigraphy, reservoir characterisation and geological modelling in outcrop and subsurface.

Landrø: No, the oil industry has always been characterized by oscillations, and my guess is that this trend will continue in the future.

Currently there is lot of interest in alternative energy sources and topics such as CO2 storage. Are these trends also reflected in what is currently offered in geoscience education? What other trends you can describe? Aigner: Many students like to go into geothermal energy, which in my view is an interesting trend. I also observe a lot of interest in environmental topics. I note with some concern a tendency to offer more and more highly specialized and narrow Master’s courses. This can be at the expense of getting broad overviews and a critical assessment of the “big picture”. Cabrera: It is difficult for geoscience education to constantly change its focus depending on particular demands of the job market. Changes sometimes happen so fast that it is hard fit and adjust education programs. On the other hand, providing good basic background will always a guarantee that graduating Earth Science students will be able to assimilate the diverse and specific requirements of different employers. Clark: In our faculty at Leeds, CO2 sequestration as a principle is certainly visible at all levels from undergraduate to Ph.D. A small number of oil companies have been far-sighted enough to present it as a potential career route within their

Landrø: Universities are slow to respond to such trends. However, CO2 storage projects are becoming increasingly used as examples in both geophysics and reservoir engineering.

The industry is communicating more with universities. How do you feel about this and do you think it affects students’ perception of the industry? Aigner: I think this is an excellent development, especially in Europe, where there is not really a strong tradition for this. It helps students to obtain a more balanced view of the industry, and overcome prejudices. We should go on like this. Cabrera: Recruiting tasks are becoming more and more efficient and sophisticated, and the industry tries to appeal to young geoscientists by showing its most attractive aspects, such as exciting professional lives, personal realization and team work. I think that students’ perceptions have become more positive over recent years. Clark: Yes, companies are communicating more. Master’s level students appear greatly impressed by the way industry is recognizing both them as individuals and the course that they are on. However, there needs to be a careful balance between “who is selling and who is buying”. Companies are competing for good students but students need to compete for places too. “Communicating” has to take many forms. “Interaction” would be a better process to aspire to. Offer-

ing demonstrations, workshops, datasets, staff-professor exchanges, internships, and, of course, scholarships, all need to be in the mix as well as recruitment talks. It would also be useful for industry to recognize that, in many developed countries, such as Europe, North America and Australasia, international students in higher education can be a major part of the economy. Companies will encounter large numbers of international students when they visit universities, and links that they make with higher education institutes need to reflect that in some proactive way. A wider issue is that the supply of numerate physical science school-leavers for Bachelor’s degrees, and undergraduates for postgraduate degrees, is not improving. The industry needs to market itself at all levels from undergraduate downwards, and more widely than just geosciences departments. Physics and mathematics graduates can and do make excellent geophysicists. Almost no schoolleavers come to us looking for a career in resource exploration: they are interested in natural hazards and climate change. Landrø: This is warmly welcomed, and appreciated by both students and professors. The challenge is to maintain this communication during periods where the need for recruitment is low.

Do university programs focus enough on the basic geological and geophysical skills required for the industry or have studies become too computer oriented? Does your university offer field programs? Aigner: I see the danger of neglecting the core competence in geology and geophysics. At Tübingen University, we still put a lot of emphasis on field work and field training. I feel that although a strong background in natural sciences is important, but

SPECIAL graduate careers • page 25 

Clark: I think the major companies are sending mixed messages – hiring and firing at the same time.

organizations. That said, regardless of projects such as Sleipner and Weyburn, it is still an experimental technology, with enough unknowns that it has to be presented with caveats.


employment security. It is highly dependent on circumstances, such as commodity prices and demand.

here in Barcelona we have been trying to keep our field work programs at as high a level as possible level, and aim to increase and improved them in future years.

Roger Clark is senior lecturer in geophysics and manager of the Exploration Geophysics M.Sc. programme at the University of Leeds, UK. He has a BSc in Physics and Earth Sciences and a Ph.D.in Seismology. He has provided consultancy services for UK onshore oil & gas exploration, specialising in refraction statics. His research interests are in measurement and use of attenuation in exploration seismic, and in cryosphere geophysics. Roger is also part of the EAGE Student Affairs Committee.


SPECIAL graduate careers • page 26 

we should not neglect the focus on “geo”. In my mind, the old saying “the more rock you have seen the better a geologist you are” still holds true! Cabrera: To my knowledge, university programs offer adequate basic skills although it is obviously necessary to adapt them to changing circumstances. The most important issue is to not forget that, while computers and associated software are powerful tools to help realise a geoscientist’s research, they are subordinate to having an integrated comprehension of geological problems. With this in mind,

Clark: Basic skills remain critical. Universities should be producing scientists, not technicians. While workstation-based training must be in the curriculum, it should always be used as a tool for understanding and applying principles, and learning critical assessment, not just to become familiar with individual software packages. All branches of the subject are becoming more and more complex, and no university degree can train a student to the full level of industry practice: therefore, it is vital to stress fundamentals, which will help a professional geoscientist to acquire more sophisticated skills later Landrø: In our curriculum at Trondheim we offer several field courses, and one of them is particularly focused on bridging geology and geophysics. Another field course is focused on integrating all relevant disciplines, from drilling to geology.

What are the most important integrated developments from the current industry to the geoscience education system? Aigner: 3D modelling offers a fascination to many students and forces everyone to think more quantitatively, more integrated, and strictly three-dimensional. The industry’s progressive willingness to provide access to high-technology software packages for teaching and research is win-win for everybody: the students, the universities, the software vendors and the oil companies. Cabrera: Opening new technological, and sometimes conceptual, procedural

methods that enable further advances in knowledge. Clark: Integration of reservoir engineering and evaluation with geophysical monitoring is a development of primary importance. Landrø: Probably the focus on integrated operations, which will also influence our curriculum to a certain degree. The use of advanced visualization tools is another example.

Do you have any personal advice for students developing their career potential for the geoscience industry? Aigner: My personal advice is short and simple: just go on with what makes you enthusiastic and thrilled. Cabrera: Be aware that a good conceptual education and building fundamental skills may open a wider array of opportunities. It is always advisable to build specialization from a robust basic background. Clark: Be numerate and quantitative: even “interpreters” needs to be. Spend time on your CV, as it will get only seconds of attention from HR recruiters. Be aware of what is happening in the industry: look at publications such as First Break and The Leading Edge to see who is active and why. Your professors can’t know about every company and contact name out there! Landrø: Follow your interests and be critical, Look for new opportunities. Be sure that your geoscience toolkit is relevant and up to date. Fundamental courses in maths and physics are crucial.

Martin Landrø is professor of applied geophysics at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU),Trondheim, where he gained an M.Sc. and a Ph.D. in Physics. Before returning to academia in 1998 he worked with SINTEF Petroleum Research and Statoil. His main fields of interests are reservoir geophysics (including time lapse seismic), seismic inversion methods, rock physics, four-component seismic, marine seismic acquisition, analysis of CSEM data, and gravimetric methods for monitoring purposes. Martin is also part of the EAGE Student Affairs Committee.

Be Bold. Discover the Opportunities. CGGVeritas is a leading international geophysical company delivering a wide range of technologies, services and equipment throughout the global oil and gas industry.

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Register now! A New Spring for Geoscience www.eage.org

72nd EAGE Conference & Exhibition incorporating SPE EUROPEC 2010 | 14–17 June 2010 | CCIB Barcelona



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Bakay: I think my skills and knowledge are sufficient for my future career. I gained knowledge from all fields of geology in general, as well as knowledge of the geology and geochemistry of oil and gas, including lithological study of reservoir rocks, the foundations of petrophysical studies and interpretation of log data, knowledge and practical experience of organic matter and methods of its investigation. I consider myself prepared for work in any department of the oil and gas business, except, perhaps, the interpretation of seismic data. Also my knowledge is not enough in seismostratigraphy and risk assessment. Mocnik: Yes, I think that the skills and knowledge I obtained through my study are sufficient for a career in geosciences industry. Foreign experience is lacking in my study curriculum, which I think would have been a benefit. Oraki Kohshour: The curriculum in universities where geosciences are being taught is influenced by both industry and university. This means there needs to be a good understanding of the problems that the industry is experiencing. Universities must also provide a supply of graduates to meet a country’s future strategic plans. The university where I am studying is increasingly benefitting being from stateof-the-art equipment, provided with the help of industry. Saitet: On a scale of 1-10, I would rate it at 6. Today’s problems are increasingly being solved through a multi-disciplinary approach, but my curriculum lacked exposure to some geo-scientific disciplines. Stanciu: The knowledge I obtained through my studies helped me to form the necessary background for the geoscience industry. The teachers gave us the “big picture” regarding the problem, and if interested, we could go and analyze it in a more detailed manner. Things I want to be studied more include case studies; some-

times, theories alone are not sufficient without real cases to solve.

Do you feel your education is providing a strong base of basic geological and geophysical skills as well as highly computerized skills? Bakay: I’ve built a very strong geological base, and perhaps to a lesser extent, geophysical. Computer skills taught in our department include simulation using various software packages, such as Temis, Trinity, Roxar and Petrel. Mocnik: I think that my education provides a good base of geological, geophysical and computerized skills.

Mocnik: I think that finding a job will be not easy but I hope that my studies improved my chances. Oraki Kohshour: It depends on the particular individual who is looking for a job, because I believe that a job exists for every job applicant; it just depends on job expectations. To enhance my own chances, I have worked on my personality to develop the ability for working in a team. I also believe that living a healthy life will improve your communication abilities and performance at work. Saitet: I think it will be difficult. I have been looking for job since getting my Bachelor’s degree but with no success. There are few opportunities here in Kenya. To

Oraki Kohshour: IIt is quite good. We have highly experienced and recognized faculty members, and good research facilities, which are being improved further. In the matter of computer facilities, we have still some way to go. Saitet: It does provide basic geophysical skills, but not any geological or other relevant computerized skills. I had to learn these skills on my own or through other training programs outside the classroom. Stanciu: The theoretical base of basic geophysical skills are very well provided, and also computerized skills, learning about different software currently used in the industry.

Do you expect it to be difficult to find a job in the current employment market situation? What extracurricular activities have you undertaken to include in your resume and enhance your chances to find a good job? Bakay: The current situation reduces the possibility of a wide choice of opportunities, but I think the education I have received will make it not too difficult to obtain work that interests me. Useful extracurricular activities included an additional course on basin modelling and English language classes.

Elena Bakay gained a Bachelor’s degree in 2007 from the geological faculty of Lomonosov Moscow State University (MSU), Russia. In 2008 she graduated from the faculty with a qualification as a Petroleum Geologist. In 2009 she began studying for a Ph.D. at the Petroleum department of the MSU geological faculty, working in cooperation with Shell. Her current scientific focus is on the geochemistry of organic matter.

SPECIAL graduate careers • page 29 

Do you feel the skills and knowledge you have obtained through your studies are sufficient to prepare you for a career in the geoscience industry? What do you think is lacking in your curriculum?

Oraki Kohshour: "It is certainly important and also interesting to search for wellorganized, highly disciplined and exciting jobs across the globe."


Students’ answers

Daniel Saitet holds a B.Sc. degree in Physics with Geophysics from Jomo Kenyatta University, Kenya and is currently finalizing his thesis towards an M.Sc. in Physics and Geophysics at the same university. His studies have included conducting resistivity studies in geothermal environments. To help fund his studies, he has worked in various areas including engineering, CAD and technical sales. He hopes to find a challenging and exciting opportunity to put his technical skills into practice.

improve my chances I have joined various professional bodies for networking and attended some capability-building workshops. I have also acquired geo-scientific computerized skills. Stanciu: I believe it is quite difficult to find a job right now, mainly because of the financial crisis. Extracurricular activities that may help me find a good

job included technical courses such as Petrel software and a student education program provided by experts from ExxonMobil.

What requirements would your future job and employer need to meet? Please describe your ideal job. Bakay: I want my work to be interesting and creative. It should be diverse, not routine. The main requirements would be an opportunity for career growth and high salaries.


SPECIAL graduate careers • page 30 

Mocnik: My ideal job should provide a lot of practical experiences of data acquisition plus processing and analysis of the data.

Arianna Mocnik graduated in 2008 with a Masters degree in Applied Geophysics at the University of Trieste, Italy. In 2009 she started a Ph.D. course with the geoscience department at Trieste, in which she is analyzing different techniques of acquisition and processing of geophysical data aimed at characterizing non-aqueous fluids within sediments. These fluids include contaminant compounds that can be detected by ground penetrating radar in shallow sediments and hydrocarbons detected by seismic data in deeper layers.

Oraki Kohshour: My perfect job would be in an organization where there is a good environment among my colleagues, all motivated to work towards the benefit of the company. I would expect a rewarding atmosphere where an employee feels that managers are fairly judging their performance in their realm of responsibility. I also want a good boss who trusts the potential of new employees and lets them run rational risks. Saitet: My idea job should be interesting, adventurous and challenging. I enjoy field work as well as computerized geoscientific data processing. I will also love a good degree of international exposure. Stanciu: A good employer is one that invests in the employees, and in crisis situations tries to find ways of keeping them in the company. I want a secure job that will give me satisfaction from every point of view, and which will keep me motivated even after years of doing it.

What do you estimate your first annual salary to be in the current job market? Bakay: I think the first annual salary should not be less than €24,000 ($35,000) if you have PhD degree. Mocnik: I don’t know. Oraki Kohshour: It depends to the country where I am working. At the moment, in Iran, which holds the world’s third-largest proven oil reserves, a petroleum reservoir engineering graduate will receive about $8,400 (€6,100), but this will increase with growing experience. Saitet: Here in Kenya, probably only about $4,000 (€3,000), which is why I am already thinking about a career change. Stanciu: This is hard to say. Considering that I will start as a junior, probably I will receive the minimum salary.

The industry is communicating more and more with universities. How do you feel about this, and do you think it affects your perception of the industry? Bakay: Cooperation between universities and companies gives students an opportunity to participate in scientific and industrial work during their studying. It enables students to work in a team with experienced professionals and collect new knowledge. The skills obtained during such projects provide benefits in the search for future work. Mocnik: I think that collaboration between industry and University lets a student see working in a company can be and it can be a good opportunity to learn new aspects of geosciences.

Stanciu: I think this is a good thing, because this is the only way to harmonize what the universities are offering to the graduates and the needs of the industry. It is very important that students, having only attended school, are made more suited for a job and can easily find one.

How do you feel the EAGE can assist you with your future career potential? Bakay: The EAGE gives students the opportunity to participate in scientific conferences by providing sponsorship, which allows them to discuss their research with leading professionals of all areas and get advice on future investigation. Participation in international conferences is taken into account by future employers. Mocnik: The EAGE already stimulates students by organizing congresses that enable comparison with students from other countries and also with famous geoscientists. Oraki Kohshour: I believe the EAGE plays a major role in constructing an atmosphere between professionals, students and industry. Saitet: The EAGE provides an indispensable networking opportunity that enables

Stanciu: The EAGE can help students with their future careers by continuing to provide access, in different forms, to international symposiums where they can be in direct contact with the world of industry. Another way is by facilitating access to international journals and publications, and to the courses given by EAGE lecturers.

During your studies, did you receive adequate information about employment opportunities and possibilities available to you? Bakay: Annual job fairs are held in the geological faculty, where the main Russian and international oil companies are presented. Here, students can find a company in which to get summer jobs, combine work with their education, as well as fulltime jobs after graduation. Mocnik: Yes, I received adequate information about future employment opportunities. Oraki Kohshour: In the area I am studying (reservoir engineering) there is a promising supply of future job prospects. Iran’s current producing reservoirs are almost in the second half of their lives, which will provide many technical challenges. Saitet: No. I have not received any. Stanciu: In recent years, more and more companies have been coming to my university and presenting themselves and

Iman Oraki Kohshour is studying petroleum reservoir engineering at the Petroleum University of Technology (PUT) faculty of petroleum engineering in Ahwaz, Iran. His main areas of interest are enhanced oil recovery and fractured reservoir simulation. He has experience of ECLIPSE Blackoil and Compositional simulation software. He is currently the president of the EAGE chapter in Ahwaz.

Christian Stanciu graduated in 2009 with a BSc in Geophysics from the Faculty of Geology and Geophysics of the University of Bucharest, Romania. He is now working towards an M.Sc. in Environmental Geological Engineering and plans to study for a Ph.D. in Geophysics. He also has a BSc in Economics and a Masters in Quantitative Insurance and Finance. His main scientific interests are seismology and marine seismic.

what they have to offer, from internships and scholarships to available jobs, providing direct contact with the industry.

How important do you feel building a professional network during your studies is towards widening your future job possibilities? Bakay: Building a professional network is very important, and the sooner you start to think about future careers, the more likely it is that you will build it successfully. SPECIAL graduate careers • page 31 

Saitet: Definitely it is a big leap forward! It will help students understand what is expected of them in industry and will also help universities to tailor their curricula to remain relevant to industry’s needs.

me to interact with peers and mentors. I wish I could attend all of its student activities and general events. This will definitely affect my career path for the better.


Oraki Kohshour: It is an effective relationship. Strong communications will never be destroyed!

Saitet: "Don’t wait until you are out

versities and oil companies and attend scientific conferences.

of campus to start thinking about employment, instead, think strategically all the way through your courses of study." Mocnik: I think it could be very important, but it is difficult to make it happen during studies.

about available opportunities. I think they are “a must-do” for every student! Stanciu: I think this is very important. It is the most important way to have a real chance of getting a good job after graduation.

Oraki Kohshour: It is certainly important and also interesting to search for wellorganized, highly disciplined and exciting jobs across the globe. This is not possible without building a professional network and knowledge of the industry, providing an effective bridge between a student and their future company.

Based on your experience, what specific advice do you have for your peers looking to be successful within this challenging industry?

Saitet: Networks, apart from getting you focused on the right professional path, also inspire, educate and enlighten you

Bakay: I advise them to study well, take the interest in the courses, participate in research projects between the uni-

Mocnik: I think that, in this challenging industry, it is very important to have solid knowledge of geology, geophysics and computerized skills, keeping up with modern technologies and trying always to find new methods for processing, analyzing and interpreting geosciences data. Oraki Kohshour: I advise them to equip themselves with a strong theoretical knowledge combined with hands-on experience that involves them in their particular area of interest. Saitet: It is important to interact with peers from different parts of the world through professional networks and events. Don’t wait until you are out of campus to start thinking about employment, instead, think strategically all the way through your courses of study. Stanciu: Do everything with dedication and the results will come.

Register Now!



European Meeting

SPECIAL graduate careers • page 32 



Environmental and


www.eage.org 12870-NS10 V*H.indd 3

Engineering Geophysics

6-8 September 2010, Zurich, Switzerland 13-04-2010 17:30:51

A world of career-advancement opportunities, revealed. Imagine the ingenuity it takes to work on the cutting edge of 2D, 3D and 3C seismic data acquisition, processing and interpretation. Imagine the expertise required to utilize state-of-the-art technologies to overcome new challenges. Now imagine having the opportunity to advance your career with a global leader that sets the standard for innovation and excellence, worldwide. At Geokinetics you’ll find a culture that rewards ingenuity. A company that is expanding exponentially. And a myriad of career-advancement opportunities available to talented, motivated individuals who are passionate about developing brilliant service solutions, day after day. If you have the drive to succeed in this fast-paced, rapidly growing field as well as a dedication to excellence, we invite you to join the Geokinetics team of technology professionals. Here, you’ll be a vital part of our high-performance effort to create the most sophisticated 2D/3D seismic data acquisition and processing programs anywhere on earth. In addition to a stimulating and rewarding work environment, Geokinetics offers qualified candidates a graduate training

program, worldwide travel and the opportunity to realize your full potential. Geokinetics is currently seeking high-calibre candidates for the following positions: • • • • • • •

Operations Managers Geophysicists Project Managers HSE Advisers Observers Surveyors Programmers

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Trouble Shooters Land Processors Field Management Trainees Vibrator Mechanics Linesmen Field Administrators Variety of Corporate Positions

For information regarding any of these positions or to find out about other opportunities go to geokinetics.com, click on Careers and then select Global Opportunities from the drop down menu or contact any of our other employment centers around the world: Asia – FarEast.Recruitment@geokinetics.com Middle East – EAME.Recruitment@geokinetics.com The Americas – N.America.Recruitment@geokinetics.com (Spanish language) Recursos.humanos@geokinetics.com

Ingenuity. Expanding. Worldwide. geokinetics.com


Web 2.0


SPECIAL recruiting technology • page 34 

to engage and recruit the future geoscience workforce Leila Gonzales, Christopher Keane and Cynthia Martinez of the American Geological Institute explore how the geoscience community is using Web 2.0 technologies and investigate new opportunities to bolster the supply of new geoscience graduates entering the profession.

New ways of communicating By design, Web 2.0 technologies facilitate and leverage user interaction by integrating disparate information and technology resources to connect users from across the globe around common topics of interest. In the past decade, the use of Web 2.0 technologies such as blogs, wikis, podcasts, content sharing sites, and social media has skyrocketed, especially among young adults. Facebook, for exam-

A recent Pew Internet & American Life Project report, “Social Media and Young Adults”, indicates that 93 percent of young adults (ages 18-29) are consistently online, a trend that has not changed over the past decade. Young adults use social networking sites to connect with others, comment on blogs, follow or update their status on services like Twitter, and share or remix content on the web. One of the attractions of Web 2.0 technologies is the ease of accessibility and how they catalyze interaction. Within the geoscience community, the use of Web 2.0 technologies for engagement and recruitment of the younger generation of geoscientists is increasing. Although Web 2.0 approaches are not a complete panacea to engaging the future generation of geoscientists, they are a critical part of a broad spectrum of outreach tools.

Recruiting new geoscience students To address the geoscience workforce supply shortage, AGI created GeoConnection, a portfolio of Web 2.0 technologies and hardcopy resources about geoscience careers and community resources with the intent to attract the most talented students to the profession, and to encourage new degree candidates to pursue a geoscience career. GeoConnection targets secondary school and college students who are at the key decision point of choosing a pathway towards a fulfilling career. To reach this population, GeoConnection directly engages these students, and also connects with a broader audience—including parents, secondary school guidance counselors, geoscience professionals and early-career geoscientists—to provide geoscience career and community resources to support these students in their decisionmaking and exploratory process. GeoConnection is a brand developed by AGI that covers a portfolio of social media networks, media sharing sites, status-update services, links to geoscience blogs, and interactive webinars. These technologies compliment an array of print materials that

are used in direct mailings and point-ofcontact meetings with geoscience departments and organizations. Print materials also engage audiences who are less likely to be online consistently, like parents, and they promote GeoConnection’s suite of online resources. GeoConnection’s Facebook page www. facebook.com/geoconnection links interested students with professional geoscientists in an informal setting where they can find career resources, student opportunities, and current events in the geosciences. The Facebook page already has more than 650 fans from 20 countries, and 64 percent of the fans are between the ages of 18 and 34. Fans interact by commenting on posts, sharing their own links and perspectives, and contributing to discussion threads. Many of the fans over 34 years old are professional geoscientists who offer networking opportunities, ad hoc mentoring, and career advice to younger geoscientists. GeoConnection’s YouTube channel www. youtube.com/geoconnect provides videos about geoscience careers, workforce data, and current geosciences events. The hallmark video “Why Earth Science” demonstrates the importance of the geosciences and has been viewed approximately 100,000 times since it was posted in 2008. In addition to attracting online viewers, the videos are used by other geoscience organizations and university departments as part of their local outreach efforts to inform students and recruit new geoscience majors. GeoConnection’s webinar series www. agiweb.org/workforce/webinars.html connects speakers and participants from all parts of the globe to discuss topics of interest within the geoscience community in “real time”. Webinars begin with presentations by subject-matter experts that are followed by an interactive discussion between the speakers and the webinar participants. The GeoConnection webinar series includes a “careers-series” in which geoscience professionals and students discuss current and future employment opportunities, new areas of research, and skills needed for specific geoscience careers. Webinars

SPECIAL recruiting technology • page 35 

A significant factor that depresses production of U.S. baccalaureate geoscience graduates is the limited exposure students have to Earth Science in secondary school. Most college-bound students are unaware of the geosciences during this key career-formative time. Another challenge for the geoscience industry is that a large percentage of students who graduate with geoscience degrees pursue careers outside the profession. Engaging this cadre of young adults to foster their interest in the geosciences and support them in the transition from student through early-career professional, is key in bolstering the supply of new geoscientists entering the profession. These two decision points define the future core of the geosciences. Improving the human resource profile of the geosciences requires effective engagement at these phases to better inform students of the intellectual and financially lucrative opportunities in the geoscience profession. Novel approaches, using Web 2.0 technologies, have recently been applied to this problem at the American Geological Institute (AGI) and other organizations.

ple, increased its user-base from around 50 million users at the start of 2008 to 375 million users as of the start of 2010.


A workforce shortage crisis is looming as many science and technology industries face the challenge of replacing the majority of their workforce who will be retiring over the next 15 years. In the geosciences, this is no small feat given the low numbers of geoscience graduates who enter the workforce each year. U.S. institutions, which by most measures are the single largest producer of new geoscience graduates, only confer an average of 1,700 graduate degrees annually. Given this graduation rate, the extant U.S. geoscience workforce of approximately 200,000 has a replacement rate of over 100 years.

Back on campus, Dr. Guertin assigned students in her natural hazards course the task of posting images to a Flickr photo group that was based on the 2009 Earth Science Week Photo Contest theme: “How Climate Shapes My World” (www. flickr.com/groups/earthscienceweek2009) Each student was required to provide a title for the photograph they contributed and a description that explained how the photograph represented the theme.

are recorded and posted online so that they can be viewed at any time.


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GeoConnection’s Web 2.0 portfolio requires frequent maintenance to keep the content fresh, provide a representative flow of information about the geoscience community and career resources, and foster frequent interactions between age groups about relevant geoscience topics. To reduce the workload, some of the update processes have been automated. For example, updates posted to the Facebook page by AGI’s staff are automatically “tweeted” via GeoConnection’s Twitter account, and Facebook fans receive automatic updates from AGI’s GeoSpectrum blog.

Connecting students through photo sharing and Flickr Sparking discussion between students in distant locations and from diverse backgrounds is challenging. Web 2.0 technologies facilitate the sharing of ideas by enabling individuals to post content online and comment on the shared content. Teachers and researchers at universities are discovering ways to incorporate Web 2.0 into their curriculum to enrich discussions and student learning. Dr. Laura Guertin, a professor of Earth Sciences at Pennsylvania State University-Brandywine, uses the photo manage-

ment and sharing application Flickr to facilitate discussions with her students about Earth Science topics. Dr. Guertin previously used Flickr to connect a geographically distributed group of honors students through themed photo-sharing activities, and wanted to try a similar exercise to connect her general education students who were taking a natural hazards course with middle and secondary school students. In the summer of 2009, Dr. Guertin and her colleagues hosted a geoscience workshop for teachers from Pennsylvania, Delaware, Michigan, Kentucky, and North Carolina. During the workshop, teachers received training on how to use Flickr to upload photographs and descriptions to a photo pool, and how make comments on photographs posted by others. The use of Flickr caught on quickly, and the teachers created their own photo pools to share images from the workshop.

Once the images were posted, students were asked to comment on at least three of their classmates’ photographs. “Students looked at pictures posted by their peers and said ‘Oh, I never thought of this perspective before’,” said Dr. Guertin, “This exercise gets students to think outside the box and expand their minds, and it gives them more ideas”. Access to Flickr in the classroom for the secondary students was a major challenge for this project. Though the teachers were excited to participate with their classes, most school districts block the Flickr website. Teachers were unable to help their students post photographs to the group, and couldn’t show students the photos posted by Dr. Guertin’s college students. The blocking of social media and file sharing applications limits the ability to reach secondary students in the classroom with Web 2.0 technologies. Despite these challenges, Dr. Guertin’s college students shared a rich learning experience, discussing and debating photos, and choosing winners

Afroz Ahmad Shah: "As an active researcher, I presume it is vital to get involved with such a group that shares the responsibilities of bringing intellectuals of the globe together..."

Engaging the international community of young geoscientists The YES Network, an international association of early-career geoscientists, has used Web 2.0 technologies since its inception in 2008 to increase its membership, organize its first international conference—the 2009 YES Congress— and develop new strategies for the scientific, career, and academic challenges that early-career geoscientists face. Web 2.0 technologies have been a key asset in the formation and continuation of the YES Network because they effectively remove geographical boundaries, nearly eliminate interaction costs between members, and thus foster the development of this international cadre of young and early-career geoscientists. During the 2009 YES Congress, AGI provided the technical capacity to “virtualize” all of the roundtable symposia by broadcasting these sessions as live webinars, and also by facilitating interaction between speakers and attendees from all corners of the globe. By enabling online participation in the sessions, the 2009 YES Congress substantially broadened its international participation and enabled world-class speakers, who otherwise were unable to go to Beijing for the conference, to present their talks remotely. As a result, the roundtable symposia seamlessly interfaced speakers and participants in China with speakers and participants from other parts of the world. There were a total of 191 virtual registrants from 28 different countries and 16 virtual speakers from 5 different countries. Furthermore, the roundtables enabled cross-industry discussions as the virtual participants, predominantly from academic institutions,

interacted with the virtual speakers who were from various industrial sectors. After the Congress, the recorded sessions were posted on the YES Network’s website (www.networkyes.org), enabling those who were unable to participate in the roundtable symposia to view the presentations and discussions. The YES Network’s official website came online in December 2009 (all prior network traffic was directed to the YES Congress 2009 website), and within two months, the YES Network membership doubled. Much of the increase can be attributed to the activity of the YES membership within the different Web 2.0 platforms—such as Facebook, Twitter, and GoogleGroups—and by viral marketing: alternatively known as word-of-mouth promotion. The YES Network’s membership is comprised of individuals from 82 countries, 92 percent of whom are between the ages of 21 and 35. Members aged 21 to 25 comprise the largest percentage of the total membership (49%) followed by those between 26 and 30 (29%), while those between the ages of 31 and 35 only comprise 14 percent of the total membership. YES Network members include undergraduate and graduate students, post-doctoral researchers, and early-career professionals who are faculty members, geologists, hydrogeologists, geotechnical engineers, scientific officers, physical scientists, consultants, GIS technicians, freelance journalists, environmental engineers, geophysicists, space scientists, and workforce analysts. The YES Network regularly uses Skype to conduct meetings and discussions among its membership and leadership groups, and uses GoogleGroups to exchange ideas about geoscience projects. The earthquake in Haiti this January triggered a response from YES members in Uzbekistan, New Zealand, United Kingdom, Bangladesh, United

“It is a great place to share real time information with people virtually from any part of the globe. It enables one to discuss world issues such as climate change, economic stability, education and natural/anthropogenic disasters. It has been a marvelous motivation for me to come up with some new ways of thinking of different directions of scientific involvement and to discuss my ideas with others,” says Afroz Ahmad Shah, a Ph.D. student at James Cook University in Townsville, Australia. “As an active researcher, I presume it is vital to get involved with such a group that shares the responsibilities of bringing intellectuals of the globe together on a common platform. It is great to share our expertise and experience with other people, including scientists from different corners of the globe”. The YES Network has been successful at attracting young and early-career geoscientists because of its use of web technologies, viral marketing, and its focus on engaging geoscientists who are at a critical stage in their lives as they transition into the geoscience profession. The YES Network’s multi-level (local, regional, and international) and team-based leadership makes it a dynamic network that leverages the contributions of its membership and their connections to the greater geoscience community and general public to establish an extensive worldwide network of young and earlycareer geoscientists who are actively involved in raising the public profile of the geoscience through educational outreach and service activities, and working internationally across business sectors to provide professional development resources and opportunities for young and early-career geoscientists.

SPECIAL recruiting technology • page 37 

from the group. “I was excited to be able to show students an academic use of Flickr versus just posting and organizing personal photographs for social networking,” said Dr. Guertin.

States, Italy, Ethiopia, Tanzania, India, and Eritrea. Their discussions on GoogleGroups have resulted in the formation of an international collaboration on a project pertaining to earthquake monitoring and risk reduction. Facebook and Twitter have been additional assets in the YES Network’s Web 2.0 portfolio for the dissemination of upcoming activities and related information about events in the geoscience community.


Dr Guertin: “I was excited to be able to show students an academic use of Flickr versus just posting and organizing personal photographs for social networking.”

Challenges and risks Applying technologies that promote communication and group interaction is a powerful technique to address issues of exposure and awareness of target audiences. In the geosciences, there has been an increased focus on using social, collaborative, and engaging technologies to bring talented individuals towards a geoscience career. As organizations realize the usefulness of incorporating Web 2.0 technologies into their portfolios, the risk of encountering difficulties because of underinvestment will increase. Organizations must consider the full scope of potential risks and rewards of including Web 2.0 technologies in their outreach strategies. A bad marketing campaign is often worse than none at all. Web 2.0 technologies do not reduce workload, and often require additional and higher-skilled engagement. Our experiences at AGI with GeoConnection and our involvement in the YES Network have demonstrated that continued, personal engagement is required for success. In the case of GeoConnection's social networking efforts, a major information “push” is required, as AGI holds

interests and needs, but also distinctly different career stages. The network is kept vibrant and active through investing dedicated time and effort in finding and posting information that is relevant and interesting to different groups within the fan-base—including age groups, cultures, scientific interests and career stages—and creating and nurturing discussions between network participants around topics of interest.


SPECIAL recruiting technology • page 38 

"As organizations realize the usefulness of incorporating Web 2.0 technologies into their portfolios, the risk of encountering difficulties because of underinvestment will increase." substantial information for prospective geoscientists about education and career opportunities. A key factor in the success of our information transfer has been the personal presence of AGI staff within the network. They are viewed as assets to the fan-base for the information they share rather than as “spam-bots” pushing out irrelevant information. Another major issue for retaining genuine personal interaction within these forums is the challenge of meeting the needs of a wide international population that represents not only disparate

During the course of AGI’s evaluation and development of activities to promote geoscience careers through new technologies, three major external factors have arisen that are likely to persist into the future: adaptability to changing platforms, information privacy, and balancing of vocational and other interests. The biggest challenge is the rapidity by which the target population can shift between technology platforms. These changes can be generational, demographic, and also caused by the risk of dramatic changes in the terms of service on some platforms. Additionally, privacy issues are not limited to the issue of plat-

form loyalty. As noted in the February 2010 CareerBuilder.com survey, 45 percent of employers now review job applicant’s Facebook and Twitter presence for negative information. An increasing function of social engagement will require mentoring students and early-career participants about the implications of their online activities. Finally, there is the ongoing challenge that every person wrestles with in their personal development: the pull between their vocational and non-work interests. This is clearly a great advantage for recruitment because it broadens the target population, but for organizations like AGI who are investing in nurturing these communities, it represents higher risk targets that may become cost-centers rather than future professional geoscientists. Web 2.0 technologies are effective tools for bridging distance, culture, and interest, especially in the context of engaging young adults to consider geoscience careers. Keys to success in implementing Web 2.0 for engagement and recruitment purposes include maintaining a human connection in the networked environment, having the ability to adapt to rapidly changing technologies and trends, and managing known challenges and the presence of external factors. Web 2.0 technologies are not a whole-solution panacea to recruitment and engagement activities, yet they are an essential part of a larger portfolio of tools for connecting with young adults.

The work of a SPECIAL company feature • page 40 


marine geohazard specialist

In 2009 Gardline Geosurvey recruited 12 graduates—all having a geosciences background and a mixture of B.Sc. and M.Sc. qualifications—into its Geophysics and Seismic Processing departments. The company also employed 2 undergraduates in its Great Yarmouth, UK headquarters for “year-out” industrial placements within their university courses. “Deciding which candidates to offer jobs is based partly on their qualifications, with the emphasis on knowledge of shallow marine geology,” says Roger

Birchall, Geophysical Manager. “But qualifications are far from the exclusive criteria, because ultimately we recruit a particular sort of character based on their abilities and experience rather than the purely the degree they have”. Gardline provides a structured training programme to give all its graduates the necessary tools to take into the field, where they gain the required experience to take their careers forward. Employees are expected to work at sea as part

of a multidisciplinary team on one of the company’s dedicated survey vessels for periods of up to 8 weeks at a time. The main responsibility is quality control of the data, along with processing and interpreting the data using industrystandard and proprietary software to provide a preliminary assessment to the client of seabed and sub-seabed conditions. This is necessary to highlight any issues at an early stage, usually before the vessel leaves site, and avoiding extra cost to the client.

Marine geohazard surveys are often performed prior to drilling an oil or gas well. A geohazard expert has to analyse and interpret data with a view to identifying any issues or hazards that may cause problems for drilling such as shallow gas, which may cause a blow-out, or shallow faulting, which can cause drilling problems. These issues are identified before drilling com-

Mapping the seabed Marine geohazard surveys are also performed before placing infrastructure, such as oil production platforms, permanent anchors, pipelines and cables on the seabed. Objectives can range from the identification of the potential for mass movement of the seabed on a regional scale, to the identification of individual boulders that may cause damage to infrastructure as it is placed on the seabed.

Preparing for offshore windfarms The licensing of offshore windfarms around the UK is a carefully controlled process. Round 3 of this process has recently resulted in licenses be granted for several potential new developments. The need for these developments to be sensitive to the environment is providing Gardline with new business opportuni-

ties. Before any building can go ahead, large areas of the seabed and shallow soils around the UK coast have to be mapped using swathe bathymetry, sidescan sonar, shallow profiling tools and magnetometer combined with ground truthing data in the form of seabed samples, photographic imagery, CPTs and boreholes. Consideration has to be given to features such as fragile habitats which have to be documented and avoided, identifying obstructions on the seabed such as wrecks and unexploded ordnance, and the need to map the depth and distribution of shallow soils units in order to aid the design and planning of installation and foundation structures. In addition to UK waters, Gardline Geosurvey is active in most major offshore oil producing regions, supported from regional offices in the USA, Australia, South East Asia and the Arabian Gulf. For more information, visit www.gardlinemarinesciences.com

SPECIAL company feature • page 41 

Enabling safer drilling

mences, enabling the client to plan their drilling campaign to avoid them and helping to reduce risk, time and costs.


Once a decision has been made on where and when a well is to be drilled, a pipeline or cable layed, or a windfarm is to be sited, there is a requirement for a high resolution geophysical survey using instruments such as sidescan sonar, shallow profilers, swathe bathymetry, magnetometers and high resolution multi-channel seismic data. The results are then integrated with sediment sample, borehole data, and published information. This requires a geologist with specialist knowledge of the issues that may occur in the shallow sediments beneath the seabed.

My wandering life as a


SPECIAL career success story • page 42 


Bernard Pierson doing field work in the limestone hills of Ipoh, Malaysia.

Bernard Pierson, Shell Chair in Petroleum Geosciences and director of SEACARL at University Technology PETRONAS in Malaysia, talks about his itinerary as a geoscientist in the oil and gas industry and his current job at UTP.

But I am getting ahead of myself. Let’s get back to the beginning. Having completed a first degree in geology at the University of Louvain in Belgium in 1974, I flew across the Atlantic to pursue post-graduate studies, first at the University of Kentucky in Lexington, Kentucky, where they called me “Bernie” and where I did a Master’s degree in carbonate petrography, then at the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences of the University of Miami in Miami, Florida, where I completed a Ph.D. in Marine Geology and Geophysics in 1980. I had always liked diving and admired reefs so it was only natural that I ended up a carbonate specialist! Equipped with an academic knowledge of carbonates and eager to put it to good use, I joined the carbonate team at the Shell Research Lab in Rijswijk, The Netherlands, where they called me “Bernhard”. For 4 years, I was involved in fascinating research projects investigating the exploration potential of new carbonate reservoirs and systems and developing the then new science of sequence stratigraphy.

In early 1985, I was posted to Petroleum Development Oman in the Sultanate of Oman for what was called a broadening assignment. This meant, in the words of the local manager: “It is now time for you to learn about clastics and seismic interpretation”. I took up the challenge and even managed to discover my own oil field in Permian sandstones. By 1988, I had convinced my management that we should study the Pre-Cambrian carbonates of Oman in the field and was off with my hammer to change the old saying “what you know, you don’t see and what you see you don’t know”. Shell must have thought I had done a reasonably good job and, in 1989, they sent me to be Chief Geologist in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where they called me “Bernardo”. My first real contact with entrancing and fascinating Latin America was somewhat marred by hyperinflation and the climate of insecurity it engendered. My family could not cope with this and we unfortunately had to move back to Europe in 1990. From the corporate headquarters of Shell International in The Hague, I was commissioned to lead a small team to seek new ventures in the newly independent East-


It has been 3 years since I embraced an academic life after a long and varied career in the oil and gas industry. Because academia had always held a special attraction to me, I did not have to think long before accepting the offer made to me in late 2006. I was then in Abu Dhabi, seconded to the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company as advisor to the Exploration Director…

SPECIAL career success story • page 43 

“Hi Prof” is the usual salute I hear these days, whether I meet students, lecturers or even friends. I had been called many names in the past, or had my name pronounced in different ways depending on the country where I lived, but “Prof” became my surrogate identity in early 2007, when I took on the Shell Chair in Petroleum Geosciences at Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS (UTP) in Malaysia.

ern European states, west of Russia. For four years, I explored Romania, Hungary, Poland, Albania, Bulgaria and the Baltic states during one of the most interesting times in the history of these countries. By 1995, Shell had opened offices in Romania and was considering opportunities in Poland.


SPECIAL career success story • page 44 

In early 1995, I moved back to Latin America, as Exploration Manager of Compania Shell de Colombia. Living in Bogota was somewhat challenging and thrilling. Three weeks after my arrival, I fell prey to a small gang of “ladrones”, armed with sharp knives, who swiftly took possession of my belongings, but left me physically intact. This did not deter me from enjoying life and work in one of the most beautiful countries I have seen—I recommend the stunning old Spanish city of Cartagena as a holiday destination. The fascinating geology of Colombia and my close contacts with Colombian colleagues at Ecopetrol, the National Oil Company, were more reasons to thoroughly enjoy my stay there. After short stints in the UK and Pakistan, I landed a job in Abu Dhabi and finally returned to carbonates as senior advisor with ADCO, the Abu Dhabi Company for Onshore Oil Operations, then with Shell Abu Dhabi and eventually with ADNOC, the National Oil Company of Abu Dhabi. Together with the exploration teams of ADCO and ADNOC, we re-invented the geological history of the southern Arabian Gulf, knocking down old dogmas one after the other and developing new plays. Working with practically unlimited data and billions of barrels of oil, all in carbonate reservoirs, was an exciting and rewarding challenge and was great fun. There I roamed around recent carbonate deposits of the southern Gulf, where the ghosts of Bruce Purser, Bob Ginsburg, Gene Shinn and others still haunt the oolite bars and the sabkhas, I developed a popular geological field trip to the recent carbonate facies along the coast of Abu Dhabi and even managed to discover a 4,000 year old blue whale skeleton in the sabkha sands.

Back to the present: after 7 years in Abu Dhabi, I moved to Malaysia as the Shell Chair in Petroleum Geosciences at UTP, where they call me “Prof”. This is a relatively new university, only 12 years old, that offers degrees in Engineering, Computing and Petroleum Geosciences to about 6,000 students. The new campus, built by Norman Foster in a jungle setting, is grandiose, spectacular and inspiring. My role at the university is to transfer knowledge, technology and best practices to current and future staff of PETRONAS, Shell’s main partner in Malaysia, through teaching and research. I teach petroleum geosciences and carbonate sedimentology to undergraduates in geosciences and petroleum engineering. I also teach carbonate sedimentology and stratigraphy to M.Sc. candidates in the context of a high-quality Master’s by coursework programme that UTP runs in collaboration with the Institut Français du Pétrole. Teaching Malaysian students is special and rewarding as most students are motivated and very eager to learn. Besides teaching, I spend a large part of my time doing and leading research. In 2008, I set up a new research laboratory, the South-East Asia Carbonate Research Lab (SEACARL), where I currently supervise a team of 10 post-graduate students. As its name implies, SEACARL is dedicated to carbonate research and focuses on projects aimed at supporting the oil and gas industry in Malaysia and South-East Asia. We work closely with PETRONAS, the National Oil Company of Malaysia and with Sarawak Shell Berhad, both of which operate Miocene carbonate oil and gas fields offshore Sarawak, north of Borneo. Our Miocene research projects range from carbonate reservoir characterization aimed at improving reservoir modelling to developing analogues to the Miocene carbonate platforms through studies of present-day carbonate platforms in the Celebes Sea. We also do research on

“And all this while practicing my passion: geology. Who could ask for more?” new, pre-Tertiary exploration targets, especially the Paleozoic limestone that is exposed as spectacular karst outcrops on Peninsular Malaysia. Environmental issues are also high on our agenda. One of our research projects deals with the potential effects of an oil spill on the coastal facies of an island in the Strait of Malacca. In another projects, in collaboration with chemical engineers, we investigate CO2 capture through precipitation of carbonate minerals. Our research on the Paleozoic limestone goes hand-in-hand with efforts to promote the conservation of the limestone hills of the Kinta Valley, a geological heritage worth protecting (see First Break November 2009).

Expanding SEACARL and its capacity to do high-quality research is an every-day, and never-ending, task that encompasses applying for research grants, acquiring high-tech equipment, adding new sections (currently a geochemistry and stable isotope lab) and expanding our network of world-class specialists. My ambition for SEACARL is to see it grow in size and quality and be recognized as a national Center of Excellence by the Malaysian Ministry Of Higher Education. I want to see SEACARL students become the best carbonate specialists in the region, graduate with pride, and find challenging and rewarding jobs. More importantly, I want to see SEACARL continue and develop with success after I retire in 2012. My career as a geoscientist has been extremely varied and rewarding. I have worked and lived in 10 different countries, have been involved in a wide spectrum of jobs, have held many different positions and have enjoyed adapting to many different cultures. And all this while practicing my passion: geology. Who could ask for more?

Bernard Pierson at work in the SEACARL research centre.


SPECIAL job insight • page 45 

Research at SEACARL is a team affair. Students are encouraged to interact and work together, helping each other in their respective projects. My office is within the lab next to the students and my door is always open to them. I typically spend quite lot of time with them every day, discussing their projects, their progress, their publications and their future. Other faculty members of the Geosciences and Petroleum Engineering Department join in our projects as investigators or supervisors and are an integral part of SEACARL. Some of the best carbonate specialists in

the world from the University of Miami, the University of Leuven, Curtin University, PETRONAS Research and others actively collaborate in our projects and in the development of SEACARL’s post-graduate students.

A world

of career opportunities in geosciences


SPECIAL company feature • page 46 

Photo: courtesy of CGGVeritas/S. Austrui

An interview with Pascal Rosset, Senior Vice President, Human Resources, Services, CGGVeritas.

How do you see the future of the industry for future recruits?

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

We are confident about the positive outlook for our industry. Although 2009 was a challenging year for the E&P industry as a whole and for the seismic industry in particular, the fundamentals and longterm need for our geophysical equipment and services remain very positive. As a geophysical services provider, we know there are always opportunities for companies who stay close to their clients, have a deep understanding of their needs and have a reputation for delivering high-quality products and service excellence in a clean and sustainable way. In terms of recruitment prospects, in the long term, demand for energy and its sustainable management will create a tremendous opportunity for those who are interested in a challenging, fascinating and very rewarding career.

The energy industry has always been, and is still, an attractive place for young people to challenge themselves and pursue a career. Offering career opportunities around the world and across a wide breadth of disciplines and multicultural settings, it has the attraction of being truly global. Today we are faced with new challenges as world demand for clean affordable energy continues to increase. At present—and we expect for sometime into the future—oil and gas provides the most effective solution, but there is a growing shift toward more and more unconventional resources. At a time when awareness and behaviour is changing, our energy solutions require careful management to ensure the benefits they bring to society are delivered in the most sustainable way possible.

The industry is therefore looking for new ideas, techniques and solutions, which will create opportunities for more technically creative and innovative people. This will continue to be attractive to future generations of geoscientists. The Geophysical Services industry is a dynamic and fast-paced environment. We keep a constant eye on the future by investing heavily in research and development to ensure we deliver the technology our industry needs to create value. We offer a highly-stimulating work environment for graduates with a technical background who are passionate about discovering what lies beneath the Earth’s surface.

What steps is CGGVeritas taking to attract young graduates? To remain industry leader, we have to stay at the forefront of geophysical innovation and maintain our focus on client

How does GeoRise help with talent management?

The program starts with an intensive CGGVeritas University course that focuses on the participants’ integration within the company. It includes an overall foundation course in geophysics, and is rounded off by more operational and intense training in processing or acquisition applications. The curriculum also includes a threeweek field assignment on one of our land crews or vessels. Graduates selected for the GeoRise program will attend the initial foundation course in three of our CGGVeritas University centres, located in Houston, USA; Massy, France, and Singapore. The second part of GeoRise is an apprenticeship overseas. The aim is to give employees a thorough grounding in geophysics and our business while giving them exposure to responsibilities and the experience of working in international and multicultural teams and environments. The program continues to accompany GeoRise recruits during the following 12 to 18 months by offering them coaching and mentoring to support their career progression within the company.  

Medha Bhargava from India is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin. Medha completed her overseas apprenticeship at the CGGVeritas office in Crawley, UK where she worked for 12 months before transferring back to the US imaging group in Houston, Texas, where she now works as a geophysicist.

“For me, GeoRise was fantastic! It turned out to be much more than I’d ever expected. Not only did the course teach me all I know about geophysics, it also gave me the invaluable experience of working in a different country, a glimpse into the extraordinary life offshore, and introduced me to some of the brightest, nicest people I know today. Under the guidance of some exceptional mentors in Crawley, I was able to successfully lead a project from start to finish, all within a year. Now, back in Houston, I feel much better equipped and far more confident in my ability to face the challenges to come.”

SPECIAL company feature • page 47 

The aim of our GeoRise development program is to challenge new recruits early on by exposing them to an intensive technical and professional experience in land or marine acquisition, research and development or processing & imaging. At the same time, GeoRise participants are given a fast-track introduction to the company, its products and services, as well as its organization, and the chance to meet our best scientists and top managers from all fields.


service. Managing our human capital is at the heart of our strategy to achieve this. It is important for our future that we take a long-term approach and continue to identify, attract, recruit, develop and retain the talents and skills we need. We have a key development program, known as GeoRise, which is designed to attract talented new graduates and act as a springboard to launch their careers in the geosciences. We believe young people are crucial to the future of our industry and we have many excellent opportunities to engage their interest and test their skills. We can do this by giving them the chance to sit in the driving seat to help them prepare themselves and our industry for the challenges ahead. This is why CGGVeritas took a special interest in the recent Energise Your Future (EYF) Youth Forum, held by the World Petroleum Council, by becoming a platinum sponsor and encouraging some of our own young professionals to get involved in planning the event. More than 1,200 young people, students and experts from 110 countries came together in Paris to debate amongst themselves and with current industry leaders the major issues facing the energy world in the coming years at plenary sessions and workshops. EYF gave young people a unique platform to voice their concerns, hopes and expectations about the future of our energy world. In return, industry players, such as CGGVeritas, went home impressed by the human energy and passion of the young participants and inspired to take positive actions within their organizations to build on the momentum achieved during EYF. Our EYF team in CGGVeritas is still active, growing and challenging the company with new initiatives.

"To sustain the longevity of our worldwide business, CGGVeritas is always looking to the future." What skills do you specifically look for in new recruits? Graduates demonstrating a passion for innovation and adventure will always find a place at CGGVeritas. We also value quick learners who thrive when their skills are put to the test. People focused on performance and customer service delivered with personal integrity are in tune with our company values. For the new business challenges we face, flexibility and adaptability are essential to keep pace with the rate of change in our industry. Also, as our world gets seemingly smaller, the ability to work in a networked multi-cultural environment is a necessity.

How does CGGVeritas mentor and retain the best talents? At CGGVeritas we know our employees are the driving force behind the excellence we provide to our clients and the industry. This is why we are committed to attracting and retaining highly qualified individuals and giving them every

opportunity to advance and excel to achieve their career goals. We know that their success will bring our success. We make sure our managers are accessible as leadership models to coach and mentor, as well as provide feedback and encouragement for career development and growth. We place strong emphasis on training and development opportunities through our CGGVeritas University, which supports career goals by providing technical and professional learning opportunities worldwide all year round.

What about training? Training is a real investment we make today in our people, in order to reap rewards in the future. CGGVeritas has a strong history of investing in the education of our employees. Over the decades we have developed a culture of learning and development that encourages performance and innovation and has made the company the industry leader it is today. Our own CGGVeritas

“GeoRise is a multicultural experience from which I learned everything I know about geophysics. The technical grounding given during the foundation course taught me how to deal with the teams involved in a land acquisition project. This background also gave me the confidence and credibility I needed to interact with clients.”

SPECIAL company feature • page 48 


Remi Leclercq from France is a graduate of the ENSAM Engineering School in Paris. Remi got his first taste of field assignments working as part of the QC department on land acquisition crews in Indonesia. He is now working as a Land Acquisition Party Manager in Egypt.

Some GeoRise participants with program manager and trainers at the CGGVeritas University centre in Houston.

PHOTO: Courtesy of Sercel


SPECIAL company feature • page 49 

Gabe Ritter: "The company’s commitment to me makes me proud to be a part of the CGGVeritas team." University was built on these foundations to provide the very best technical, multicultural and leadership education. In addition to Paris, Houston and Singapore, the University has centres in London, Villahermosa, Rio de Janeiro, Al Khobar, Cairo and Calgary, where stateof-the-art facilities are available for personalized training in a modern learning environment all year round. Experts from production and R&D throughout the company contribute to the development and delivery of our programs. This guarantees their relevance to equip our people for the future.


SPECIAL company feature • page 50 

As new innovations, technologies and practices are introduced, the programs at the University are adapted to keep pace and rapidly spread the knowledge across all operations throughout our network of training centres. A good example is our new processing and imaging software package geovation, which incorporates the latest and best technology from our processing and imaging R&D group. It is being delivered through the University to all our processing and imaging operations through 2010.

How else does CGGVeritas support its long-term development? To sustain the longevity of our worldwide business, CGGVeritas is always looking to the future. The first example of this is our commitment to R&D in terms of the budget and employee numbers we dedicate to maintaining our edge in technological innovation in all segments of our business. Second, we expect our employees to continue to learn and grow by networking outside the company. We actively support local

and global geophysical societies such as the EAGE and SEG and their student sections and foundations. We foster relationships between our industry and academia through the participation of some of our key technical staff on the boards of research institutes such as the Institut de Physique du Globe in Strasbourg, France and CMR (Christian Michelsen Research) in Norway. We engage in collaborative research with university consortia such as the Center for Wave Propagation at the Colorado School of Mines and the Stanford Exploration Project at Stanford University in the USA, the Crewes Consortium in Calgary, the “DELPHI” consortium in Holland and the Western Australian Energy Research Alliance (WA:ERA), a prominent oil and gas research alliance in the Asia-Pacific region. We also develop close and enduring partnerships with leading universities and engineering schools around the world such as Beijing University in China, the Sultan Qaboos University in Muscat, Oman, the Ecole Supérieure de Physique et Chimie in Paris and the University of Bergen and Technical University of Trondheim (NTNU) in Norway. Third, we promote geographical and professional mobility among our ranks to give our people the solid grounding they need to confront the challenges of the future. Third, as a large international company, CGGVeritas has the global reach and scope of disciplines to offer our employees the chance to gain operational and/or technical experience in highly-motivating ways: in a variety of geographical locations and business situations.

Gabe Ritter from the U.S.A. is a graduate of the University of Iowa. Gabe conducted his overseas apprenticeship at the CGGVeritas London office before returning to Houston where he works as a geophysicist in the US imaging group. 

“GeoRise is an important program that helped me understand the industry and our company’s role within it. A variety of experiences, including a three-week field assignment on a vessel in the North Sea, an in-depth geophysical foundation, and processing application segments of the course, solidified this understanding and equipped me to be successful in my role. One element that makes CGGVeritas a respected leader in the imaging community is that the company draws talent from a wide range of scientific and mathematical backgrounds. GeoRise is designed to bring these various backgrounds together and helps each individual make an immediate impact on their new team in production. My background is structural geology, and it is exciting and rewarding to collaborate with experts in other disciplines to create quality images of the subsurface. Perhaps the most important aspect of GeoRise is the feeling that CGGVeritas is not just hiring you, but investing in you and your career. The company’s commitment to me makes me proud to be a part of the CGGVeritas team.”

GeoKnowledge, headquartered in Oslo with regional offices in Houston and Perth, develops and markets decision support and asset management solutions for the upstream oil & gas industry. Established in 1985, our objective is to assist petroleum companies, governments and industry suppliers worldwide in evaluating the risks, resources and economic value of exploration and exploitation projects. GeoKnowledge’s customers include majors, independents, national oil companies, consultancies and government agencies. We are expanding the team and are looking for the key personnel that want to grow with and help grow the company.

Technical Director - Oslo

Senior Sales Manager - Oslo

You are senior upstream petroleum professional with a track record of delivering and selling services involving risk, resource and economics evaluation of exploration and exploitation projects. As a senior member of our technical team you will be responsible for efforts directed at large accounts. You will help develop our marketing and relationship strategy, spearhead efforts, mobilize and manage solution teams. Where necessary, you will coordinate key customization and implementation efforts. You are a team player, an effective communicator in English and should have experience from training and teaching.

GeoKnowledge is seeking an experienced Account Manager to lead our Sales team out of Oslo. You will be responsible for successfully selling and managing accounts for GeoKnowledge software products and services in the EMEA upstream oil and gas industry.

Key Responsibilities • Build and maintain a network of key contacts in all relevant client and prospect organizations • Project initiation and execution with both prospects and existing GeoKnowledge customers • Identify and properly qualifying business opportunities • Maintain a strong knowledge of oil and gas and technology initiatives.

Key Responsibilities • Build and maintain a network of key contacts in all relevant client and prospect organizations • Presenting to executive levels of organizations and preparing formal proposals; leading negotiations; coordinating complex decision-making process and overcoming objections to closure. • Identify and properly qualifying business opportunities • Maintain a strong knowledge of oil and gas and technology initiatives and provide accurate sales forecasts and reports to management in a timely and consistent manner.

How to apply If you are seeking a career in a growing organization where you will have a key role in exciting projects with plenty of opportunity for travel and professional development, submit your CV and application to Jemco Executive. Must be authorized to work in Norway (European Union) on a full-time basis for any employer.

Inquiries and application can be addressed to: Jørgen J. Mathiesen, phone: +47 9095 2517, e-mail: jjm@jemcoexecutive.no or Wenche Skarveland Petlund, phone: +47 9583 3132, e-mail: wsp@jemcoexecutive.no. You may also contact Per Audun Hole (CEO) at GeoKnowledge AS phone: +47 906 62970, per@geoknowledge.com, www.geoknowledge.com. Please apply as soon as possible.

Raising the


Katie Crabb of the Energy Institute talks about the importance of professional recognition and accreditation of skills in today’s workplace.


SPECIAL professional development • page 52 

The international energy industry is wide and varied, and is critical to our everyday lives. We are currently experiencing a very significant period in its history, facing the twin challenges of climate change against an increasing appetite for energy. Taking on these challenges requires well qualified scientists and engineers. This year’s International Petroleum Week was themed around “Fuelling the recovery” and considered what our energy future should and could look like; how the industry would be affected by the outcomes of the Copenhagen summit; the future for hydrocarbons in a carbon constrained world; and how the geopolitical nature of the industry would affect the relationship between the international and national oil companies of the world. A final key element for consideration, and fundamental to what the Energy Institute (EI) does as a professional membership body, is the issue of skills for the industry. Affecting not just the oil and gas sector but the whole of the energy industry, attracting and retaining key skills will be crucial to the energy future of us all. We have probably never faced such a scale of technical chal-

lenges in human history and the potential solutions are numerous. This demands everything from skills in engineering and scientific research to large scale project management skills and from energy efficiency, both domestic and commercial, to less carbon-intensive transport. This is why the EI is so keen to support and promote the energy professionals who make these things happen. The international energy industry employs people with a wide range of qualifications. As with many technical careers, a strong work ethic, a good grasp of science, technology, engineering and maths, as well as a holistic approach to identifying sustainable solutions, are all essential. Individuals are needed at all levels, from industry leaders to apprentices, and all levels of experience, from recently qualified to highly-experienced. The EI sees the value and importance of promoting the industry to prospective new entrants with a variety of technical and specialist skills. Skills particularly attractive to the energy industry include communication, leadership and management and those suitable for project-based working. It is

a dynamic industry, where hard graft, team work and an understanding of social and environmental responsibilities is expected, and rewarded. It is also an industry that offers excellent training and opportunities to work overseas. The EI is responsible for working in the public’s interest to deliver good practice and professionalism—a responsibility it takes very seriously. In fulfilling this role, the EI is licensed by UK authorities, including the Engineering Council, Society for the Environment and the Science Council, to offer Chartered Engineer, Incorporated Engineer, Engineering Technician, Chartered Scientist, and Chartered Environmentalist status. In addition to this, the EI is the only professional membership body licensed to exclusively award the status of Chartered Petroleum Engineer, Chartered Energy Engineer, and, new for 2010, Chartered Energy Manager. As part of this work, the EI works to maintain these internationally recognised standards of professional competence and ethics, and to accredit a variety of educational programmes to

career whilst strengthening your commitment to the industry. Recognised professionals achieve higher salaries and benefit from increased job security – research has shown that individuals with professional qualifications and membership stand to gain £152,000 ($230,000) in additional earnings over the course of their career.

With energy high in the minds of governments, industry, the media and the general public, more and more organizations are seeking accreditation of their environmental credentials, and therefore the role of a professional membership body is more important than before.

Being professional and recognised by letters such as FEI (Fellow of the Energy Institute) after your name is a personal preference. However, it is increasingly being understood to mean more than that in today’s environment. It is about having your competence and your commitment verified and recognised. It is a commitment to a professional code of conduct, any breach of which could mean removal of professional status and career-long recognition. It is about

Membership of a professional body is a valuable asset and there has never been a greater need for keeping knowledge and skills up to date to support your

gaining public trust in the work that you do. Well qualified energy professionals understand the energy challenges that lie ahead and so now is the time to promote, recognise and reward good practice and professionalism because it is these qualities that offer credibility in an uncertain climate. The Energy Institute (EI), based in London, is the leading professional membership body for the industry, ­supporting over 14,000 individuals and 300 companies across 100 countries. The EI addresses the depth and breadth of energy and the energy system, from upstream and downstream hydrocarbons and other primary fuels and renewables, to power generation, transmission and distribution to sustainable development, demand side management, renewables and energy efficiency. For more information, visit www.energyinst.org.


uphold these standards. This is important because chartered status is a visible mark of quality, competence and commitment, and can offer a significant edge in today’s competitive environment. Professional recognition offers independent validation and integrity, reflecting an individual’s professional training, experience and qualifications.

SPECIAL professional development • page 53 

delivering professionalism and good practice

in PGS Data Processing

Learning and development

Focusing on employee development Equally important as attracting skilled employees is making sure that both new and existing employees are provided with opportunities to develop and grow within the company. PGS develops its own proprietary software and hardware systems and utilizes some of the most sophisticated technology in the industry, so a well-planned, expertly executed and appropriately evaluated Learning and Development (L&D) program is essential. Building employee competence is there-


SPECIAL company feature • page 54 

PGS puts great effort into hiring talented new graduates and skilled, experienced professionals into its organization. Even in an uncertain market, the company has taken measures to enhance its recruiting efforts and maintain its presence in important recruiting markets. Throughout the first quarter of 2010, an increasing number of vacancies have been published on the PGS careers website, promoting worldwide opportunities in a range of disciplines.

Karen Johnson, Global Learning & Development Coordinator, PGS.

fore central to PGS’ efforts to further develop their position in the marketplace. PGS has in recent years invested significant time and resources in developing its L&D programs, focusing on management training, state of the art induction training for seismic crews, and tailored classroom training and e-learning courses. PGS also recognizes that a well developed L&D program will enhance employee satisfaction, increase retention and allow PGS to better contend with competitors for new staff. Retention, recruiting and development are all closely linked. The company’s latest L&D project, which has generated interest and praise from customers and quality control experts, is the Competency Assessment and Development Plan system recently rolled out to Data Processing (DP) employees. The DP business unit provides high quality processing and analysis services for marine streamer, seafloor, and onshore seismic data. DP’s geophysicists are specialists in such technical disciplines as 3D prestack time processing, 3D pre-stack depth imaging with wave equation and Reverse Time Migration, 4D, 4C, AVO/AVA and, most recently, processing of GeoStreamer data; a product which provides enhanced resolution and better penetration than conventional streamer systems.

DP has two subdivisions, the Onboard Processing division, that provides data processing services on PGS’ seismic vessels, and the Global Computer Resources (GCR) division, which manages PGS’ three global data center hubs and supports worldwide processing operations. Because of rapidly evolving technologies and the geological complexities of the data its employees work with, DP considers it imperative that staffs competencies are regularly assessed and employees are provided with well constructed and effectively executed training opportunities. DP is confident that focusing on improving staffs competencies will lead to higher employee confidence, better business decisions, improved work efficiency and increased profits for the company as a whole.

DP’s Competency Assessment and Development Plan System

The process of developing this system was broken down into eight phases. The first phase was to standardize DP position titles

“We then interviewed DP managers to determine the common competencies our staff are required to possess. Competencies were compiled into catalogues for use in the assessment process,” says Johnson. “We have two Competency Catalogues, a DP catalogue and a GCR catalogue, addressing the differing skill sets required of our staff”. Each catalogue is composed of ten competency groups, the content of which varies slightly: General PGS & Seismic Industry Knowledge; Health, Safety, Environment and Quality; Leadership & Management; Reports & Presentations; Geophysical Software; Commercial Soft-

ware; Hardware; Data Control; Acquisition Techniques & Equipment; and Processing Practice. A competency rating system, with definitions for each rating level, was established. This rating system, called “Knowledge Levels,” consists of six tiers defined as None, Awareness, Basic, Working, Skilled and Mastery. The longest and most involved phases for DP were defining the recommended Knowledge Levels for the DP positions, developing what they call Requirements Profiles, and then mapping applicable training activities - classroom, e-learning courses and self study materials - to the Requirements Profiles. “It quickly became evident we would not be able to establish Requirements Profiles for all of the 100+ DP positions in a reasonable amount of time, so we concentrated on several key positions for each of our divisions, with plans to define additional positions in the future,” says Johnson. “By mapping our nearly 500 training activities to key positions, 63% of DP’s current workforce

SPECIAL company feature • page 55 

In 2008 DP Global Learning and Development Coordinator, Karen Johnson, began work on the creation of a second generation competency assessment system that would be connected to DP training catalogue. “The goal was to provide DP supervisors an easy to use, online employee development tool that documented competency assessments, relevant training activities, and annual employee development plans,” says Johnson.

so that competency requirements could be more easily mapped across the Data Processing organization. “With almost 600 employees spread throughout 18 countries and several PGS Marine Acquisition vessels this was not an easy thing to achieve,” says Johnson, “but the process resulted in a 38% reduction in the amount of unique job titles in the business unit so it was well worth the time and effort”.


Several years ago the PGS DP division developed an intranet-based Skills Tracking system, which provided an assessment and appraisals collection database focused primarily on DP employee’s geophysical skills, their ability to utilize PGS’ proprietary processing system – Cube Manager - and its related utilities, and job performance. Although the system was available to DP worldwide staff, it never really gained much use outside of the North and South America region.

current competency rating levels against those recommended for their position. The Wizard can then provide a list of training activities that include the competencies targeted for improvement. Employees and supervisors then determine which training activities employees should focus on achieving for the year and add these to the employee’s Development Plan. Target completion dates for each activity are established and entered. Employees work to achieve the goals defined in their Development Plan and supervisors can monitor their employee’s progress throughout the year.

PGS employee competency rating form.

“The PeopleFocus system is a huge step forward for PGS as we now have a single repository for all employee records. Competency Assessments, Performance Contracts, Development Plans, training activities and completion records will all be stored in this one global system,” says Johnson. “We can even record additional development opportunities such as job rotations and mentoring, providing a complete employee development program”.

PGS PeopleFocus employee development plan.


SPECIAL company feature • page 56 

have well defined competency standards that allows them to see what is expected to advance their career path”. The final phases, that were perhaps most crucial to the success of the system, were to determine the optimum online collection and reporting system and establish a roll out plan. In mid-2008 PGS purchased a new Human Resources (HR) system they named PeopleFocus. This system had several employee development modules and a Learning Management System. “The remaining pieces fell nicely into place with some other PGS initiatives and we were able to take advantage of a very powerful online tool that is integrated with our HR recordkeeping database, eliminating the need to maintain separate staffing records,” says Johnson. Because it would take time to customize and populate the PeopleFocus system

with all of the required components and data, DP developed and rolled out an interim Microsoft Excel based Competency Assessment and Development Plan system in July 2009. “Creating the interim system in a rather simple tool was fairly complicated, but it provided us with a way to prove the processes we had designed, for no additional investment, and did not require our staff to learn a new piece of software,” says Johnson. In the fall of 2009, DP ran a small pilot of the Competency Assessment feature in PeopleFocus and shortly thereafter began loading the system with all of the required material. The basic process in the new system is that employees and their supervisors both assess the employee’s current competency levels on the Competency Ratings form. A Competency Wizard can then be utilized to run a gap analysis which compares employee’s

Johnson also notes another benefit to the DP business unit is that soon L&D staff will be able to extract DP staff’s actual training needs from the PeopleFocus system and build Training Development and Delivery Plans based on an objective analysis, rather than on anticipated needs. “This will assist us in applying our limited L&D resources where they can most positively impact the organization”.

Moving Forward Data Processing is the first PGS business unit to implement the Competency Assessment and Development Plan system this year, but other PGS business units will soon follow the same path. PGS feels that competency development is essential to maintaining its position as a leading geophysical services company and attracting, engaging and retaining a skilled, competent workforce.

America ´s Oil & Gas Producers

Working in the Delft Geothermal Project The team behind an initiative to demonstrate the use of geothermal heat in The Netherlands describe the


SPECIAL career case histories • page 58 

project and how they got involved.

The Delft Geothermal Project (abbreviated DAP in Dutch) is an initiative in which students, staff and alumni of Delft University of Technology are cooperating to promote the use of geothermal energy. Together, we aim to develop a geothermal energy system that will supply the buildings of the TU Delft and surrounding area with heat through a grid heating network. Originally, one project was planned on the geothermal concession, but spin-off from this initiative has resulted in two more systems being developed to heat glasshouses. Of the three systems—the one being developed at the TU Delft campus grounds—will implement several innovative technologies: drilling on casing, the use of hightech composite material instead of steel, and integration with a conventional energy infrastructure. The project was co-founded by Andries Wever and Douglas Gilding, who started the project, acquired initial funding, and identified key technologies and research opportunities. Recently, Remco Groenenberg and Chris den Boer have joined the team that will push the initiative into the next phase. The actual birth of the project occurred in early 2007, during an event of the Dutch Royal Engineers’ society KIVI. The launch of the project in November 2007 was part of the 23rd lustrum of the Delft Mining Association. During the course of the project, the social networks established through professional associations such as EAGE have proved extremely valuable. DAP is a not-for-profit organization. One of its core activities is to stimulate research and development in the field of geothermal energy. Therefore, the project is totally embedded in the academic environment. This means that students play a key role. Many BSc and MSc research projects have been completed, and a number of internships conducted. Although the DAP initiative is a not-for-profit organization, and as such is an organized network of stake-holders, the day to day activities resemble that of a resource explo-

Andries Wever (right) and Remco Groenenberg (left) in front of the Daldrup & Söhne A.G. Rig.

ration company. “In cooperation with TU Delft, we have applied for an exploration license for geothermal energy, which was granted,” says Andries Wever. “This means a lot of communication to local and state government parties. Moreover, TU Delft supports entrepreneurs to join forces through “open door” policy. This means that parties that support the research agenda of DAP can participate in the exploration of geothermal energy. This way, an accelerated and optimized development of the resource can be achieved, while creating superb research opportunities. To realize this, a lot of agreements need to be reached, plans made, support created. This is not technical work, although technical in-depth knowledge is critical to success”. As a result of the open door policy, all parties that develop geothermal systems together with TU Delft support the research strategy. A key component is

Andries Wever: I studied applied geophysics with Professor Wapenaar in Delft, and wrote my thesis on the accuracy with which 4D seismic can detect subtle reservoir changes. After graduation in early 2004, I joined Wintershall; succesfully followed their SPEAD traineeship as an exploration geophysicist, and worked in Germany, Netherlands, Russia, Libya and Argentina. During both study and work, I have always been intrigued by how scientific or business areas can benefit from cross-breed of information, technology and experience. When I got involved in DAP, I had about 4 years of E&P industry experience. I was looking for a way to also apply my skills


Douglas Gilding (right), Chris den Boer (left). In the background:

Now with the first geothermal system under construction, the second being sanctioned, and the third being detailed-engineered, the project is moving into the next phase. “From a field development point of view, we are moving from the exploration stage into the appraisal stage. The BSc and MSc projects that were conducted have greatly increased our knowledge of the target sandstone for geothermal energy production at the regional, seismic scale,” says Remco Groenenberg. “With the additional six wells, we hope to get a better handle on the internal permeability heterogeneity of the target sandstone that controls geothermal energy production rates and, ultimately, the cost-effectiveness of the geothermal system. Once the systems are operational, we want to put a real-time measurement system in place to monitor the performance of the geothermal fields. As such, this is a very exiting time to be involved in the Delft Geothermal Project”.

SPECIAL career case histories • page 59 

that all subsurface and production data is provided for research and education purposes without legal confidentiality delays. Now with the first agreements in place, DAP is working to develop an “instrumented geothermal field” concept in analogy to the hydrocarbon industry.

"Once the systems are operational, we want to put a real-time measurement system in place to monitor the performance of the geothermal fields."


SPECIAL career case histories • page 60 

on a socially relevant issue such as sustainable energy. I realized that with my background, I could help nurture the DAP initiative. Since the official launch of DAP in November 2007 until January 2010 I served as president of the organization. In this role, I was concerned with strategic issues, identifying and exploiting research opportunities, and legal affairs. Douglas Gilding: In early 2007 I was president of the 23rd lustrum of the Delft Mining Association. I had just finished my B.Sc., and I was looking for an M.Sc. trajectory in which I could further develop my academic and business ambitions. When we started with the project, it was not clear where we would go, how the venture would be financed, and which legal frames would be used. However, what was very clear to me was that there was a great opportunity to port classic hydrocarbon E&P knowledge into the geothermal arena. My specific interest in reservoir geology proved extremely applicable to the primary geothermal reservoir target under investigation: the Delft Sandstone—a fluviatile sandstone with a high degree of heterogeneity. On the managerial side of the project, I dealt with external communication, academic relationships, and finance. This also meant that I had to give presentation for government officials that wanted to learn about the opportunities of geothermal energy, and how DAP would contribute. Remco Groenenberg: Late last year I got involved in DAP, because of my post-doctorate involvement in reservoir characterization and geological modeling. Early this year I was appointed Chief Scientist of the organization, to set-up and guide the reservoir monitoring of the three projects, direct the research program and to supervise B.Sc. and M.Sc. students. This perfectly suits my hybrid background in industry and academia. I studied geology in Utrecht, and then moved into the IT-side of geoscience to develop geological modeling software for E&P companies.

After five years in IT, my passion for Earth Science drove me back to academia, and I started a PhD in Delft with professors Kroonenberg and Luthi on stratigraphic forward modeling of turbidite reservoirs. I now hold a Ph.D. degree in Technical Earth Science and am currently into my second post-doctorate assignment on reservoir characterization and modeling of depleted gas fields and aquifers for CO2-storage. My new role at DAP gives me the opportunity to do applied research on a topic of great societal and economical relevance in a dynamic environment, which is exactly what I was looking for. Chris den Boer: I wrote my B.Sc. thesis with DAP on the 3D flow characteristics of geothermal water in the presence of faults. What was great was that I was directly communicating with companies providing data for the project. DAP ensured the paperwork, but then I could take over on the technical level to get the data for my research. After completion of my B.Sc., I stopped my studies for one year to serve as president on the board of the Delft Mining Association. During this time I learned a lot about external communications, management in general, and improved my organizational skills. In 2009 I resumed my studies, and in January 2010, I was appointed Secretary General of the DAP project, dealing with external communications and administrative issues. What I really enjoy in this role is the contact with a broad variety of parties. Students, local businesses, municipality and high-level management of the companies involved in the geothermal project are all very enthusiastic about this new impulse for geothermal heat in the Netherlands as a sustainable energy source. Furthermore, I think that it is great experience to work on the day-to-day tasks that are needed to facilitate the application of our research in the three geothermal projects currently running within DAP. For me this also confirms the significance of the “applied” part, which was my primary reason for studying applied Earth Sciences.

16th European Symposium on

Resources to Reserves From Promise to Reality

Improved Oil Recovery Cambridge, UK | 12-14 April 2011

Join us in Cambridge IOR2011-V*H.indd 1

13-04-2010 09:32:39

EAGE’s Searchable bl G Geoscience Database


13258 EARTH-V1H.indd 1

Free access for EAGE members EAGE Members have free access to EarthDoc. For non-members, EarthDoc is available on a corporate subscription basis. For more information, go to www.earthdoc.org.

11-03-2010 16:30:50


What does EarthDoc offer? • Papers presented at EAGE events since 1982 • Articles from First Break, Near Surface Geophysics, Geophysical Prospecting and Petroleum Geoscience, with archives back to 1953 • Papers from events from other societies, such as the SAGA Biennial Technical Meeting & Exhibition and the International Congress of the Brazilian Geophysical Society • Papers of upcoming EAGE events always available two weeks prior to the event


EarthDoc is an important and much anticipated initiative by the EAGE to enable users to quickly reference documents related to conferences, publications and material from societies worldwide. It is a very dynamic product and an important contribution to making scientific knowledge available to a wider audience.

Amazon jungle to North Sea geophysics From the

Mariano Floricich explains his career progression so far—from childhood in a small Venezuelan village


SPECIAL career success story • page 62 

to becoming a Shell geophysicist in Aberdeen. Could you tell us a little bit about yourself? I was born in Barcelona, Venezuela, but when I was five we moved to a small village in the Orinoco Delta, one of the largest tropical deltas in the world—at the north end of the Amazon jungle— where I spent my childhood and teenage years. After being awarded a scholarship, I obtained a degree in geophysical engineering with honours from Simon Bolivar University in 2001. After work-

ing for a few years in the Venezuelan national oil company, PDVSA, I moved to Edinburgh in the UK, where in 2006 I was awarded a Ph.D. in reservoir geophysics from Heriot-Watt University. Currently, I work as Reservoir Geophysicist for Shell in the UK, giving support in quantitative seismic interpretation to several assets around Europe, mainly in the North Sea and Atlantic Margin. I live in Aberdeen with my wife Yazmin and we are expecting our first baby in May.

What did you want to become as a child? I remember that as a child I wanted to become an astronaut. Later, I realised that there are a lot of things we don’t know about our planet. Actually, a few weeks ago I was moving house and I found some very old notes I wrote when I was ten, listing the main volcanoes and mountains in the world. I was a very curious child; and growing up in very close contact with nature, I always wanted to know how and why things like mountains, rocks, rivers, islands and earthquakes happened. I didn’t know at that time that this curiosity would bring me to pursue a geosciences career.

What brought you into this industry? I got a scholarship to study at Simon Bolivar University in the Science and

I received several recognitions during my years as a student, including the Mariscal de Ayacucho Foundation scholarship, James Watt scholarship, and Ian Jack/BP Scholarship from the Society of Exploration Geophysicists (SEG). I have been very fortunate to get a job that I enjoy every minute, applying new and existent seismic interpretation technologies to several fields in the North Sea where Shell is an operator or partner. I have been working with fields like Schiehallion and Nelson that have five or more reservoir-monitoring seismic surveys to integrate with geological, petrophysical and production data. It is a challenge but we have been working with workflows and technology to combine all these different set of data. Of course, is not just about workflows and tools; it is mainly about people, and I am very thankful for the support from my colleagues at Shell in Aberdeen. One of the highlights of my career so far has been receiving the Arie Van Weelden Award from the EAGE in 2009, in recognition of my research work and ongoing insights in the quantification and inter-

pretation of time-lapse seismic data in complex reservoirs to improve reservoir management. I am incredibly honoured to receive such a prestigious award. It is a great satisfaction to see that people recognise the work and research I do and a real motivation to continue working and enjoying what I am doing.

What were the defining moments of your career path and how did these moments influence you professionally? There were two defining moments that have really influenced me professionally and personally. The first one was to be awarded with a scholarship to study at Simon Bolivar University in Venezuela. I would like to thank my parents for all the encouragement and support they gave me to apply for the scholarship and to go to University. At just sixteen I moved from a small village to the country’s capital city, which was quite a challenge but a wonderful experience. I learnt a lot, met amazing people, and became a geophysicist! The second defining moment of my career path was my Ph.D. at the Edinburgh Time-Lapse Project (ETLP) in Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, UK, led by Professor Colin MacBeth. I always wanted to know more about time-lapse seismic interpretation and I was very fortunate to join this university research consortium specialising in the development and application of tools for quantitative interpretation of 4D seismic. I really enjoyed the application of my research to real data from North Sea oilfields and the discussions with very experienced staff from all the sponsor companies. It was a great experience that provided me with

the knowledge and tools, at both professional and personal level, to continue my career. For that, I am very grateful to all my fellow researchers in the ETLP group and to Professor MacBeth who has given me the opportunity to conduct this research and supported me with his encouragement, guidance and many rewarding discussions.

Have you undertaken any further studies or courses throughout your career? As part of my development plan in Shell I have done several courses, which have included computer programs, geosciences, and petroleum engineering disciplines. Some of the courses have been mainly practical, like well drilling activities and field trips. It is always good to visit a rig and to look at the rocks; it helps to put things in perspective when doing seismic interpretation on a workstation.

What goals would you advise someone starting out in the industry to set themselves to become successful? The goals should be set individually as a result of opportunities and personal needs, but I can provide a few thoughts. The job should be enjoyable but at the same time challenging to give the best of ourselves. Try to identify what you are good at and what you enjoy doing, and look for that opportunity. Any obstacles on the way have to be seen as opportunities to develop new skills. In my experience, I have realized that success seems to be connected with action. If you want something, it doesn’t matter how big or small, perseverance is the main factor in achieving it.

SPECIAL career success story • page 63 

What would you regard as the highlights of your achievements and career?

"I have realized that success seems to be connected with action."


Engineering department. We had one year to choose which career we wanted to pursue. During this first year, a physics professor recommended to me that I study geophysics; that was the first time I heard that word! I remember going to the Geophysics department and attending a lecture to understand what geophysics was about. They discussed tectonic plates, earthquakes and the Earth’s interior. I was fascinated and knew at that time I wanted to become a geophysicist. Later, I did an internship with Perez Companc (now part of Petrobras) and with the Venezuelan national oil company, PDVSA, regarding the use of seismic interpretation for reservoir characterization. Once I got my degree, I started working for PDVSA in an integrated reservoir characterization team.

SPECIAL recent starters • page 64 





Four young geoscience professionals describe how they joined the industry and share their


SPECIAL recent starters • page 65 

experiences and career expectations.

Recent starters:




Geologist, SGS Horizon


recent professionals starters • page • page 66  66  SPECIAL young

What did you study and where? I studied geology with a focus on structural geology at the TU Bergakademie Freiberg in Germany. After obtaining my M.Sc., I performed a Ph.D. at the GFZ Potsdam (German Research Centre for Geoscience) and the Free University Berlin. In my research I focused on structural geology and subduction zone processes.

How did you start working for SGS Horizon? Towards the end of my Ph.D. thesis I started looking for small independent oil and gas consulting companies. I came across SGS Horizon (then Horizon Energy Partners). Since no job offers were posted on their website, I sent my CV to the HR department, asking whether they were looking for a highly motivated geologist. I got an invitation for an interview very soon. The interview took place in a very pleasant atmosphere and I got the job offer while on my way back to Berlin.

Why did you choose to work for a service company?

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

I like the international atmosphere of the oil and gas industry, as well as the solution-driven work, which I often missed in academic research. I chose a small company to get immediate responsibilities and to work within integrated and multidisciplinary teams on a large variety of projects.

I really enjoy working within a team of smart individuals to find the best way to tackle an issue that has to be solved. To get immediately exposed to clients was also a nice experience. There is nothing that I especially don’t like. However, as a geologist something that I miss is field work.

What is your position and what tasks does it require?

How do you find the match between theory and practice?

I work as a geologist on integrated reservoir studies, mostly generating 3D static models for subsequent dynamic simulations. However, due to the broad scope of our projects, every kind of geological consultancy is part of my daily work, ranging from core studies, structural and stress field analyses, as well as fault seal studies.

Since neither my university studies nor my Ph.D. were focused on petroleum geology and the application of geological methods in the oil and gas industry, I experienced a huge gap between my theory and the daily practice. However, with a lot of ambitious self study and training on the job I was able to close this gap quickly.

Are you currently taking any courses to develop your career?

Within 10 years from now I would like to get more involved in the economic aspects of our profession. I would enjoy leading projects as well as taking part in the training and development of junior staff.

What advice would you give to students preparing for the job market? Try to follow your own interests, the topics you are really interested in. By doing this you can achieve the most.

SPECIAL recent starters • page 67 

In which position do you see yourself in ten years from now?


"Try to follow your own interests, the topics you are really interested in. By doing this you can achieve the most."

A few months ago I went on a field course to study outcrops of fluvial-deltaic deposits. The course was also designed to develop a high level understanding of alternative modeling approaches in Petrel seismic to simulation software. This year, I plan to attend courses on different structural styles in hydrocarbon systems in combination with cross section balancing methods. I would also like to focus more on cross-disciplinary knowledge, for example in reservoir engineering and seismic interpretation. However, most of the training comes “on the job”.

Recent starters:

Ferdinando Rizzo (27)


SPECIAL recent starters • page 68 

Seismic Processing Geophysicist, Eni oil & gas company

What did you study and where? I have a Masters degree in Telecommunication Engineering from the Polytechnic School of Milan, Italy. My specialization was digital signal processing, with particular focus on geophysical signal processing.

How did you start working for Eni? Eni is well known for its strong collaboration with university R&D groups to support the development of its innovative technologies. I worked for one year as a researcher in one of these R&D groups and at the end of the period I realized that university was not really the

ideal work environment for me. The professor leading the R&D group suggested that I consider joining Eni to capitalize on my technical skills. I submitted my CV via the Eni careers website. Shortly afterwards I was invited for an aptitude and technical interview, after which I received a job offer.

Why did you choose to work for an oil company? I first came into contact with Eni while attending a careers day organized at the university, where the company presented its activities. The characteristics that attracted my attention and curiosity were the

"Being exposed to the entire value chain of the industry is a unique learning opportunity that should help me to move forward to business management and senior positions where I can assume more responsibility."

I began my career in Eni as a geophysicist assigned to the seismic processing group. The company has a strong training and development programme for graduates aimed at providing key skills and technical knowledge needed to excel in the various different roles. During this first year I attended several technical classroom courses. Eni has a special branch, called the “Eni Corporate University” that provides training and development opportunities during an employee’s entire working life. During the first year, besides participating in the development program, I was also involved in seismic processing projects, including R&D related projects, together with 2D and 3D seismic processing of land and marine data. During the second year my main task was to follow the operations of a service company in Russia. All these activities required teamwork, continuous updating about new technologies developed worldwide, and the capability to solve problems; analyzing them from different points of view.

What do you like about the job and what don’t you like? One aspect of my job that I like very much is being able to utilise the most advanced technologies in everyday work. This possibility derives from Eni’s approach to R&D activities, which supports the immediate application of developed technologies to resolving real problems. I experienced this approach in my first assignment: an R&D project the results of which, after an initial validation, were immediately applied to the daily working activity

How do you find the match between theory and practice? The success of a project in a company is achieved by choosing the most efficient technology, while also tak-

Are you currently taking any courses to develop your career? At the beginning of my third year in Eni I was involved in a very important project to increase my technical skills, acquire a cross-disciplinary knowledge of the activities performed in the Exploration & Production division, and also develop my “soft” skills. This project is called the “Green project” and it offers the opportunity to spend one year in each of the professional families involved in the E&P business, including exploration, reservoir engineering, drilling engineering, finance & economics and HSE.

In which position do you see yourself in ten years from now? The “Green project” is giving me the opportunity to acquire knowledge in an accelerated way. I am also developing a cross-disciplinary perspective and a complete vision of the entire life of a project. This gives me the awareness of the entire workflow of the company, from its origin to conclusion. Being exposed to the entire value chain of the industry is a unique learning opportunity that should help me to move forward to business management and senior positions where I can assume more responsibility.

What advice would you give to students preparing for the job market? The oil industry job market is evolving continuously and rapidly. It requires significant flexibility and a spirit of adaptability. Moreover, if anyone would like to start a career in this sector, I suggest that he or she should work in a team, made up of individuals from several different professions, that performs stimulating integrated activities.

SPECIAL recent starters • page 69 

What is your position and what tasks does it require?

ing into account the economic aspects. The theoretical aspects that I learned during my studies allow me to understand the solutions available on the market. It is very important to consider several different approaches during the problem solving process. I have found a good match between theory and practice in Eni because the company works with the latest technologies developed from theoretical studies.


international scope of the activities and the wide variety of professional opportunities that Eni had to offer, for example travelling and working in foreign countries. Eni is present in more than 77 countries around the world, so can offer a unique opportunity to meet people from different cultures, which can enrich my experience both professionally and personally.

Recent starters:

Foriane Bie (30)

Interpretation Geophysicist, Total

What did you study and where? I attended a three year preparatory school for the nationwide competitive examination to the French “Grandes Ecoles”; equivalent to a two-year university diploma, specializing in mathematics and physics. I then spent three years in a graduate school for advanced engineering studies called Supelec (electronics, computer science, automatics, signal processing, and energy science). I also spent one year at the IFP School studying petroleum geosciences, where I gained an M.Sc. degree majoring in geophysics.

How did you start working for Total? Total was supporting me during my geophysics major at the IFP School, and my final internship was done in the company’s Angolan affiliate. I was subsequently hired.


SPECIAL recent starters • page 70 

Why did you choose to work for an oil company? The energy industry had always been an interest for me and I was looking for a job that would offer me expat possibilities in many different countries. An oil company seemed to be appropriate. I was also interested by the specifics of geology: a domain where you cannot master every parameter, and where the risks are highly present and need to be evaluated and finally taken without any certainty about the results.

What is your position and what tasks does it require? I am an interpretation geophysicist in the New Ventures department. My job is to help decisions about opportunities to acquire new blocks of potentially productive acreage offered for license by governments around the world.

In this job you perform the initial interpretation at the beginning of any potential discovery, and are the first ones to give a discovery the possibility to exist. It is really exiting to think that the will to make it work or not may make the difference. If I don’t show anyone a prospect it may never be looked at afterwards. Moreover you are reconstructing a story, through millions years, telling what nature has been doing and how and why it may lead to a discovery. Of course there may be some disappointments—when something you believe in is not followed by your management or even people you work with—and the energy you have to give to make the story works can be directly proportional to the disappointment if there is nothing but a dry well at the end. However it is a balance between the excitement of building your own story and interpretation and facing some very tough uncertainties and lack of real physical equations to get rid of those.

How do you find the match between theory and practice? My year of studying at the IFP School helped a lot on this issue. As my previous background was quite strong in physical theory, I was happy to find that it taught with a very pragmatic approach. I mainly discovered geology in that last studying year. It was taught with a focus on petroleum, and by people from the petroleum companies. Industrial tools were used, making for a smooth transition

Are you currently taking any courses to develop your career? Yes. Total offers a lot of internal training, especially to young geoscientists. Many aspects can be looked at from the reservoir, geophysics and the geology specialties, to more transverse problems on request. One can also access some language courses when needed. This is a big advantage of being in an integrated company: access to all specialties is possible, and courses exist on almost all the petroleum issues.

In which position do you see yourself in ten years from now? This is a very difficult question. I am interested in becoming a bit more transverse and I could be working on integrated issues from exploration to production.

What advice would you give to students preparing for the job market? Think about the life you want to have and the coherency between the job you want and the life you want to live. Geosciences jobs mean perpetual challenges, both from yourself and or from your management, and as a consequence it is important to be sufficiently passionate about your work to be willing and able to redo it every day slightly differently from the day before. You have to show to the people you work with that you are able to get new ideas, you are able to accept being wrong and, most importantly, that you are able to understand all the uncertainties you deal with. To me, scientific honesty is a key in this job, as people rely on your interpretations. As time goes by, your value on this “small” job market will highly depend on the confidence you built around you.

"As time goes by, your value on this ‘small’ job market will highly depend on the confidence you built around you."

SPECIAL recent starters • page 71 

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

to my work as a geophysicist in Total. However, the main and strong difference is the business issue: when you are facing business delays and you know that you will be obliged to make some shortcuts and strong hypothesis, theory can appear very far away.


To assess the risk and potential of exploring or developing these blocks, I can access many different types of data, coming either directly from Total or from various data rooms that I can visit. Analysis of these different types of data, and the ideas and new interpretation (for example on the seismic) that I may do on it with the working group, leads to an evaluation about a block or zone that we present to the people who make decisions about the business aspect.

Recent starters:

Manuel Ron Martin (29) Exploration Geologist, Repsol

What did you study and where? I studied a five year degree in geological sciences with a specialization in hydrogeology. Currently I am studying the last course of geological engineering in my free time. All my studies were done in the University of Oviedo (Spain).


SPECIAL recent starters • page 72 

How did you start working for Repsol? In early 2007 I decided to leave groundwater exploration and change to the oil industry. I wanted to work for Repsol because this is the oil company of my country and has made some of the biggest worldwide oil & gas discoveries in the last years. I sent my C.V. via Repsol’s website and rapidly received an answer to participate in the young professional selection process, which I completed with good results. Repsol offered me a grant to study a one year M.Sc. in Oil & Gas Exploration and Production. The first part of the M.Sc. was held in Repsol’s training centre in Madrid, Spain (Centro Superior de Formación Repsol) and the specialization part was held in the Institute of Petroleum Engineering of the Heriot Watt University in Edinburgh, Scotland. My specialization was geophysics.

After finalizing successfully my studies, I entered in Repsol’s 2-year New Professional Training Program, where I could continue my training while I worked for the company. This program included participating in different exploration projects in Repsol’s headquarters in Madrid, wellsite experiences in Algeria, other field experiences in Libya, continuous teaching via courses and direct coaching from my boss and team colleagues.

Why did you choose to work for an oil company? Initially I thought that joining the oil industry was very difficult. Now I realize that anyone with skills and motivation can join. Working in the oil industry is one of the most attractive careers for a professional in the Earth Sciences as you can participate in exciting projects while using the last latest technology and therefore you are always learning.

What is your position and what tasks does it require? I am an exploration geologist collaborating in the Quality Assurance Unit. This team is in charge of reviewing the technical aspects of all the exploratory projects of Repsol Upstream. The team’s prime objective is to improve

"My personal dream is leading an Exploration Team, for example in South America."

How do you find the match between theory and practice? The oil industry is different with respect to other geological disciplines. It is a unique business where a geologist can apply all his knowledge, including structural geology, petrology, petrophysics, sedimentary environments, stratigraphy and geophysics in an integrated way with a clear focus to make profitable projects. The M.Sc. in Oil & Gas Exploration and Production that I did with Repsol is much more applied and oriented to the objectives of the industry.

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

In which position do you see yourself in ten years from now?

I like the way that Repsol works, especially the teamwork. Once you enter in the company you become a member of a group that works for a common objective. Quality Assurance is a special unit for a New Professional, because all members are seniors with many years of experience and they review all exploratory projects. This has been a very good group to join as a trainee since it has given me the opportunity to learn the geological and geophysical frameworks of many petroleum provinces throughout the world, and the methodology of risk analysis.

I hope to develop an in-depth knowledge in exploration geology to enable me to have a significant responsibility within Repsol. My personal dream is leading an Exploration Team, for example in South America.

What advice would you give to students preparing for the job market? I advise according to my experience. I hope that all students of Earth Sciences that wish to join the oil industry will try to. Here, they will discover a fascinating world in which the possibilities of learning, applying technology, and professional development are very important.


All New Professionals in Repsol follow a training plan that includes several training courses. Some are about Repsol and the oil industry in general; but there are also very specific courses; focused more on the needs of your unit and the objectives of your development. There are also field experiences as a trainee, such as seismic acquisition campaigns and drilling assignments. A remarkable reason to be in this company is that it offers the opportunity to select your own professional way and to be oriented towards the career matter that fits your professional desires and skills.

SPECIAL recent starters • page 73 

Are you currently taking any courses to develop your career? the technical evaluation of exploration and appraisal projects. They are a technical advisory group to both the project teams and management. Two important aspects, in which I am involved, are geologic risk prediction and post drill evaluations. The former involves predicting the geological chance of success of a well based on the review of the geological and geophysical evidence. The latter is an analysis of the cause of failure of a dry well, the comparison of predicted versus actual results and a compilation of the lessons learned.


fastest man in the oilfield?

Simon Vroemen explains how he has managed his dual careers as an engineer with Shell and also as a world-class professional athlete.


SPECIAL managing dual careers • page 74 

Please tell us about your background, what brought you into the industry, when you became a professional athlete and how you combine this with your working life. I started athletics at a very young age, but specialized in middle long distance when I moved to Wageningen University, in my home country of the Netherlands. I spent the last years of my studies majoring in Biotechnology at the University of California, Riverside, USA. I had a scholarship for the track and field team and improved my running significantly, but it was only during my Ph.D. at Utrecht University (Biochemistry) that I turned to the 3000 m steeple chase and became an elite athlete at a world class level. When I had to choose a profession after getting my Ph.D., I selected the oil industry; mainly for its international character, but also because I did not want to spend all day standing on my feet in a biochemistry laboratory, which would not be good for my running career. I

had talked quite a few times to Shell at recruitment events and the oil industry was very appealing to me—and after I joined Shell it proved to be an excellent choice. Shell helped me quite a bit with my professional career. They not only sponsored me by providing financial support for training camps, but they also allowed me to work on an 80% contract so I could go for training from the office at lunch time and also train after work. After breaking the European record in the 3000 m steeple chase, I temporarily worked on a 60% contract. However, the best performances of my running career came after I decided to work full-time and train less. I was more rested and relaxed and still benefitted from the large amounts of training I had done previously. I worked in a Shell office opposite a forest and the athletics track and weight room were just five minutes away. It was ideal.

What are the benefits of managing dual careers? The good thing about my dual career was that I could relax very much mentally when I did my physical running training, and I could physically rest when I was sitting at my desk in the office doing my work. A lot of the good ideas I used in my work actually came into my mind while I was running outside! My dual career also taught me to prioritize, focus on results and to demonstrate a strong sense of time management.

What have been the challenges in managing dual careers? The main challenge was to manage my time effectively; not only training and work on a daily basis, but also throughout the year when planning training camps and business trips. I have done business trips to Siberia where I trained at -30°C. I have also been writing business proposals in the athlete’s hotel in Monaco until three hours before running a European record in the

"A major challenge is also on the mental side: to focus on two high goals at the same time."

I would probably have moved abroad for Shell as an expat had I not been a professional runner, and would possibly have made a faster career progression. Some people claim I could have run faster if I would have been a fulltime athlete like all of my competitors. I have my doubts about such claims: I would very easily have been bored and I would have felt unchallenged from the intellectual and social side. I am very happy that I have combined these two careers.

Have you every considered giving up one of your careers? When I had a poor athletics year and got the opportunity to move abroad for Shell to a country where middle distance running

On the athletics side, running two European records and finishing 5th and 6th in World and Olympic Championships. This is unprecedented by a Dutch runner and I was one of the few runners able to compete with the best African runners. On my professional side, I have become subsurface and development manager for a smaller oil company and I am really enjoying that achievement and the successful projects I have done in that position. In a smaller company, the sense of ownership for your projects is a lot bigger. Another highlight was the silver medal at the European Championships.

What were the defining moments of your career path and how did these moments influence you professionally? In athletics, the defining moment was the choice to move from middle distance to

Has the company been supportive? Shell has supported my financially to facilitate training camps, and also allowed me to work part-time to manage my training and races.

What qualities does one need to be successful in managing a dual career? Excellent time management skills, results driven and able to handle more than one main goal simultaneously, cope with excessive stress.

What is your advice for dual career professionals? The most important thing is that you enjoy both careers a lot—if not, you will be unable to manage to combine both careers for a long time. The second piece of advice is to always communicate to all the people around you what you are doing and why. Once people know what you are doing, they will be a lot more excited about it and can really support you. For more information about Simon Vroemen's sporting career, visit www.simonvroemen.nl.

SPECIAL managing dual careers • page 75 

Do you feel you have been constrained in either career because of your dual career status?

What would you regard as the highlights of your careers?

the steeplechase. This brought me to the world top in my sport. In my professional career, the defining moment was the choice for the oil industry, which was ideal for me to combine with my sports.


Golden league competition. A major challenge is also on the mental side: to focus on two high goals at the same time.

would have been very difficult given the climate, I considered giving up running. I am glad I didn’t, since my best years in athletics came after this period. I participated in my second Olympics and ran my second European record. I have never considered giving up work, but have thought about working less hours, e.g. 20 hours per week. In fact, I did work 24 hours a week for a while, but it did not give me enough job satisfaction.

Worldwide opportunities with OMV Ute Sattler, Explorationist at OMV Exploration & Production, talks about the challenges of living and ­working abroad, and the ­excitement of


SPECIAL company feature • page 76 

an international career.

Exploration and Production (E&P) is one of the three core businesses of OMV Aktiengesellschaft, alongside Refining & Marketing (R&M) and Gas & Power (G&P). For a long time, the company’s natural oil and gas production activities were concentrated in Austria. OMV’s first big step towards the international E&P business was made in 1985 with the acquisition of stakes in Libyan projects. Today, its international E&P portfolio is spread across 17 countries focused in six core regions: Central and South-Eastern Europe; North Africa; North-West Europe; Middle East; Australia and New Zealand; and Russia and the Caspian. This internationalization goes along with numerous opportunities for mobile and

dedicated employees. OMV E&P has intensified its search for employees who are open for a new environment and are prepared to face the challenges of an international career. A posting abroad is a big step for any individual, but it helps to develop them professionally, and also on a personal level. Being confronted with a foreign culture, differing customs, and the barriers of talking and living another language, often opens up new vistas regarding values and norms. The decision to go abroad for several years is a normal part of professional development in an international enterprise like OMV, and is in accordance with OMV´s values: Pioneers,

Professionals, Partners. OMV pioneers professionally convey knowledge in the spirit of partnership. Currently the company has 465 expatriates worldwide. Ms Ute Sattler, Explorationist at OMV E&P, has just returned from a two year assignment in Stavanger, Norway, and shares her knowledge: “I went to Norway to gain more experience in the international oil business. I also wanted to deepen my knowledge as an Explorationist. To me, ‘career’ means having future perspectives, not being stuck with the same duties forever, but instead being able to progress, change, develop technically and personally”. During her posting in Stavanger, project responsibil-

"You need to build up a new life and adapt to a new culture."

Ute Sattler considers her years abroad as enrichment and is now ready to return to Austria. She is going to be involved in a promising exploration project in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. For an expatri-

ate it is important to know that they return to a fixed job at least equivalent to the one held before the posting and that their newly acquired work experience will be made use of in a new, as well as challenging, task. An overseas posting is usually also the basis for a future career. When asked to provide advice to colleagues in regards to career, Ute Sattler explains “Do not wait for somebody to arrange things for you. If you want to progress get active yourself, apply for a job vacancy advertised internally and make use of the wide range of possibilities for career development within OMV”.

SPECIAL company feature • page 77 

and their accompanying families, increasing their awareness of country specific cultural values and enhancing intercultural communication skills with specific intercultural training programs. Modules include pre-departure briefings, one-day trainings and on-site coaching to reflect experiences and to create individual solutions for life and work in the host country.


ity and zealous colleagues filled her with enthusiasm. Ute Sattler looked forward to the new start, but also explains that the beginning of her secondment was not that easy. “You need to build up a new life and adapt to a new culture”. Anybody who wants to live and work abroad needs proper preparation and especially an overview regarding accommodation, schools and infrastructure. This entire acclimatization process including shipment of personal goods, a “Look and See trip”, and settlement in the host country, is managed by OMV’s “Expatriates Services” team. This team supports integration of expatriates


SPECIAL conference preview • page 78 


women’s conference in energy and technology

The seventh installment of the Women’s Global Leadership Conference in Energy and Technology, hosted by Gulf Publishing Company, will take place October 27-28, 2010 in Houston, Texas. Last year’s event attracted more than 550 people from around the globe, making it the largest conference of its kind. Focused on the latest economic and technical issues in the energy industry, the conference also features a personal development track addressing leadership and career development.

The second track is also considered critical to the conference’s success. “In addition to the economic and technical content, we really take an intensive look at leadership issues. The conference agenda is designed to help women reach their maximum potential with respect to their careers for the benefit of the industry as a whole,” said Donadio.


“The conference is unique in the breadth of the issues addressed,” explains Marcela Donadio, Americas Oil and Gas Leader of Ernst and Young, and the 2009 and 2010 conference Advisory Board chair. “Our primary focus is developing strong business and technical content—discussing the most relevant topics of the day in our industry—which is incredibly valuable. In 2009, the conference addressed some very challenging issues.”

SPECIAL conference preview • page 79 

Each year, the conference boasts a number of international experts addressing the industry’s most pressing topics, such as cap and trade, new technologies, carbon readiness, economic and policy issues and alternative energy sources.

"The conference is an incredible opportunity to connect with the women, and a few men, who make a difference in this industry."

The 2009 leadership panels included discussions on leveraging cultural differences, attracting and retaining a highly skilled workforce, and advice from senior industry leaders on how to leverage leadership and personal development into career success. Other panels highlighted real-world discussions on how to succeed as a dual-career couple and meeting the challenges of succeeding in a male-dominated workplace.


SPECIAL conference preview • page 80 

The two day conference featured keynote speakers including Ms. Rosemarie

Andolino, Commissioner of the Department of Aviation, City of Chicago; Karen Harbert, President & CEO, Institute for 21st Century Energy, US Chamber of Commerce, and Dr. Scott Tinker, Director, Bureau of Economic Geology and State Geologist of Texas/Professor, Edwin Allday Chair of Subsurface Geology, The University of Texas at Austin. One of the most popular speakers at the 2009 event, Dr. Tinker previewed his upcoming documentary “The Bridge: A Global Energy Education Documentary”.

Describing his program, Dr. Tinker said in his presentation “Our food and water, shelter and transportation, communications, light, heat and cooling—every function and facet of modern life is built upon energy. And globally, 87% of it comes from fossil fuels. But, with carbon and supply concerns, we have begun the shift to alternatives. We must navigate this transition very carefully to ensure the stability of economies and the health of the environment. And, for this, a solid energy education is essential”.

Looking for a career challenge?

The 2010 WGLC event is scheduled for October 27 and 28th in Houston, Texas at the Westin Galleria Hotel. The conference will examine the question “Natural Gas: The Next Global Commodity?” as well as focus on professional develop topics for entry level, mid-management and senior level executives.

Job Centre Exhibitors:

For more information or booth availability please contact the account manager Recruitment & Subscriptions (sk@eage.org)

www.eage.org/jobcentre 72nd EAGE Conference & Exhibition incorporating SPE EUROPEC 2010 14-17 June 2010 | CCIB Barcelona

SPECIAL conference preview • page 81 

Wrapping up her remarks, Donadio said, “The conference is an incredible opportunity to connect with the women, and a few men, who make a difference in this industry. It gives me access to people who are really seasoned and knowledgeable about energy. It is a great opportunity to develop contacts and relationships at the senior level”.

Visit the Barcelona 2010 Job Centre


Many of the attendees also cited the opportunity to network with senior leadership and peers from around the globe as a m jor benefit of the conference. Beginning with a wine reception the first night, connections were made throughout the two days. Many attendees are also following the conference throughout the year on LinkedIn groups and the website WGLnetwork.com. The conference has also expanded to include a second event in internationally every other year, which started in 2009 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.


SPECIAL calendar • page 82 

201 2-7 May 2010 11-14 May 2010 17-19 May 2010 20-22 May 2010 14-17 Jun 2010 14-17 Jun 2010 21-25 Jun 2010 15-20 Aug 2010 15-20 Aug 2010 22-26 Aug 2010 30 Aug-2 Sep 2010 5-10 Sept 2010 6-8 Sept 2010 6-9 Sept 2010 12-15 Sept 2010 13-17 Sept 2010 19-22 Sept 2010 20-24 Sept 2010 26-29 Sept 2010 29 Sept-1 Oct 2010 28 Sept-1 Oct 2010 4-7 Oct 2010

EGU | European Geosciences Union General Assembly 2009 http://meetings.copernicus.org/egu2010/ EAGE | IXth International Conference on Geoinformatics: Theoretical and Applied Aspects www.eage.org EAGE | Developments in Land Seismic Acquisition for Exploration www.eage.org Hungarian Geological Society | National Geoscience Congress www.foldtan.hu/ China University of Geosciences | The 4th International Conference on Environmental and Engineering Geophysics (ICEEG) www.iceeg.cn EAGE | Barcelona 2010 - 72nd EAGE Conference & Exhibition incorporating SPE EUROPEC www.eage.org GPR Group | GPR 2010 - 13th International Conference on Ground Penetrating Radar www.ibam.cnr.it/gpr2010/ EAGE | GeoBaikal 2010 - The First International Scientific-practical Conference on EM Research www.eage.org SEG/EAGE | Summer Research Workshop www.seg.org ASEG-PESA | ASEG 2010 - 21st International Geophysical Conference and Exhibition www.aseg.org.au French Committee on Stratigraphy | STRATI2010 - 4th French Congress on Stratigraphy http://paleopolis.rediris.es/STRATI2010/ IAEG | 11th IAEG Congress www.iaeg2010.com/ EAGE | Near Surface 2010 www.eage.org EAGE | ECMOR XII www.eage.org AAPG | AAPG 2010 International Conference & Exhibition www.aapg.org/calgary/ EAGE | Geomodel 2010 www.eage.org SPE | SPE Annual Technical Conference & Exhibition www.spe.org EAGE | Crimea Fieldtrip 2010 www.eage.org EAGE | Second Workshop on Tar Mats & Heavy Oil www.eage.org EAGE | GeoSkill 2010 www.eage.org AGH University | The International Conference Baltic-Petrol 2010 www.baltic.geosfera.pl EAGE | Sakhalin Workshop 2010 www.eage.org

















Snowbird, Utah USA Sydney





New Zealand





Calgary, AB














Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk Russia

10/2011 SEG | SEG International Exposition and 80th Annual Meeting www.seg.org EAGE | Nanotech Oil & Gas www.eage.org EAGE | Geosteering & Well Placement Workshop www.eage.org EAGE | KazGeo 2010 www.eage.org PESGB | PETEX 2010 www.petex.info/ EAGE | Integrated Earth Modeling Conference www.eage.org EAGE | Second Workshop on Exploration www.eage.org EAGE | 3rd International Conference and Exhibition Tyumen 2010 www.eage.org APG/AAPG | GEO India 2010 www.aeminfo.com.bh/geoindia2010/#content EAGE | Second Middle East Workshop on Tight Gas Reservoirs www.eage.org EAGE | Borehole Geophysics Workshop www.eage.org EAGE | Permanent Reservoir Monitoring www.eage.org SPE | MEOS 2011 www.meos2011.com/#content EAGE | Third Passive Seismic Workshop www.eage.org EAGE | Libya 2011 - 5th North African Mediterranean Petroleum and Geosciences Conference & Exhibition www.eage.org AAPG | AAPG Annual Convention & Exhibition www.aapg.org EAGE | IOR 2011 www.eage.org EAGE | Vienna 2011 - 73rd EAGE Conference & Exhibition incorporating SPE EUROPEC www.eage.org EAGE | Near Surface 2011 www.eage.org SEG | SEG International Exhibition and 81st Annual Meeting www.seg.org SPE | SPE Annual Technical Conference & Exhibition www.spe.org

















New Delhi






















San Antonio, Texas USA Denver, Colorado USA


17-22 Oct 2010 21-22 Oct 2010 7-10 Nov 2010 15-17 Nov 2010 23-25 Nov 2010 28 Nov-1 Dec 2010 4-7 Dec 2010 6-10 Dec 2010 7-10 Dec 2010 12-15 Dec 2010 16-20 Jan 2011 28 Feb-3 Mar 2011 13-16 Mar 2011 27-30 Mar 2011 28-30 Mar 2011 10-13 Apr 2011 12-14 Apr 2011 23-26 May 2011 12-14 Sep 2011 18-23 Sep 2011 30 Oct-2 Nov 2011

SPECIAL calendar • page 83 

Calendar 2010/2011

EAGE Geosteering & Well Placement Workshop

Geosteering: Balancing Value & Risk 7-10 November 2010 – Dubai, UAE Geosteering & Well Placement is no longer in its youth. In recent years we have witnessed new developments extending the capabilities of well placement far beyond expectations and enabling oil and gas operators to maximize the return on investment. Experience on reservoir production history is building up and best practices have been documented, but there is still a long way to go to ensure things are done as well as possible. The aim of this EAGE workshop is to bring together key experts from oil companies and service companies to discuss, through case studies, the following themes: • State of the Art: Value articulation, success & challenges, technology • Operations: Processes, remote operations, people • Integration: Geological models, drilling, well completion & reservoir management



For further details or to submit a paper please go to www.eage.org


13261-GWP-V2H.indd 1

Call for Papers deadline 31 May 2010

04-03-2010 14:01:56


Join the TGS Team


International developments

TGS is a progressive, equal-opportunity employer providing multi-client geoscience data and associated products and services to premier energy companies worldwide. We’re a dynamic, technology-driven, fast-growing company with offices in the United States, Norway, United Kingdom, Russia, and Australia.

Geologists - Reservoir engineers - Geophysicists

copyright : Total/Corbis.

Junior and Senior M/F Total is a global oil and gas producer and provider with 100,000 employees including some of the top-tier technical specialists, in nearly 130 countries worldwide. At Total, we understand that our people and their multi-faceted talent are our competitive advantage.

TGS is constantly looking for talented geologists and geophysicists. For further information visit:


That is why our priority is creating and developing teams that are at ease with innovation and state-of-the-art technology and why we offer exciting, flexible career opportunities in an environment endowed with the finest specialist expertise available.

www.careers.total.com Our energy is your energy

Geophysical Products

Geological Products

Imaging Services



recruitment special 2010




Opportunities Worldwide As a leading technology company in the field of geophysical science, PGS can offer exciting opportunities within seismic exploration. We are looking for new BSc, MSc and PhD graduates with geoscience, engineering and other numerate backgrounds to join us. We are offering careers in the following areas: • Interpretation Geoscientists • Geoscience and Engineering • Data Processing • Field Crew – Marine

In PGS you will be encouraged to work hard to learn new skills, supported by an organization that prioritizes innovation, people, delivery and Health & Safety. If you can demonstrate your willingness to meet challenges, you will never lack new opportunities in PGS. To learn more, please visit www.pgs.com/careers, or contact us at recruitment@pgs.com

Special Features

A rewarding career in geophysics Professors and students on the geosciences job market The team behind the Delft Geothermal Project The fastest man in the oilfield?

A Clearer Image www.pgs.com

Profile for EAGE

Recruitment Special 2010  

2010 Edition of annual magazine by EAGE about recruitment issues in the oil & gas industry.

Recruitment Special 2010  

2010 Edition of annual magazine by EAGE about recruitment issues in the oil & gas industry.

Profile for eage