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Building Skills & Expertise

During much of my career at BP I was involved with the career progression of individual geoscientists and engineers, even commercial folk, from graduate entry to management.
One thing I truly believe is that strong career growth, access to development opportunities and training are intimately linked; access to mentors in the early years and coaches at key points is also key. Even though all parties see there are now no “Jobs for Life”, the same principles apply, I believe.
Thus in considering the training ‘building blocks’ for a successful career in E&P, I began by setting them in the Context of the career development of Exploration Managers, Reservoir Managers and Petroleum Engineering Managers, as shown here:
Developing Skills

Level* Role
C Exploration or Reservoir or Petroleum Engineering Manager
D Project or Team Leader
E Individual Contributor
*Levels A and B are available for Executive and Senior Management
This Context then provides the framework for Skills Development by Training:
Level Exploration Reservoir Petroleum Engineering
C > Negotiating
> Decision Making(1)
> Regional Politics & Security
> Petroleum Economics
> Negotiating
> Decision Making(2)
> Production Economics
> Surface & Well Operations
> Negotiating
> Decision Making(2)
> Production Economics
> Surface & Well Operations
D > Integrated Petroleum Geoscience
> Regional or thematic knowledge
(Deep Water; Africa; SE Asia; Unconventionals; Arctic etc)
> Integrated Reservoir Geoscience
> Integrated Reservoir Dynamics
> Field-type knowledge (Deep Water Clastics; Carbonates etc)
> Integrated Petroleum Engineering
> Integrated Reservoir Dynamics
> Field-type knowledge (Deep Water Clastics; Carbonates etc)
> Digital Oil Field
E > Petroleum Systems
> Seismic Interpretation
> Petrophysics
> Sedimentology & Stratigraphy
> Non-seismic geophysics
> Reserves & Risk Estimation
> Field Courses (Deep Water reservoirs; Structural Geology)
> Information Management
> Reservoir Modelling
> Reservoir Surveillance
> Resources & Reserves Estimation
> 3D & 4D Seismic
> Reservoir Dynamics
> Log Interpretation
> Reservoir Sedimentology & Stratigraphy
> Information Management
> Reservoir Modelling
> Resources & Reserves Estimation
> Reservoir Dynamics
> Cased Hole & Production Log Interpretation
> Drilling & Completions (including Pore/Fracture Pressures; Pressure Testing; Well-bore Stability)
>Information Management

(1)    Opportunity and Prospect Ranking
(2)    Ranking In-field Opportunities

A couple of additional thoughts:

Mentors – folk who can help when a particular sort of problem is being tackled for the first time – are critical to the development of Skills & Expertise.
In parallel, of course, Expertise develops as different Jobs are undertaken and so moving at the right time to a new basin, play, discovery, development project, reservoir of field is a critical part of career development.

David Bamford

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