SPE President's Summit on Talent and Technology Achieves Breakthroughs
- John Donnelly (JPT Editor)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Journal of Petroleum Technology
- Publication Date
- September 2007
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 38 - 40
- 2007. Copyright is held partially by SPE. Contact SPE for permission to use material from this document.
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- 18 since 2007
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Seventy-five executives and senior leaders in the oil and gas industry met in London in late June to explore two of the most critical issues facing the industry today—the shortage of technical talent and climate change. The SPE President’s Summit on Talent and Technology was the idea of 2007 SPE President Abdul-Jaleel Al-Khalifa, who proposed the meeting to advance cross-sector collaboration on these issues.
Participating were key figures from operating companies, the service sector, and academia. After a daylong, wide-ranging discussion, participants agreed to pursue collaborative efforts to help the industry confront these challenges. Attendees recommended the creation of an SPE Industry Talent Council to address the quality and quantity of petroleum engineering and technical graduates. The council would set up a pilot project designed to improve undergraduate programs in a non-OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) country. If the pilot is successful, additional programs would be set up in other non-OECD countries. The Talent Council also proposes to
- Collect industry staffing data once a year to build an accurate data-base of the industry’s talent needs. Schlumberger Business Consulting conducted a benchmark study on hiring that was used at the summit.
- Examine global certification issues.
- Focus on prehiring rather than post-hiring issues because this offers more room for collaboration.
- Consider whether this council could be a pilot for how the industry could collaborate on other issues.
Summit attendees also recommended the formation of an industry committee to address issues related to carbon sequestration, and concluded that SPE could play a key role in advancing the related technologies and also has the credibility to be a leader in this effort. Members of the summit’s program committee are continuing to work on the proposals and are developing action plans for the initiatives that were identified. The SPE Board of Directors is scheduled to discuss the role of the talent council and carbon committee at its next meeting.
Several key industry executives participated on the summit program committee and championed the event, including Malcolm Brinded, Executive Director E&P, Shell; Chad Deaton, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Baker Hughes; Bernard Duroc-Danner, Chairman and CEO, Weatherford; Ellis Armstrong, Group Vice President for Exploration & Production, BP; Tore Torvund, Executive Vice President, Hydro; and Patrick Pouyanne, Senior Vice President for Strategy, Business Development, and R&D, Exploration & Production, Total.
At the end of the summit, the executives were positive about the progress that had been made. “It is always very difficult to have synthesis with such a large body of people,” Duroc-Danner said. “But we man-aged to produce a sense of urgency, and a sense of priority. At meetings like this, you often just have a polite adjournment, but I felt that we are leaving with a meaningful sense of what needs to be done. If I were to give this meeting a grade, it would be a rather high one.”
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