Professionalism A Must for the Oil Patch
- Bob Diggs Brown (Halliburton Services)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Journal of Petroleum Technology
- Publication Date
- January 1969
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 45 - 47
- 1969. Society of Petroleum Engineers
- 6.1.5 Human Resources, Competence and Training, 2 Well Completion, 1.6 Drilling Operations, 1.3.2 Subsea Wellheads, 4.1.2 Separation and Treating, 1.6.5 Drilling Time Analysis
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The accelerating development of technology demands professionalism in the field as well as in the laboratory. If practice is to keep pace with theory, the nontechnical operations man must meet the requirements of professionalism and should be rewarded accordingly.
The petroleum industry has experienced exciting times since Colonel Drake completed his well at Oil Creek, Pa, in 1859. From this well has grown a world-wide industry that in many respects still reflects the rugged, adventurous individuals who first exhibited confidence in its growth potential.
Designing equipment and selecting products in our industry, particularly in the exploration, drilling and completion phases, have been best characterized by two philosophies familiar to all of us: "Build her hell for stout" and, "If this size is good, double it for me."
Such a frame of mind even put to shame the proud boast of an earlier era "Iron men and wooden ships." The petroleum industry required this standard of both its men and its ships.
Today, our industry has entered into a new, traditional era, one based on technological competence. Without question the petroleum industry is rapidly becoming involved with procedures, systems, and equipment that at one time were considered fantasies imaginable only by Jules Verne or Buck Rogers. There is no reason to doubt that the continued acceptance of applied technology either developed within our industry or stemming from the exotic space and oceanography programs will accelerate rapidly within the next few years.
Farsighted companies, technical societies, educational institutions and others recognize this situation and are preparing to cope with the changing, more demanding man power requirements that are already upon us. These efforts must be redoubled if we are to reap the full advantage of technological advancements.
Webster defines profession: "A calling requiring specialized knowledge and often long and intensive academic preparation."
From this definition it is readily accepted that those charged with the development of technology are such professionals as doctors, lawyers, engineers and scientists. The engineering shortage is evident in the fact that engineering enrollments have inched up barely 1 percent in the past 10 years, while total male college enrollments have climbed an impressive 52 percent. The deficit of technical man power is expected to reach the critical stage by 1970.
In spite of the shortage of technical personnel, the petroleum industry has, within the past 10 to 15 years, realized tremendous benefits from technology. Today, every facet exploration, development, refining and marketing - has benefited from this.
Webster's definition of profession implies that there are men, representing one classification of man power not normally considered to be professional who because of experience and specialized training may be professional in their field. It is these operations men responsible for implementing the technology developed by engineers who are due recognition now, since they are "the professionals of the oil patch."
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