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An Organized Approach: Challenges Faced By Today’s New Engineers In The Petroleum Industry

James T. Edwards, BJ Services Company, Gaylord, MI 49734

Today the knowledge gap between the "seasoned professional" and "new hire" to the petroleum industry has reached a new level of disparity. Due to market trends and job availabilities in prior years, many engineers have been turned away from futures in oil and gas. But with the current global demand for energy at an all time high, companies are now looking for fresh faces to fill their empty seats.

It is not out of the norm for a new engineer to see a dramatic split among his peer group of engineers. Many of those in the industry today have on average 10 to 15 years experience working in the oil and gas industry, which reflects the time of the last major market upswing. The challenge arises in bridging generational as well as technological gaps.

In navigating the new profession, the right questions need to be asked by the young engineer. Nothing can be assumed or taken for granted. No matter what role the engineer holds in the disciplines of drilling, completions, reservoirs, or operations, a level of responsibility must be assigned with clear definitions and expectations.

There is not always the luxury of transition periods, more positions are becoming available each day with a smaller pool of applicants who poses the desired years of experience. This forces companies to fill openings with many candidates fresh from college. This paper will be a guide for today’s new engineer with suggestions for how to succeed in this essential global industry.

AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90059©2006 AAPG Eastern Section Meeting, Buffalo, New York