--> Abstract: From Planting the Seeds to Harvesting the Crop, by Ibrahim Goba; #90077 (2008)

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From Planting the Seeds to Harvesting the Crop

Ibrahim Goba
Saudi Aramco
*[email protected]

As the world’s largest petroleum company (in terms of proven reserves and production), Saudi Aramco, is acutely aware of the current shortage in specialists in such fields as geology and geophysics. By 2010, the exploration and production industry is estimated to have a 38% shortfall of engineers and geoscientists if no action is taken to fill the gap. This presentation demonstrates how the Exploration Organization of Saudi Aramco focuses on developing geoscientists to meet the present and future demands for geoscientists. To implement Saudi Aramco’s strategy, the company has established a multi-phase process. This begins with the College Degree Program (CDP), a company-wide educational program offering college degree scholarships in a variety of selected specialities. The aim of the CDP program is to introduce the participants, as early as possible, to critical technologies. Under this program the Exploration Organization sponsors a number of carefully selected Saudi Arabian high-school graduates who want to pursue undergraduate degrees in Geology or Geophysics. Exploration nurtures these young candidates through their undergraduate studies and provides them with the guidance necessary to ensure their success.

The organization’s role does not end with graduation. To maintain the technical quality of the professionals, these graduates are carefully developed through a series of well-planned programs over a 10 to 12 year span. They attend targeted technical courses during this time, and also participate in directed projects and assignments. The main advantage of these programs is that they ensure alignment of the professional’s individual development and the organization’s business requirements. The most prominent programs are the Professional Development Program (PDP) and the Specialist Development Program (SDP). The PDP develops newly graduated professionals. This on-the-job training program provides them hands-on training in all the organization’s departments, which complements their graduate studies. The SDP provides more specific and focused career paths supplemented by the guidance of a mentor. The professional becomes a specialist in one of the geosciences. We have established that this initial investment in selection, education, screening and hiring of candidates, along with focused training and mentoring, returns high dividends. This phase of planning for the future was started in the 1990s. We are now reaping the rewards of this foresight. While many companies are facing recruitment problems, our Technical Development Programs have provided the organization with the critical manpower needed to ensure Saudi Aramco’s position as the leader in the Oil & Gas industry.


AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90077©2008 GEO 2008 Middle East Conference and Exhibition, Manama, Bahrain