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The Specialist Development Program (SDP): Saudi Aramco’s Exploration Organization’s Strategy to Accelerate and Bridge the Technical Experience to Meet Future Challenges

Yami, Eman *1; Al-Shobaili, Yousef M.2
(1) Exploration, Saudi Aramco, Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. (2) Saudi Aramco, Upstream, Dhahran, Saudi Arabia.

The efficient development and utilization of the individual geoscientist is one of the most vital tasks facing an oil company. At Saudi Aramco, the development of the young geoscientist starts with a development training program and continues throughout their career. Young professionals with three to 10 years of experience are the main feedstock to fill future technical and managerial positions. It is very important for the development of young geoscientists that they be exposed to a wide variety of assignments, work under a number of different supervisors, and work in different locations during their early career.

The objectives of the Exploration Organization’s training program are to prepare young geoscientists for future challenges, to bridge the technical experience gap quickly, to accelerate the development of technical specialties to ensure a smooth transition of young professionals into the geoscience workforce, and to mitigate the impact of losing experienced technical personnel to retirement. To achieve these objectives, the Exploration Specialist Development Program (SDP) was established to provide the opportunity for young geoscientists to become recognized specialists in critical technical disciplines. The SDP candidates are selected based on work performance and their ability to address technical and operational challenges upon completion of their three year Professional Development Program (PDP).

Each SDP candidate has a detailed short- and long-term plan with clearly defined goals and targets. These plans are prepared by a technical expert who is mentoring the SDP candidate. In order to graduate from the SDP program, specific graduation requirements must be met. These include, but are not limited to, publication in technical journals and active participation in technical meetings and forums.

This presentation discusses Exploration’s SDP program results achieved to date. It also shares the plans from the current and future SDP training programs and includes highlights from the training programs of successful SDP graduates.


AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90141©2012, GEO-2012, 10th Middle East Geosciences Conference and Exhibition, 4-7 March 2012, Manama, Bahrain