The advancements in drilling technology have led to rapid and sustained improvements in drilling operations. This gradual development of tools and techniques has resulted in time savings and safety improvements. The number of directional and horizontal wells is growing every year and many of these are being drilled in more challenging oilfield environments such as deep gas fields, carbonate reservoirs and high pressure-high temperature zones. There is also an increasing demand for precision directional and horizontal drilling in mature oil fields. Such advancement of technology and tools require an appropriate approach of developing the available technical manpower with related drilling competencies. Therefore, a competency based model becomes essential for National Oil Companies (NOCs) to develop their technical manpower to keep pace with the technology development.

Effective competency development is a combination of awareness, knowledge, skills and attitude that must be demonstrated to meet the performance standards required for their jobs. The paper emphasizes the need for a customized competency model for a drilling engineer in order to meet the major challenges as mentioned above. The Drilling Competencies in an Upstream National Oil Company needs to be categorized in three main disciplines which are Drilling Engineering, Drilling Operations and Drilling Techno Commercial. Therefore, exposure to these core competencies is essential for an effective drilling engineer. A case study of an Upstream Oil & Gas Company has been illustrated in this regard.

The implementation of the Drilling competency model will result in improved job satisfaction, better talent management and employee retention. Such approach of competency modeling of different job families in upstream NOCs will empower them to achieve their goal with admirable clarity, better hydrocarbon discovery index cum increase in production and field management expertise. The proposed Drilling Competency Model can serve as a guide for other National Oil Companies in their endeavor to achieve excellence.

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