Abstract

The 1980s oil industry crash, which was caused by an increase in production and a slowdown of the world economy, resulted in a huge surplus of crude oil. Improved horizontal drilling, completion technologies and the underpinning of engineering advancements were major contributing factors. The crude oil price has continued to fall since mid-2014, and has dropped from $106 per barrel. This paper examines the supply and demand of the future workforce and the warning signs that were ignored before the crash.

The framework of questions to be addressed includes the following: "What is the fundamental problem in the industry and petroleum universities?", "Is it throttling the advancement of the petroleum industry?", and "What are the changes needed to meet the shortage of future engineers?" Although several challenges are inherently present, the article will particularly ponder the following primary challenges: talent pipeline and shortage, educational curriculum drought, petroleum education intake reform, academia-industry tighter participation, knowledge base erosion, and technical talent flight.

A surge in university enrollment has tilted the balance of the student and aging faculty ratio. The key takeaways from this paper include the challenge areas in education and how the industry is responding to its needs, outlining the emerging future direction to meet the challenges of the cyclical industry, as well as climate change pressures. This paper presents the future state of the petroleum program, which will be in a state of stunned growth similar to other industries, like mining and nuclear energy. It also shows a link to environmental pressures.

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