I appreciate the chance to come and talk with you today. I began my career with Phillips Petroleum in the mid-1960s with a Petroleum in the mid-1960s with a civil engineering degree. Through a variety of jobs in West Texas, then the waters of Norway, I learned about the nuts and bolts of the oil business. Then Phillips asked me to take a new Phillips asked me to take a new job … that of vice president of human resources. A whole new kind of science was laid before me … the science of the workforce.
It's been a real education and a sobering one, too, because I have learned that some big challenges lie ahead of us in the human resources in our companies. Now, I know that you may not want to hear that. Everyone here knows how tough the '80s were for the petroleum industry, especially in the engineering and research departments of the petroleum industry. I honestly don't expect the '90s to be any less turbulent but they can be more fruitful if our industry puts more muscle into the hard sciences. We need to do it now … because we are living on borrowed time.
May be you read the report put out last year by the put out last year by the Geoscience Institute for Oil and Gas Recovery. The report said proved reserves in the lower 48 proved reserves in the lower 48 states peaked in 19611 And production peaked in 1970, except production peaked in 1970, except for a short-lived spike in the early 1980s when prices were much higher than they are today. The reason our energy situation isn't worse today is technology. Our strong research and engineering experience helped us pull more oil from our aging fields.
But while our engineering expertise helped us develop oilfields, we neglected another valuable resource … people. We are about to pay for that neglect because the petroleum industry is facing a shortage of a valuable natural resource: New employees with training in the hard sciences — the very lifeblood of our industry.