The Wells function in Shell International Exploration and Production has long been recognised as leaders in competency development. As part of the ongoing Shell Global Business Performance Reviews it was deemed important to improve and expand the role of Wells learning in the organisation and link it more closely to competency development. Part of this requirement was to ensure the new learning was of an internationally recognised and accepted standard.

Shell Wells Professionals now have the opportunity to gain academic degrees of Master of Science, MSc, as part of their learning and development (L&D) programme. A new dynamic approach within the Shell Learning Centre has been able to integrate both new and redeveloped Shell training courses with a Scottish University validation.

The redeveloped "Drilling Round 2" course, a Shell standard for some 35 years, now includes the increasingly important area of Completions and Well Interventions. New learning materials, delivery methods and training philosophies have been brought together in a seamless programme that delivers world class development for Wells Engineers. This reflects steps Shell has taken in support of a life-of-field philosophy in the planning, construction, operation and maintenance of its well assets.

A new breed of highly trained, competent and motivated professional engineers is emerging with a much greater understanding of the need for interdisciplinary communication and knowledge transfer globally. Not only does this result in an enhanced career path for individuals but also benefits Shell directly in that the investment in Learning and Development improves Shell's Wells performance in terms of safety, environmental management, integrity and efficiency.


This Paper describes the recently introduced global L&D process for Wells Professionals in Shell International Exploration & Production (Shell). The Wells Skillpool function within the Company is comprised of the Well Engineering and Completions & Well Interventions Engineering (formerly Well Services) Disciplines. Both Disciplines now follow a linked L&D syllabus as part of a structured and comprehensive professional engineering development programme that is validated to Master of Science Degree level.

Before describing the recently introduced global L&D process for Wells professionals within Shell it is worth putting the words "Learning & Development" into context and linking the whole initiative to Competency Development.

The Chambers Dictionary highlights the following meanings for the main words relevant to this Paper:

Learn: to be informed, to get to know, to gain knowledge, a skill or ability in

Develop: to bring out what is latent, to bring to a more advanced or highly organised state, to cause to grow or advance, to advance through successive stages to a higher, more complex, or more fully grown state

Learning & Development: the art or process of learning & development

Competency: suitability, fitness, efficiency, capacity, ability, sufficiency

By reviewing the above meanings it is obvious that if a greater emphasis is placed on L&D, especially early on in an individual's career, it will be easier to develop a higher degree of competency in that individual. This is further reinforced within a company if a formal linked L&D and competency based progression is introduced. This is the essence of the new Shell Wells process. This Paper will focus on the L&D process.

This content is only available via PDF.
You can access this article if you purchase or spend a download.