A large international drilling contractor was faced with a severe shortage of promising new employees to fulfill its needs and help provide for further growth. A whole new source of entry level personnel were hired from among liberal arts college graduates. After indoctrination they were sent to overseas assignments, and the results of the 4 1/2 year old program are summarized in the paper.


It has been documented in many places that there was a huge increase in drilling activity both in the U. S. and overseas during the early 1970's. The resulting shortage of skilled drilling personnel became acute at that time and has personnel became acute at that time and has remained somewhat critical since that time. As a result, there has been a proliferation of recruiting activities as well as intensive training programs of one sort or another. programs of one sort or another. In the case of SEDCO, Inc., the shortage of U.S. personnel was compounded because:

  1. We had no U.S. based operations to serve as a training facility.

  2. The equipment with newer rigs demanded more technological knowledge.

  3. Most nations demand that training be done with their own citizens rather than U.S. citizens

  4. Language aptitude became much more important than ever before.

  5. Any U. S. citizens had to be raised to a skill level acceptable to the various governments overseas.

With this background we recognized that the shortage was not only in quantity but in quality, so we determined to search for a whole new source of people who could help sustain our growth both from a standpoint of rig count and quality.


In the beginning we considered the high school graduates who formed most of the skilled drilling personnel pools of today and had to reject them as a source for new people. One of the principal reasons was that the high school graduates of today tend to have a multitude of opportunities that will keep them near home, and, of course, for an overseas assignment they tend to be somewhat immature and certainly not prepared to deal with foreign nationals. Even if prepared to deal with foreign nationals. Even if they met the criteria of supplying the quantity needed the quality was sadly lacking since they had no demonstrated ability to learn at a rapid rate.

We next considered junior college graduates who mostly have taken vocational courses, such as diesel mechanics, etc. The graduates of such institutions seemed ideally suited for careers in the drilling business and satisfied essentially all of the requirements we had.

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