The growing Exploration & Production (E &P) industry has an increased requirement for experienced and qualified Drilling Engineers and Supervisors. The Abu Dhabi Company for Onshore Oil Operations (ADCO) has the additional difficulty that the United Arab Emirates (UAE), due to its small population, is even today dependent on expat staff and the general interest of young Emiratis in technical jobs in the oil and gas industry has been marginal.

Traditionally, ADCO has either hired a) international, mature, and experienced drilling engineers and supervisors and allocated them to various teams, putting them straight to work or b) young graduates, who were sent through the Competence Assurance Management System (CAMS) program (2 – 3 years). The quality of the work delivered usually depended on the onsite training and guidance their bosses provided them. However, ADCO is aggressively expanding and doubling its rig fleet from 23 to 46 land rigs in the next 3 years to achieve the oil production increase from 1.4 to 1.8 m bpd, which results in increased substantial staff requirement.

This paper will present ADCOs Drilling Division strategy of introducing a combination of in-house development and external certifications to attract more UAE nationals, integrate the new international staff, and cater to the specific needs of their new recruits and their respective job profiles. The role of the three in-house training modules (the CAMS Real Work Learning Academy for graduates, the Drilling Newcomers Academy for mature hires, and the TA Academy for technical assistants) as well as the as external certifications (SPE certification, Shell Round 1 &2 exam, Chartered Engineer, and MSc for Drilling Engineering and Design) is to ensure a constant career development of drilling engineers, drilling supervisors, and specialists, as well as specifically supporting Emirati nationals to gain an internationally recognized first class reputation.

As the lecturers and trainers are sourced in-house the graduates and mature hires are immediately introduced to most of their future leaders and colleagues in a proactive and hands-on environment allowing them to also share their own experiences and become regardless of their level of experience or origin: "FARIIQ WAHAD – One Team".

You can access this article if you purchase or spend a download.