One Industry of Global Citizens
- Matt Zborowski (JPT Technology Writer)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Journal of Petroleum Technology
- Publication Date
- March 2019
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 34 - 37
- 2019. Copyright is held partially by SPE. Contact SPE for permission to use material from this document.
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- 28 since 2007
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Special Section: The Value and Future of Petroleum Engineering
For the average oil and gas technical professional who spends hours each day scrutinizing the details, it is easy to forget the big picture.
Solving the latest engineering problem comes first. Then comes solving the next one. And the problems are unique to each person and their job function. The challenges faced by drilling engineers differ from those of completion engineers, and theirs differ from those of reservoir engineers.
Then there are the men and women toiling away in the geoscience disciplines, which are also integral to exploration, development, and production. How about the newcomers: the data scientists? And nothing happens without approval from the folks in finance.
Often it can feel like the industry consists of too many moving parts, each following a path independent of the others. It can be like herding cats. It is also what makes the work interesting. Finding and extracting hydrocarbons from thou-sands of meters beneath the subsurface, after all, is a complicated undertaking that requires the expertise and experiences of a great many.
Working together, these professionals accomplish feats that defy impossible. Poring over that one small detail—the problem that beget several other problems—is integral in ensuring a reservoir is tapped to its potential, the company hits its production targets, and the world’s steadily growing thirst for energy is quenched.
With the same ethic, the industry has also shown it is capable of far more.
The industry is truly a global one with major operations on and off six continents. Firms double as their countries’ primary energy producer, revenue generator, and employer. Large global operators and service firms each depend on the work of tens of thousands of people, with, in some cases, the majority from outside those firms’ native countries. Business partnerships transcend borders and cultures.
Schlumberger, for example, runs its business through its offices in Houston, Paris, London, The Hague, and Willemstad, employing some 100,000 people worldwide consisting of more than 140 nationalities from 85 countries. French major Total employs just fewer than 100,000 people of 150 nationalities from 130 countries. Spain’s Repsol has a workforce of 84 different nationalities in 37 countries, with 1,800 employees working outside their home country. Of the almost 70,000 employees who work at ExxonMobil, 60% work outside the major’s native US.
The result of this rich diversity is a community of people numbering in the millions with the life experiences, knowledge, expertise, and resources to take on some of the world’s great sustainability challenges—together.And it is happening company by company. Below is a recent sampling of the countless causes, initiatives, programs, and projects undertaken by some of the world’s biggest and best-known oil and gas firms. It provides a small glimpse of the greater, big-picture impact made by the industry.
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