Techbits: Symposium Discusses Talent, Technology, and Challenges
- _ JPT staff (_)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Journal of Petroleum Technology
- Publication Date
- August 2007
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 28 - 28
- 2007. Copyright is held partially by SPE. Contact SPE for permission to use material from this document.
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“The Challenges and Excitement Ahead: Talented People and Evolving Technologies” was the theme of the SPE Saudi Arabia Section’s Annual Technical Symposium held 7–8 May at Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. The symposium has become a central E&P technical gathering for regional and international professionals, providing a valuable opportunity for professionals in the industry and researchers in academia to exchange and disseminate knowledge.
Symposium Chairperson Saud Al-Fattah, giving his welcoming speech, noted “the importance of talent and technology in meeting the challenges and demands of an energy-hungry world.” Expertise and state-of-the-art technology, he stressed, form a powerful combination for advancing engineering and scientific work to improve the discovery and recovery of energy reserves.
Keynote speaker Khalid A. Al-Buraik, Chief Petroleum Engineer, Saudi Aramco, discussed the symbiosis, or interdependent relationships, of people, technology, and energy in bringing economic development and an improved standard of living to the world.
Following this, 2007 SPE President Abdul-Jaleel Al-Khalifa spoke on unleashing the industry’s potential. The oil industry, he noted, has served mankind for the past 150 years and must examine how it can sustain prosperous growth through the coming 50 to100 years. The pressing challenges, according to Al-Khalifa, include the impact of skepticism today about the level of reserves, security of supply, stability of demand, cost inflation, the changing industry landscape between international and national oil companies, climate-change issues, and the industry’s human-resources scarcity. Due to a lack of critical mass in human resources, Al-Khalifa said, industry personnel focus 80% of their attention on immediate drilling and production issues and have at most 20% of their attention to give to the important concerns of reservoir recovery.
Citing recent SPE survey data indicating that only 57% of industry professionals are fully engaged by their work, Al-Khalifa noted the large potential that the industry could unleash by fully engaging all of its professionals. The key elements for achieving this include providing a work environment of fairness, trust, and integrity; improving leadership development; adopting a people-first business model; and mitigating the impact of cyclical business fluctuations on the workforce. The productivity improvement attainable through achieving these goals could be as high as 30%, Al-Khalifa said.
Joe Sandy, Vice President, Technology, Halliburton, spoke on the role of technology in maximizing hydrocarbon production. Sandy emphasized the importance that the eastern hemisphere will play in technology implementation over the next 5 to 10 years. Major drivers for this technology will be deep water, small reserves, difficult reservoirs, difficult hydrocarbons, sustainable development, and constraints on capital, human resources, supplies, and material.
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