The world of exploration and production has changed dramatically over the past ten years. There are few places where this is more evident than the U.S., where supply is predicted to continue expanding and eventually reach up to 2.2 million b/d from shale oil alone thanks to advances in drilling technologies which are unlocking additional resources. Yet with the International Energy Agency predicting that the demand for energy will grow by 40 percent by 2030 it has become more important than ever for the oil and gas industry to look to new frontiers in an attempt to increase production. However, to truly meet this ever-increasing need for energy the industry must adopt the same mindset when it comes to attracting, retaining and developing talent.
Attracting the right personnel, with the appropriate skill set, is a cross sector challenge which has received an unprecedented level of media coverage over recent years because graduates with science, technology, engineering and math skills have been selecting careers outside of the energy industry. As an industry we have traditionally been poor at engaging and educating tomorrow’s generation about the critical role we play in the world and the fantastic career opportunities we offer. We need to get better at this and build advocacy as a sector. Yet while a great deal of talk and attention has been given to the need to recruit, it is also equally important to retain and maximize the capability of the existing workforce.
As Head of Upstream Human Resources, I have the responsibility of ensuring that our teams across the globe, including our more than 23,000 employees in the U.S., are continually learning and developing, both for the good of their careers and for the long-term success of the company. Simply put, oil prices above $90 bbl alone will not deliver success; the industry needs to ensure that the global workforce is in a continual cycle of learning new skills and career development.