Industry Leaders Video Library

Experts within the petroleum engineering industry focus on career-related topics.

Entry Into the Oil Industry

Fred Ng

Fred Ng is general manager of engineering at Wild Well Control, Inc. He has over 30 years of worldwide experience in operational, technical and management responsibilities for major and independent operators in the petroleum industry. He served extensive assignments covering land and offshore drilling operations in the Gulf Coast, Alaska, Texas, Indonesia, Malaysia, China, New Zealand and Ghana. Fred is a mechanical engineer by training, and holds a BS (Honors first class) from University of New South Wales (Australia), and MS and PhD from Texas A&M. He has taught in mechanical as well as petroleum engineering at University of Houston.

Entry Into the Oil Industry

Ganesh C. Thakur

Ganesh C. Thakur is vice president, global advisor and fellow of Chevron Energy Technology Company. Thakur, 2012 SPE President, is a world-recognized leader in reservoir engineering & simulation, secondary recovery, reservoir and well productivity improvement, heavy oil, horizontal well technology and EOR. He is also known for the emergence of reservoir management (RM) —in particular waterflooding—as a key interdisciplinary practice. He is an SPE Distinguished Member and has served as Technical Director – Reservoir for the Board of Directors, and an SPE Distinguished Lecturer. Thakur has authored 50 technical articles, three books, edited two SPE reprint series, and presented over 150 lectures / short courses around the world.

Career Path

Tom Knode

Tom Knode is currently the Health, Safety and Environment (HSE) manager for Halliburton Manufacturing, coordinating HSE oversight for 17 facilities in eight countries. Knode has over twenty years of experience working for Halliburton, most recently as the global HSE manager for technical support and HSE manager for business development. Knode has authored or co-authored more than twelve professional papers that have appeared in publications including the Journal of Petroleum Technology and Oil and Gas Journal and presented at numerous SPE conferences. Knode has served as chair or co-chair of several SPE conference committees and groups on safety and the environment since 2003.

Your Start in the O&G Industry

Martin Mentiply

Martin Mentiply is the chief petroleum engineer for BG Group based in Reading, UK. He has a BEng in chemical engineering from the University of Edinburgh and an MS in petroleum engineering from Imperial College, London. Martin has worked for BG since 1994 in a wide variety of countries and projects, including the UKCS, Indonesia, Egypt and Tunisia. As chief petroleum engineer, Martin has global responsibility for petroleum engineering staff and functional activities.

Welcome to New Professionals

Gaurdie E. Banister Jr.

Gaurdie Banister is president and CEO of Aera Energy LLC, one of the largest California and U.S. oil producers. Delivering more than 25 percent of the state’s production, Aera is one of the nation’s most active drillers. Aera’s success is accomplished through the innovative application of Lean manufacturing processes, information systems and company culture. Banister began his career with Shell and has served in exploration and production assignments in California, Texas, Louisiana and Singapore. Banister holds a bachelor’s degree in metallurgical engineering from the South Dakota Schools of Mines and Technology. A long-time SPE member, Banister most recently served as the 2011 program chair for the annual Technical Conference and Exhibition.

Your Start in the O&G Industry

Robert Manelis

Bob Manelis is vice president, central engineering, for BHP Billiton Petroleum in Houston, Texas. Bob has a BS in petroleum engineering from Colorado School of Mines. With more than 30 years in the industry, he began his career with Mobil Oil in 1982, gaining increasing areas of responsibility in production engineering and reservoir engineering with ExxonMobil. He has worked for BHP Billiton since 2005 in a variety of development planning, subsurface engineering, and pre-development engineering roles. As vice president of central engineering, Bob has global responsibility for surface engineering and operations, production engineering, reservoir engineering, and petroleum reserves.