Stavanger was home to the fourth annual Energy21 conference in March. Approximately 160 participants attended, including students, educators, contractors, young professionals, and senior employees from oil companies. This year, the participants could feel the optimism for the future of the oil and gas industry.
The conference kicked off with an inspiring speech that brought the audience from the beginning of development on the Norwegian continental shelf (the Ekofisk field) to the challenges of the latest big development in the Ormen Lange field. With this background, the speakers drew a picture of future challenges in the oil and gas industry and the role the next generation, including students and young professionals in the audience, would have to play for this industry to succeed. An important part of the conference is networking, and many students saw the opportunity to associate with possible future employers. Having young professionals share their experiences also was one of the main objectives of this conference, thereby creating a forum in which students and young professionals could learn from each other. During the breaks, experience and advice were shared, as well as opinions about the presentations.
Six young professionals in various positions spoke about what their normal working days included, how they ended up in their specific positions, and what advice they would give students. The speakers’ backgrounds ranged from petroleum engineering to information technology to health, safety, and environment. This gave the participants a unique view of how the young professionals felt about their career paths.
In the roundtable session, students, young professionals, and senior observers from the industry discussed different topics, and summaries were presented to the entire group. A final panel session discussed the challenges of a business facing a rapid generational shift and stiff competition for the best candidates from the next generation.
The conference was held the same day and location as the monthly SPE Stavanger evening event, and all conference participants were welcomed to participate in the SPE event. The networking continued the entire evening and into the night.
Roundtable discussion at Energy21.