The world will continue to rely on fossil fuels well past the career timeline of students now entering university. Energy forecasts generally suggest that oil and gas will continue to supply up to half the world’s energy needs into the 2050s. This suggests that a career related to subsurface energy and related areas would be worth pursuing for talented individuals.
The workshop will discuss several aspects of the talent pipeline, including:
- What is the actual size of the challenge both in the Middle East region and the world?
- What are the core competencies required for engineers and geoscientists entering the petroleum industry?
- What are the unattractive aspects of current programmes? (Is it the general perception of the industry or the perception that the industry is disappearing or the perception that the skills of a petroleum engineer or petroleum geoscientist are career limiting or is it something else?)
- What sort of competencies would be adjacent to those required by the industry, and could they form the basis of a broader, more attractive (even, rebranded) curriculum?
- What programmes does industry need to develop to ensure that non-petroleum hires can quickly become effective petroleum professionals and is there a place for partnership with traditional universities? Also, are the challenges different for geoscience and engineering?
Session: Attracting Talent
Mohamed Sassi, Professor, Mechanical Engineering, Khalifa University
"Despite the fact that the world is going through a global energy transition towards renewable and green forms of energy, the need for fossil fuel will remain critical for many decades to come. However, the geosciences and petroleum engineering study programmes and degrees are no longer appealing to young people graduating from high school to sustain the needs of the oil and gas industry. This may be due to the fact that the study programmes in these fields remained very traditional and/or the competition with other programmes such as aerospace, biomedical, and computer sciences, among others, are more appealing to youngsters.
"At the same time, and based on a global need for economic development and/or sustainability, there is an increasing global demand for fossil fuels and, especially, natural gas, which require a sustainable flow of skilled geoscientists and petroleum engineers, especially for the development of unconventional reservoirs.
"The attracting talent session will focus on presentations and brainstorming discussions to shape the future geosciences and petroleum engineering study programmes and make them appealing to youngsters and their families.
Please join us and enrich our discussion with innovative and convincing ideas that will define and shape the strategic plan towards attracting young talent to our field."