From the President: Dr Lee Hunt

Posted on 24 March 2010

Leaders of today must do their part to develop tomorrow’s work force

“If you want happiness for a lifetime, help the next generation.” – Ancient proverb

Lee Hunt, president

Lee Hunt, president

As the industry’s “old crew” begins to retire and pass the torch to the next generation, it remains to be seen whether the young professionals of today will be ready to meet the challenges of tomorrow. However, one thing is already certain: If they are not, the fault won’t be theirs alone.

As the leaders of today, are we doing what it takes to get them ready? Are we doing enough to pass on our knowledge, build their experience and develop their technical skills?

It’s been well established that this industry will face tremendous difficulties and challenges over the next several decades as it tries to meet the world’s growing energy demands. If we want the industry to succeed, long after we’re gone, then as IADC’s 2010 chairman Louis Raspino said during his opening remarks at the IADC/SPE Drilling Conference, “Now is the time to refocus.”

NURTURING TALENT

The good news is that the industry appears to have been recruiting during the last boom cycle. Polls taken during the plenary sessions at the recent Drilling Conference showed that roughly 20% of the audience had fewer than five years of experience. That’s an encouraging sign that not only is new blood being brought into our work force, but today’s leaders recognizes the value of sending young people to learning events like the Drilling Conference.

It is up to today’s industry leaders to nurture its new talent. Most companies already have formal training programs in place, which is a good start. Yet we must also create opportunities to informally cultivate young professionals. Some of the most valuable wisdoms and knowledge that we can share will likely be passed down not in a training class but through casual conversation.

Ryan Hunt, next generation

Ryan Hunt, next generation

If your company doesn’t have a formal mentoring program in place, take a look around your office at the young people who work with you or for you. They might learn more from an 30-minute chat with you than from a full day of classroom training looking at PowerPoint slides.

It’s not always easy to explain to someone of a different generation the things that you seem to know just by intuition – some of that they will just have to learn by themselves by making dumb mistakes, the way we did. But don’t underestimate young people either. They’re smart, they want to learn, and they’re eager to make meaningful contributions.

The drilling industry will doubtlessly survive through the next decades, if only because the world can’t live without petroleum. But whether the industry will thrive, whether the next generation will be able to build on the progress and legacies of the previous generations – and do it with zero injuries – that will partly depend on the actions of the “old crew” now.

Will we overcome obstacles to recruiting and training such as short-term costs and market downturns? Will we follow through on our commitment to invest in people? Now is the time to refocus.

Leave a Reply

*

FEATURED MICROSITES


Recent Drilling News

  • 22 August 2014

    Ryan Directional Services inks deal to deploy Alcoa pipe in North American shales

    Ryan Directional Services, a division of Nabors, has selected Alcoa’s FarReach alloy drill pipe for its onshore horizontal-drilling applications…

  • 18 August 2014

    Repsol runs BlueDock connectors in Trinidad and Tobago

    Repsol has recently run BlueDock connectors with elastomeric seals in Trinidad and Tobago. The operation took place in the Arima 2 well on a jackup platform...

  • 15 August 2014

    Joe Hurt to retire from IADC

    After more than 14 years with IADC and a career spanning 42 years, Joe Hurt, Vice President of IADC’s Onshore Division, will retire at the end of August. Mr Hurt began his career in 1974 with Noble Corp, working on land drilling rigs...

  • 13 August 2014

    OneSubsea, Helix and Schlumberger to form subsea well intervention alliance

    OneSubsea, Helix Energy Solutions Group and Schlumberger have entered into a letter of intent to form an alliance to develop technologies and deliver...

  • 12 August 2014

    Noble Energy, Woodside Petroleum sign PSC for exploration offshore Gabon

    Noble Energy has signed a production-sharing contract (PSC) with Gabon government, covering Block F15 in the Gabon Coastal Basin. Under the terms...

  • Read more news