New Industry…New Geoscientist. Industry in a New Direction.

Many of us have been through the cyclic changes that occur periodically in our industry. Actually they occur regularly. These slowdowns can be expected every 3 to 5 years and last for 3 to 6 months in duration when industry companies assess their exploration and production objectives and reposition themselves. This current downturn which many agree was market induced has had a longer duration…we are close to 18 months.

My observation is that the industry corporations have taken this time to reassess deeper into their business strategies especially technology and personnel.

The impact from the 2016-2017 downturn has resulted in identifying the versatile talents of any geoscientist that has remained on staff. Their talents interfaced tightly with technology didn’t happen over the span of this eighteen month downturn; they have been developing in the last ten years.

I think it is safe to write that this is the start of a new industry. It is leaner due to tight budgets, faster decision making, and implementing new business strategies based on technology. Multi-task oriented individuals encompassing traits of expertise that he/she can bring to the table to succeed in this new environment have been identified.

Traits of 2017 Geoscientist

An incredibly flexible individual with multiple disciplines has become valuable to the employer.  If there is a single-discipline interpreter remaining they need to start expanding their expertise to stay in the game. Today it is a “must” to expand beyond a single expertise to stay competitive and gain a mind set to adaptability. Continuous learning to gain working knowledge on various topics has lead to job security.

Now there still remain specialists but I see very few close to the drill bit in the next 2 cycles.  Their tasks will be quality control of non-exclusive interpretation packages and software for internal recommendations. In many instances the non-seismic interpreters are ahead of the game. They have been integrators since day 1. But today they must expand beyond one expertise to stay competitive.

Today’s Geoscientist requires a Working Knowledge

 I have put together a list of skills that 2017 interpreter must have to stay viable today and in the future market. An individual needs to find training in different areas to augment and complement their basic skills.

  • Data Miner – data assessment
  • Data acquisition
  • Data processing
  • Log analyst
  • GIS expertise – data mapper
  • Geology – stratigraphic, structural
  • Seismic – amplitude & wavelet
  • Potential Fields – 2D & 3D Models
  • Geochemistry
  • Reservoir analysis
  • Geostatistics
  • Graphical presentation
  • Salesperson

     An earlier version of this article was presented at SEG Workshop October 2016. All rights reserved

Author: Corine Prieto serves as Managing Director of the VIDL Network™, a gathering of expert commentary on various topics in the applied sciences.

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