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A New Generation Is Coming To Work, But Is the Oil and Gas Industry Ready?

Even before a pandemic changed the course, the oil and gas industry was destined for big change, thanks to pressure coming from a number of different fronts.

The asymmetric challenges include the industry’s dire need to get caught up on the digital transformation while also figuring out how to embrace the separate arena of low-carbon technologies.

Representing the human embodiment of this juggling act is another new challenge: Generation Z.

Born between 1996 and 2010, Generation Z—or Gen Z, or the plural, Gen Zers—represents one of the clearest signals that the great crew change has come and gone. Yet, big questions remain about whether oil and gas companies and the academic programs that feed them talent have fully adapted to this reality.

Three new technical papers recently presented during the 2020 SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition (ATCE) suggest that the answer is no.

However, what the papers also suggest is that there are clear steps that industry can take to become a more attractive one to the youngest generation of workers.

The most common thread between the papers is the call for major reforms in how petrotechnicals of the future are educated at school and trained at work.

Putting the scope of the generational gap into clearer context, one of the papers from professors at the Australian College of Kuwait found that Baby Boomers (those born from 1944 to 1964) make up only 6% of the current industry workforce. Meanwhile, about a quarter of all employees are Generation Z.

The following is a selection of the actions upstream companies and petroleum engineering departments are being told will help them adapt to the technological and generational shifts that are redefining the business.

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A New Generation Is Coming To Work, But Is the Oil and Gas Industry Ready?

Trent Jacobs, JPT Digital Editor

01 December 2020

Volume: 72 | Issue: 12

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