– University of London
Whilst studying for an MSc in petroleum geoscience at Royal Holloway, University of London, I attended a careers presentation given by ConocoPhillips. I was impressed by the enthusiasm of the recent graduates who shared their experiences, the varied work, and the exciting development opportunities available, such as offshore experience. I attended a first-round interview on the University campus and then a second-round interview in Aberdeen, and based on those interviews I was offered work as a geologist in the Aberdeen office. ConocoPhillips was very helpful throughout this process and provided me with my MSc summer project, which involved regional mapping of overpressure cells within the Jurassic and Triassic sandstones of the central North Sea. I was well supported by the exploration group during this project and later that year, after successfully completing my MSc, I joined the company full-time as a geologist.
My work with ConocoPhillips
I began with two one-year-long developmental assignments. I spent my first year as a project geologist working on a chalk field in the central North Sea. During this time I learned how to use geomodelling software and played an active role in planning a new well on the field, where I interacted on a regular basis with reservoir engineers, geophysicists, petrophysicists, drilling and completions engineers, service company personnel, management, and co-venturers. I then moved into the geological operations group, where I spent my second year with the company. During this time I was mainly involved in well planning, along with preparing composite logs and end-of-well reports. I participated in field courses and an overpressure prediction training course and spent several weeks offshore at different stages of different wells learning about the offshore environment and how wells are drilled and managed. Now into my fifth year with the company, I am working on a new field which we are developing in the central North Sea. This is a high pressure/high temperature (HP/HT) field and it is a very exciting project where I am part of a large and dynamic team. As I gain experience with the company, my responsibilities increase and evolve.
I have been exposed to many different aspects of the role of a geologist within the company over my first few years and I have had many training and development opportunities – in the office, the classroom and the field – to enhance my skills in various parts of my job. During my first two years with the company I participated in our new-hire geoscience training program. This was held in two sessions, each lasting three weeks, in Houston, Texas. It allowed me to meet a number of technical experts in a variety of subject areas and to learn best practices from them, as well as to get to know other early-career geoscience colleagues from around the world. I continue to draw on the learnings from my training and my offshore experience to enhance the work I do in the office.
The company encourages employees to take ownership of their own career and to shape their future, but it also supports them and tries to align their preferences with business needs. My first few years with the company provided me with a wide range of experience in the well planning and field development stages of an asset’s life. I look forward to continuing to grow within my current role, but in the longer term I also look forward to building upon this experience by gaining more exposure to our exploration activities. In the future I may pursue an international assignment to gain exposure to different stratigraphy, exploration and field development strategy, and local culture.