My term as president of the Division of Professional Affairs is whizzing by and will end just after the Annual Convention and Exhibition in Calgary in June.
In the past eight months, our industry has continued to be challenged by low commodity prices resulting in difficult times for many geoscientists in our industry. I retired in October after 39 very fulfilling years in the oil and gas industry, even though I had to weather numerous downturns along the way.
To everyone who has been affected and to those of you who are concerned that you will be, remember to stay focused and be optimistic about your future. During my career, which spanned some very difficult times during the 1980s and ‘90s, I tried to follow that advice. Even with those difficult times, I can’t imagine having worked in any other business.
I read an article in a newsletter published by a longtime friend here in the Appalachian Basin addressing the current downturn. His main point was that there are things you can control and others you cannot. You cannot control the commodity price or decisions made by an upper-level manager, but you can control the quality of your skill sets, your network and your attitude, and DPA is here to help.
With regard to skill sets and networking, DPA will provide a number of forums in the next four months.
Playmaker forums are scheduled for Denver, Pittsburgh and Bakersfield, respectively on March 31, April 13 and May 13. These forums are a great opportunity to hear case studies of current plays delivered by geoscientists and engineers who applied creative and entrepreneurial thinking to discover or extend plays. Ample time is scheduled for networking with the speakers as well as the attendees during and after the full day of presentations.
At ACE in Calgary the DPA will sponsor the Discovery Thinking forum on Monday, June 20, which features geoscientists who are leaders in their sections and regions on various conventional and non-conventional plays. This forum has been a well-attended session at ACE since 2008 and at the International Conference and Exhibition since 2012.
Also at ACE this year, the DPA and the AAPG Career Services Committee are co-sponsoring a career development panel session on Tuesday, June 21 from 5:30 to 7 p.m., to discuss the managerial versus technical path taken by geoscientists in the past and available to geoscientists in the future. The panel will consist of four geoscientists, two of whom are DPA members.
Another signature event, the DPA Luncheon, has been held at ACE as well as AAPG section meetings for over 20 years. The luncheons feature a well-known keynote speaker and provide opportunities to meet old friends and make new contacts. Luncheons are scheduled in Abilene at the Southwestern Section Annual Convention on April 12, then on June 21 at ACE in Calgary.
In late 2014, the DPA sponsored an event called “Pass the Baton” in Tulsa. The event provided early-career geoscientists the opportunity to hear from late-career geoscientists about their experiences in the oil and gas industry. Several events of this kind are in the planning stages for various venues throughout the United States. Final preparations are being made for one such event in Pittsburgh, Pa. in May 2016. The event will be sponsored by the AAPG Eastern Section Young Professionals Committee and the DPA and will consist of a panel of three to five experienced professionals. The panelists will address the current environment that our industry is experiencing and will share a brief history of their careers. Time will be scheduled before and after the panel discussion for networking.
Being Your Own Career Manager
With regard to attitude, the DPA and AAPG are putting the final touches on the publication “Becoming an Independent.”
The first paragraph of the preface to this publication is:
Before reading this booklet, there are two important concepts that you need to understand. The first is that the oil and gas industry is a business. The second is that you are your own career manager.
It is your career and nobody but you can manage it. This publication will give you tips on how to manage your career and keep a positive attitude. The publication will be distributed soon.
As you can see from all the scheduled events, DPA is working to provide assistance to DPA members as well as the entire AAPG membership. If you are already a member, please become more involved. If you are an AAPG member but not a DPA member, but have the requisite years to become a certified petroleum geologist and a member of DPA, please do so online at dpa.aapg.org. If you are an AAPG member and do not have the requisite years to become a member, I encourage you to contact me and we will find positions in our organization where you can have contact with DPA members. Become involved, it is your career.
As always, please help me Spread the Word about DPA!