Individually and collectively, we are currently facing undeniable difficult times. But, as has been said, challenges are also opportunities. It is a proper time for all of us to pause a bit and formulate way-forward plans that suit our needs.
A century after the 1918 flu pandemic, much of the world in early 2020 was experiencing the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown except a few places such as parts of Northern Europe. The reduced global demand for oil was one of the main reasons that the May futures contract for West Texas Intermediate crude fell to an unbelievable low level in late April. It was indeed an unprecedented historical moment. What has this to do with petroleum engineering in general and formation evaluation in particular? A lot.
In the short term, universities would experience significantly reduced enrollments in petroleum engineering and probably geoscience majors. The industry is quickly losing experienced hands and subject-matter experts; thus, activities in innovation and new technology development would suffer. Consequently, limited numbers of professionals and fewer new business impact solutions would be available when needed in the near future when the business comes back. Therefore, we must have a longer-term vision for business planning, balancing short-term challenges with long-term perspectives. This is especially true for professional retention and development.
Individually and collectively, we are currently facing undeniable difficult times. But, as has been said, challenges are also opportunities. It is a proper time for all of us to pause a bit and formulate way-forward plans that suit our needs. It is surely a good time to recharge ourselves with newly emerging skills to meet the anticipated future needs through various resources such as online training and webinars offered by service providers or from professional societies such as SPE.
In any case, oil will still be an irreplaceable resource that the world needs in the foreseeable future, and formation evaluation is a critical subject-matter area that the industry cannot exist without—from resources exploration, to field development, to production, all the way to abandonment.
We should sharpen our tools when we can so we will not be regretful when the time of needs comes.
This Month's Technical Papers
Recommended Additional Reading
OTC 29782 Carbonate Porosity and Permeability From Sonic Logs by Fernando e Silva, Petrobras, et al.
IPTC 19635 Significance of Aeolian Deposit Resultant Drift Direction, Implications for Reservoir Prediction Using Subsurface and Analog Data by Mohammed Al-Masrahy, Saudi Aramco
IPTC 19816 Clay Typing From Downhole Array Electromagnetic Measurements by Ping Zhang, Schlumberger, et al.