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GEES - Employability, Employer Engagement and Enterprise. July 2008. Graduate Perspective: Petroleum Industry. A little bit about myself. Name: David Bailey Age: 26 2004 : Graduated Edinburgh University (BSc Geology) 2004-2005 : Worked for HBOS

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Graduate perspective petroleum industry

GEES - Employability, Employer Engagement and Enterprise

July 2008

Graduate Perspective: Petroleum Industry

A little bit about myself
A little bit about myself..

  • Name: David Bailey

  • Age: 26

  • 2004: Graduated Edinburgh University (BSc Geology)

  • 2004-2005: Worked for HBOS

  • 2005-2006: Summer ‘Student’ → Technical Assistant for Cairn Energy

  • 2006-2007: Graduated Aberdeen University (MSc Petroleum Geoscience)

  • 2007- Present: Exploration Geologist at Cairn Energy

Qualifications and skills required
Qualifications and Skills Required

  • BSc (good pass) in a geoscience related subject = Technical Assistant.

  • MSc is considered as minimum preferred qualification for most other geoscience roles.

  • PhD is rumoured to be minimum qualification required for a geoscience role at some companies.

    Relevent Experience

  • ‘Recent extensive seismic workstation interpretive skills 2D & 3D’.

  • ‘Experience in hydrocarbon exploration and development’.

  • Industry experience is highly thought of.

  • 4 month placements as a summer student often available.

Qualities sought for an exploration geoscientist
Qualities Sought for an Exploration Geoscientist…

  • Taken from my Exploration Geoscientist role profile:

  • PRIMARY – planning & delivering results, innovation and problem solving.

  • SECONDARY – self management, communicating & influencing, business conscience, leading and working in teams.

  • TERTIARY – working with stakeholders, developing others.


“Would I have done anything Different As a Student?”

  • Decide on a career path earlier – tricky!

  • Sought an industrial placement in my 3rd year/after graduation in 4th year.

  • Attended a greater number of sedimentology lectures.

    “If I had known then what I know now…”

  • Working for an exploration orientated oil company is a facinating career. It could also be considered to be science in it’s purest form. The generation of an idea and the testing of that idea (oil well).

  • “Being a professional geoscientist in the petroleum sector is the most rapid way of gaining a visa to work in the USA”

How can industry help
How can Industry Help?

  • Industry tends to target the end of the production line e.g. MSc students/PhD students. Emphasis is not placed on encouraging recent graduates onto post-graduate petroleum-related courses.

  • Industry should provide a clearer picture of the potential careers on offer and what they entail e.g. type of ‘day-to-day work involved, expected salary, an indication of the job market, demographics of the industry…

  • Overcome the perception that the oil industry is not a viable career option as oil is about to run out – somebody has to keep the game going!

  • Visit universities and talk to undergraduates…