IADC/SPE: Halliburton focuses on keeping talent pipeline full

The oil and gas industry, faced with an aging workforce, is looking to implement the right processes to ensure trained people are available to implement needed tasks while also managing corporate growth, panelists told participants Mar. 7 at the IADC/SPE Conference & Exhibition.

During a plenary session on sustainability and evolution of the industry, a poll of the audience showed that 65% had more than 20 years of experience working in the industry.

When asked about corporate succession plans to replace retiring employees, only 18% of respondents said their company had a plan and was following it.

Lori von Heyking, Halliburton senior director of human resources, said sustainability to Halliburton means “keeping our talent pipeline full.”

“Our industry has a tarnished reputation when it comes to people,” she said, referring to cycles in which people have been laid off.

Halliburton’s approach to talent development includes recruitment and training programs. These involve educational partnerships with several universities, she said. Training programs are decentralized because of Halliburton’s global footprint.

Halliburton also hires talent from other industries such as software developers and chemists.

“Other industries are an important source of talent,” she said. “We hire NASA engineers.”

Richard Roper, head of Ensco PLC’s development and newbuild projects, said Ensco had 40 rigs in its fleet when he joined the company 10 years ago compared with 70 rigs today in a fleet that continues to grow. He defined growth as constant adaptation required for success.

“It must be managed by combining the right people and the right processes,” Roper said, adding that leadership needs to model the corporate vision for the employees.

Offshore drilling fleets are changing with an emphasis on ultradeepwater rigs, he said.

“Deepwater will significantly increase its share of total spending,” in coming years, Roper said, adding this will be driven by projects in Brazil, West Africa, and the Asia-Pacific.

Contact Paula Dittrick at paulad@ogjonline.com.

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