A Review of the Nigerian Energy Industry

How to retrain into digital oil and gas professions

*Oil workers

08 September 2018, London — Be open to change. That’s one of the tips Amy Chronis, managing partner at Deloitte Houston, has put forward for any experienced oil and gas workers out there looking to retrain into digital oil and gas professions.

“As the sector shifts toward Industry 4.0, it’s important that industry veterans are nimble and open to learning new ways of working,” Chronis told Rigzone.

“AI [artificial intelligence] and robotics will become even more prevalent, so experienced workers would benefit from being open-minded about redesigned organizational structures, roles, and tasks,” Chronis added.

Other tips the Deloitte representative provided were to “prioritize training” and “capitalize on reverse mentorships.”

“As the oil and gas industry increasingly uses newer technologies like AI and automation, it’s crucial that oil and gas professionals take advantage of training opportunities, which may come from inside or outside their employer,” Chronis said.

“They should identify the skills they believe will be required to succeed in a highly automated workplace and adopt a ‘lifelong learner’ approach to develop and refine these skills over time,” Chronis added.

“Reverse mentorships (i.e., when younger workers mentor more experienced employees) are good opportunities for veteran workers to learn from digital natives. Reverse mentorships can create a stronger bond in working environments and provide new ways to learn and think about emerging technologies,” the Deloitte representative continued.

Chronis said that if an employer did not have an existing reverse mentorship program, “veteran employees can seek out informal mentorship opportunities with younger colleagues.”

One of the tips Odd Arne Sjåtil, partner and managing director at the Boston, Massachusetts, headquartered Boston Consulting Group (BCG), gave for experienced oil and gas professionals looking to retrain into digital oil and gas jobs was to “embrace a new way of working.”

“Seek opportunities to work in integrated, agile teams and get used to a different way of working with shorter sprints and fail fast mentality,” Sjåtil told Rigzone.

Investing in understanding new technologies was another tip put forward by the BCG representative.

“Educate yourself on the data and IT architectures … Become a premise provider for IT,” Sjåtil said.

“Familiarize with the new tools and applications available and learn about the data science models and what they can be used for,” he added.

Stephanie Rogers, managing director of talent and organization for Accenture’s oil and gas practice, advised experienced oil and gas professionals looking to retrain into digital oil and gas professions to “embrace continuous learning.”

“Continuous learning allows experienced workers to take courses or awareness sessions on digital methods and capabilities, so they can have conceptual knowledge as a starter,” Rogers told Rigzone.

When asked to provide her guidance for experienced oil and gas workers seeking to retrain into digital oil and gas jobs, Gemma Noble, an Aberdeen, Scotland, based partner at EY with a primary focus on the oil and gas industry, who completed a secondment at the Oil and Gas Technology Centre in Aberdeen in 2017, advised having “a genuine interest in innovation and collaboration.”

“Research what is happening in the world of technology, both in oil and gas and beyond. Collaborating with others or looking at other industries might help you in identifying the changes needed in oil and gas. In many instances, successful innovation in one industry can be replicated in others,” Noble said.

“Be a motivator for change by engaging with a broad spectrum of people with different skills, experience, and training to develop your own skills and generate ideas,” the EY representative added.

*Andreas Exarheas, Rigzone

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