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Oilpro Review of Our Upstream and Midstream Oil and Gas Course by Jeff Reed

oilpro review


Block quoteHere's How To Present An O&G Overview - 5 Takeaways From "Upstream and Midstream Oil & Gas"

I have participated in several subject-specific crash courses in my professional career. These one or two-day events are designed to cover a lot of material in a short amount of time. Their purpose is to impart key knowledge to business professionals that will facilitate their career development. The subtext here is that "there is no time to waste, so let's get to it."

My colleague LeAnna Batts and I recently participated in a two-day oil and gas industry overview course called, "Upstream and Midstream Oil and Gas." Paul Parsons, Managing Director at Energy Training Resources, led us through the two-day session.

From industry structure to gas processing, and from development and production operations to drilling and completion, the industry overview presented was impressive, broad, and deep. A lot was accomplished in a very short time.

It was clear in the first two minutes of the course that 1) the presenter respected his audience; 2) was a true industry expert; 3) would maintain our interest; 4) was very well prepared; and 5) would convey knowledge that would be indispensable to us upon returning to Oilpro headquarters.

I'll briefly look at how these five objectives were accomplished.

1. Respect The Audience

Companies often purpose industry-specific crash courses as continuing education opportunities for their personnel. This can immediately color an employee's expectations of a course as "work", "obligation," and "something I have to do." While these are almost always true so far as professional expectations go, it is the task of the course presenter to make his or her product interesting, comprehensive and, most importantly, useful, for his students. The feedback the students give upon returning to their jobs in large part determines whether the course was worth the company's investment.

Paul Parsons' "Upstream and Midstream Oil & Gas" was worth it. Grounding this observation is that Parsons respected the intelligence of his audience, the industry acumen represented by the 9 attendees, and at no time tried to "get our attention" through hoaky "group exercises" or "icebreakers" that waste time and try to artificially create enthusiasm. (I've participated in those before...painfully tedious.)

Enthusiasm has to be genuine in order to be effective. Parsons told me during a break towards the end of the two-day session, "I love this stuff." I knew he did before he told me he did. It was apparent from the get-go.

2. Industry Expertise

It was during his tenure as Regional CFO of Occidental that Parsons conceived of the idea of a series of "industry overview" courses to teach both new and experienced employees about the oil and gas industry.

Prior to founding Energy Training Resources, Parsons served a 24-year career with Occidental in a series of oil and gas finance-related positions at OXY. In addition to roles in international financial coordination, acquisitions and divestitures, project analysis and internal audit, Parsons was most recently divisional CFO for OXY's largest operation in the Permian Basin. Before that, he was divisional CFO for OXY's Netherlands operation.

Parsons frequently incorporated insights gained from the depth and breadth of his industry experience in the course. For example, two sections of the course were entitled "Oil and Gas World Overview," during which he shared insights from his experience in North Sea operations. In the "Drilling and Completion" section, Parsons shared his in-depth knowledge of the onshore e&p arena gleaned from his experience in the Permian.

3. Maintaining Interest

Though moving at a quick pace, Parsons provided us with all the slides used in the presentations. There was also an assessment at the end of each section to facilitate knowledge retention. Further, a variety of quality O&G items were used in the presentation- oil samples, drill pipe, and types of source rock, among other tools.

As part of the section of the course on drilling, we watched a video produced by Energy Training Resources called, "Oil and Gas Drilling: From Planning to Production," which is the most comprehensive oil and gas drilling video I have yet come across.

As my colleague Leanna put it, "The course was straight to the point. It tells you the information you need without boring you with information that you can't really use. Not once did I sit there and think 'dang this is a waste of my time, I could be doing blah blah right now.'"

4. Well Prepared

To effectively present an industry overview in two days requires the presenter to adhere to a precise schedule, watch the clock, allow for interaction and questions, and ensure that the interest of the students is held. This can be a challenging feat given the enormity of the O&G sector.

Parsons told me, for instance, that it took 18 months to produce the "Oil and Gas Drilling: From Planning to Production" video, and that "a lot" of planning went into designing the course. One of the aspects of the course that immediately caught my attention was the "neatness" of the presentation. The slides used in the presentation were compiled with attention to detail. If images were used from outside sources, proper attribution was given.

The videos and animations used aptly illustrated the concepts being discussed, and the in-class learning aids were sourced from a variety of areas of the O&G space.

5. Conveys Indispensable Knowledge

Ultimately, the effectiveness of a crash course can only be determined by its usefulness back in the work place. The binder containing the slides from "Upstream and Midstream Oil and Gas" is now one of Leanna and my key source documents here at Oilpro.

From geology to LNG, and from mineral rights and leasing to oil and gas measurement and transportation, "Upstream and Midstream Oil & Gas" equipped us with comprehensive knowledge that will be essential to our efforts to serve the O&G sector.

In short, it was quality time well spent. Leanna and I both highly recommend this course- or one of Energy Training Resources' other courses- to both new and current O&G professionals.

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- Jeff Reed
  Assistant Editor at Oilpro