Petroleum Development Oman (PDO) has launched a novel development program for graduates from Sultan Qaboos University and UK scholars joining petroleum engineering. This program was jointly developed with training experts from Network of Excellence in Training (NExT) and first executed in September 2005. Young professionals are offered a multi-disciplinary Blended Learning opportunity called “PE for All”, which combines formal NExT lectures customized to PDO needs, with a red thread field development plan (FDP) exercise from northern Oman. It consists of classroom discipline modules, syndicate work, practical experience in subsurface modeling, lectures in facilities, economics and project management with the final objective to present a FDP proposal to PDO managers. It raises the technical proficiency of recruits from different academic qualifications and social background to a similar minimum level of knowledge, such that they are better prepared for working in integrated high-performance teams. Development is evaluated using skill assessments by NExT assessors, combined with short tests after each module. Students are also evaluated on communication and behavioral skills and team-building. Final interviews match expectations and ambitions with business requirements before assignment to new departments. Once assigned, work-place learning, coaching, core-discipline training programs and facilitated- group events further develop real application skills. To date, some 130 recruits have successfully followed the PE for All foundation program, providing a sound basis for accelerated staff development and an important first step toward closing the middle gap between old hands and new hires. This is underpinned by pro-active recruitment at universities and structured on-boarding to ensure an exciting and motivating career start!


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