A major concern
of the upstream industry and of the AAPG is whether there will be enough
geoscientists coming out of the universities in the coming years to
meet the demand. We all know that there will be many retirements in
the next ten years but we dont know how many of these jobs will
need to be replaced. A number of short-term hiring projections have
been made but they dont answer the additional question that students
have about the longevity of a career in the petroleum industry.
these questions, the Future of Earth Scientists committee looked at
projections of petroleum demand for both the United States and for the
world. We then took the number of petroleum geoscientists, calculated
production per geoscientist and projected the number of geoscientists
needed into the future. There are many uncertainties in this approach
and in the numbers but it turns out that there has been nearly a constant
increase in production per geoscientist of close to 2 percent per year
for the last ten to twelve years. We interpreted this as a measure of
productivity improvement and projected that trend to 2020.
From the above
approach and knowing the number of current AAPG plus SEG members working
in the petroleum industry, and assuming retirement at 65, we predicted
the number of new geoscientists needed. A major uncertainty is the percentage
of working petroleum geoscientists who belong to AAPG or SEG. Assuming
that 2/3 in the U.S. belong to one of the societies, an average of 200-400
new geoscientists will be needed by the U. S. industry annually for
the next 20 years. Similarly, if perhaps _ of petroleum geoscientists
in the world are members, about 2000-3500 will be needed worldwide.
Note that because of the method used, if the actual percentage of geoscientists
who are AAPG or SEG members is lower, the demand will be correspondingly
point here for university students is that there will be a strong
demand for petroleum geoscientists for at least the next 40-60 years,
or for at least a career length.
All the above
is based on the scenario for world production published by committee
member Jack Edwards in the December, 1997, AAPG Bulletin and updated
in 2001. His estimates conform to those currently made by the EIA, the
IEA, and by the USGS but not to those made by those Hubberts Peak
believers who place the peak world production in the next few years.
version of this report was presented to the March HoD meeting in Houston.
The full set of 22 PowerPoint slides (5.11
Mb) is available for downloading from the AAPG Web site. They
are compatible with the excellent "Quest For Energy" set of
slides which can be found under "Slide Bank" on the Shortcuts
pull-down menu on the AAPG home page.