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Interview with Daniel Mendez: Innovators in Geoscience Technology

Published
American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
What is your name and your relationship to the oil industry?
Daniel Mendez
Daniel Mendez

My name is Daniel Mendez. I started working for the Venezuelan NOC, Corpoven SA, in the mid-nineties. I then worked for 2 years for BP Exploration in Venezuela and moved to Mobil Oil Corporation which then became ExxonMobil. A year after I joined Mobil Oil, our family moved to Austin for about 2 years to pursue undergrad studies; I earned a master’s degree in Energy and Mineral Resource Economics at the University of Texas at Austin while my wife a Master’s in Geology at the Jackson School of Geosciences, at the same University. I have been all my professional life working for major oil corporations. I spend most of my professional life working i.e. over 16 years for ExxonMobil in Venezuela, Angola, the United States, Russia (from Houston), and the last shift in Abu Dhabi.

How did you get your start in the oil industry?

I started working as a production operations engineer for the Venezuelan NOC, Corpoven SA. They recruited me with a scholarship while working towards my BS in Mechanical Engineer. In about 2 and a half years of on-the-job and formal training; Corpoven SA turned me into a petroleum engineer. A third of my career I worked as Production Engineer (Industry) a.k.a. Subsurface Engineers (ExxonMobil) and Production Technologist (Shell); mostly doing artificial lift & production optimization. My second third was in Strategic Planning: coordinating affiliate Plans & Budget, high level management presentations, and stewardship of the affiliate economic evaluation. My last and perhaps most interesting third is Reservoir Engineer. In that capacity I worked Heavy oil, offshore deepwater, secondary recovery, reserves valuation, surveillance engineering, field development planning, production optimization, opportunity generation & maturation, extended reach wells with maximum reservoir contact, I even worked economically challenged conventional gas fields in Texas.

What were some of the key moments as a student and in your early career?

As a student, when I earned the Venezuelan NOC scholarship, which required me to work for them for 2 years minimum, and that’s how I became involved in the oil industry. In my career, some key moments were: my first 3 years as a field engineer and formal training as Petroleum Engineer. Second, my decision to pursue a master’s degree in Mineral Economics as opposed to a Masters in Petroleum Engineering. This opened my career in business planning and economics. Finally, my time in West Africa, where I learned the complexities of developing world class Deepwater fields; also, the opportunity to apply all of which I learned from the beginning of my career; I definitely became business savvy in the upstream oil & gas

What is the SPE-GCS Upstream Hiring event?

The SPE-GCS Upstream Oil & Gas Hiring Event is a powerful tool for the experienced job seekers; to increase their likelihood to land a job in their area of expertise as soon as possible. This event is organized by the Members-in-Transition Committee of the SPE Gulf Coast Section with full support of the latter. The event has confirmed to date participation from the following collaborating professional organizations: American Association of Petroleum Geologists(AAPG), Society of Independent Petroleum Earth Scientists (SIPES- Houston), Society of Women Engineers (SWE), American Association of Drilling Engineers (AADE), Society of Petrophysicsts and Well Log Analysts (SPWLA Houston Chapter), Society of Petroleum Evaluation Engineers (SPEE), Houston Geological Society (HGS) & Pink Petro. For a more up-to-date list, please visit https://spegcs-mit-hiringevent.org/employers-sponsors. As a reminder, general information on the event is available at https://spegcs-mit-hiringevent.org

What are some of the benefits to companies? to professionals?

The Companies have two clear benefits: Firstly, access to a large number of experienced upstream oil and gas professionals; and secondly, a great opportunity to promote themselves and gain visibility, even if not hiring, as event sponsors; these two benefits comes at a modest cost ranging from $100 to $2000, which is in line with the current industry downturn.

For an up-to-date listing of Companies, Recruiter, and Sponsors, please visit https://spegcs-mit-hiringevent.org/employers-sponsors

The Professional have also two benefits: An opportunity to increase the likelihood of being hired, not only from the merits of the Hiring Event, but also because the event committee will collect resumes of those professional who elect to submit them. These resumes will be made available to the employers ahead of the job fair to increase likelihood of a job landing. Job seekers’ registration and voluntary resume submission will begin September 1st. To that effect Job seekers should visit the registration section of the event webpage at https://spegcs-mit-hiringevent.org/job-seekers. The last benefit for professionals is the Speakers’ Panel Section which will take place at the Room 110 of the Trini Mendenhall from 8:30 to 10:00 am. The topic of which is: “Bringing Your Best to the Job Search”; with three exceptional speakers: Cheryl Collariny, Chairman of Collariny Group of Companies; Anthony Caridi, Division Manager of QTSI - A Qualitec Company; and Abhijeet Narvekar, CEO of the FerVID Group. More information on the speakesrs’ Panel please visit https://spegcs-mit-hiringevent.org/speaker-panel

What should people bring to the event? Can they come without pre-registering?

People should bring plenty of copies of their resume, dress business code, and come prepared with their 30 second introduction. Definitely no walk-ins, Job Seekers should register to the event to attend. The registration for Job Seekers begin September 1st at this link https://spegcs-mit-hiringevent.org/job-seekers. In there we will post registration links and instructions on how to upload their resumes. Also, do not forget to attend the Speaker’s Panel from 8:30 to 10 am at the Room 110 of the Trini Mendenhall Community Center.

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