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The Future Need for Petroleum Geoscientists

Presented by Don W. Lewis
to the AAPG House of Delegates, March 10, 2002
FULL REPORT

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The Future Need for Petroleum Geoscientists

(title slide)

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What Will the Demand for Petroleum Geoscientists Be to the Year 2020?

Based on AAPG + SEG membership and projections of U.S. and Worldwide production, an estimate of the need for geoscientists will be made.

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Estimates of 21st Century World Energy Supplies

World Oil + Gas production will peak about 2040. Note that world production will be the same in 2070 as in 2000, or the same in 2060, excluding tar sand oil, as in 2000.

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Estimates of 21st Century United States Energy Supplies

U.S. Oil + Gas production will decline only slowly.

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AAPG + SEG Members in Worldwide Petroleum Industry

About 30,000 members are employed in the petroleum industry worldwide. See note at bottom of slide.

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AAPG + SEG Members in U.S. Petroleum Industry

About 19,000 members living in the U.S. are employed in the petroleum industry. We do not know how many of them work on non-U.S. projects.

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Worldwide AAPG + SEG Membership in 2001

Median age is about 46, with SEG age distribution slightly younger than AAPG.

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United States AAPG + SEG Membership in 2001

Median age is about 46, with SEG age distribution slightly younger than AAPG.

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AAPG + SEG Members in Worldwide Petroleum Industry

Retirements will reduce membership to about 17,000 by 2020, excluding new members.

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AAPG + SEG Members in U.S. Petroleum Industry

Retirements will reduce membership living in the U.S. to about 10,000 by 2020, excluding new members.

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Worldwide Oil & Gas Production and AAPG + SEG members in Petroleum Industry

Production and members taken from previous slides.

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U.S. Oil & Gas Production and AAPG + SEG members in Petroleum Industry

Production and members taken from previous slides.

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Worldwide O & G Production per AAPG + SEG Member in Worldwide Petroleum Industry

Production per member (green line) has followed a fairly straight line for the last 10-12 years, increasing at about 2 % per year (blue line). A major reason for this is technology improvement.

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U.S. O & G Production per AAPG + SEG Member in U.S. Petroleum Industry

Production per member (yellow line) has followed a fairly straight line for the last 10-12 years, increasing at almost 2 % per year (blue line). A major reason for this is technology improvement.

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Worldwide Petroleum Geoscientist Demand Based on AAPG + SEG Membership Only

Prediction of geoscientists needed based on 1 and 2 % per year increase in production per member, compared with declining number of current members. Even with increasing production, technological improvement will limit the demand for geoscientists to about the current number.

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U.S. Petroleum Geoscientist Demand Based on AAPG + SEG Membership Only

Prediction of geoscientists needed based on 1 and 2 % per year increase in production per member, compared with declining number of current members. With gradually declining U.S. production, technological improvement will limit the demand for geoscientists to a number less than at present but well above the number of current members as many retire.

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Will the Gap Be Filled?

The geoscientist demand/year is taken from the previous slide with the additional assumption that 2/3 of U.S. petroleum geoscientists belong to the AAPG or SEG, i.e., the gap is 50 % larger than that based on members only. The number of Earth Science graduates entering the industry is taken from two different 1999 studies which had different criteria but which show that the number hired by the industry was roughly the same as the predicted need for the coming years. So, yes, there likely will be enough graduates to fill the gap. This slide is for the U.S. only. Not enough is known about non-U.S. non-membership or graduate numbers to make more than a rough guess at the worldwide gap (see second "Will There Be Jobs?" slide).

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Will There Be Jobs?

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Will There Be Jobs?

Yes! Note that there will be a strong need for geoscientists for at least 40-60 years, easily as long as the career which current students are contemplating.

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Estimates of 21st Century World Energy Supplies

Same slide as earlier but with the 60-year career opportunity highlighted.

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Estimates of 21st Century United States Energy Supplies

Same slide as earlier but with the 40-year career opportunity highlighted.

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Assumptions

Note that this slide can be omitted or inserted in several places above.

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