Thanks to Pink Petro, I was able to attend the (SPE) RoughNeck Camp 2016, an event held by SPE-GCS Young Professionals at the Shell Woodcreek Facility. Since its start in 2002, this event has grown from less that 100 attendees to almost 300, selling out seats in the recent years.
The RoughNeck Camp, nicknamed RNC, is an annual one-day conference that seeks to bring young professionals as well as students and interns together in order to "educate young professionals in the oil and gas industry on different aspects of the industry and give them a chance to network and learn something new." The oil and gas industry can sometimes be difficult to navigate due to its complexity. RNC focusses on the critical elements and creates discussion topics varying from exploration and technology to energy trading and petrochemicals.
This year's theme was Riding The Energy Roller Coaster: Challenges and Opportunities for YP's in a Cyclic Oil & Gas Industry. Industry leaders spoke about various elements of energy value chain, varying from exploration, development, energy investment, energy trading, all the way to various petroleum products. The central point addressed was how many of these individuals survived and thrived in the downturn by adding value to their respective field. This was a fitting topic and was, in fact, a little reassuring. Many of the attendees were like me: upperclassmen petroleum engineers who came into college at a time when the Petroleum Industry was thriving and, in less than a year, witnessed their first real downturn. Many people in my program dropped the program to go after something more stable. Others dropped engineering completely and went to pursue other passions like business. However, many of us also stayed. It can be hard to stay put while people are leaving all around you, but the speakers made sure to reinforce that working hard and working to excel is the best way to be successful wherever you go.
One of the most "unconventional" panel, which many enjoyed, was the panel discussion titled "Unconventional Opportunities for Young Professionals in Energy." This panel was refreshing because it offered a discussion about various opportunities available outside of petroleum engineering. Students were bursting with various questions about pursuing consulting as a career path and the panelists provided very insightful answers. They emphasized technical training and gaining experience when you're young. This was, by far, the panel with the most participation.
(Left to Right: Mike Lyons, Patrick Lissonnet,
Victor Abu, Ryan Mohrman)
The following panel was titled "Operators Vs. Service Companies" with two industry leaders from operating companies joined by leaders from service companies. Though it seemed as if they were pit against each other, the panelists emphasized the way operators and service companies have to work together in order to produce their final product. This was an excellent panel and was made even better due to the fact that the panel consisted of all minorities, including three women and a man of color. As a young woman of color, it is always encouraging to see members of minority groups excel in their respective fields.
(Left to Right: Pallavi Hardin, Deepak Gala,
Natalie Eglinton, Catalina Leal)
Thanks to the wonderful event organizers, Abe Abraham and Venkata AJ Gundepalli, as well as the speakers, panelists, and sponsors, numerous young professionals were exposed to the real world of oil and gas through the expertise of some major industry leaders. Shell President Bruce Culpepper happened to make an appearance!
Pink Petro got a shout out too! Special thanks to the contributors of the event and to Pink Petro for making this all possible!