As Queen’s College hosted its second annual career fair on Friday aimed at expanding the horizons for its students, Guyanese oil expert, Dr. Dennis Pieters encouraged the young people to take up jobs in the emerging oil and gas sector.
Pieters is a Reservoir Engineering Subject Matter Expert and teaches Reservoir Engineering to Petroleum Engineers and Geoscientists at the Upstream Petroleum Development Center in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia.
He posited that education is the main driver of achievement and noted that Queen’s College is critical in this.
“As a country grows and develop, you’ll need more energy,” Dr Pieters said as he explained that in every single sector, energy is needed one way or the other thus making the oil and gas industry a critical one.
With its ability to amass huge amounts of revenues, the oil and gas industry, which has presented itself in Guyana, is poised to transform the country despite the risks that may loom overhead.
Speaking particularly to the availability of jobs in the sector and how Guyanese youth can align themselves with such jobs, the expert noted that many persons are parochial.
He explained that jobs in direct association with the oil and gas industry may be divided into the “upstream” and “downstream” jobs. The upstream jobs include the services of exploration and production while the downstream jobs include refining and marketing. A “midstream” may also present itself for jobs in storing the products.
According to him, the upstream jobs are more accessible for Guyanese and he encouraged the youths present to align themselves in those areas.
And he ascertains that jobs in the sector are not only in the field of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) but stretches to business and law.
“I bet you were thinking all the time that you only need scientists,” he joked but stressed after that there is not a career that is more important than the other in the industry. Instead, Dr. Peters highlighted, “The team is supposed to work together.”
While answering questions from the students, he spoke about the risks associated with the industry. From his experience, he noted, “Risk is everywhere in drilling for oil and gas.”
The first risk Guyana was exposed to was the initial exploration for oil. Had Exxon Mobil not discovered oil in the first field it drilled in, the Liza field, it probably would have left Guyana’s shores rather than exploring further.
“We stood the chance between billions of dollars and zero [dollars] if Liza had struck nothing,” the expert stated gravely.
Added to this risk, is the fluctuating prices for oil on the world market, especially since many countries worldwide are moving towards using ‘greener’ or more renewable energy.
Guyana is no exception to this move to a green economy, and the expert expressed his support for President David Granger’s ‘Green State’ agenda where he only seeks to use the revenues from the oil industry to fuel the creation of the renewable energy sectors like hydro and solar power.
Despite all these risks, Dr. Peters stressed, “There is nothing like oil. With the revenue Guyana is going to get from oil, I would take the risks.”
Students benefited from career talks and were edified on the opportunities available to them after High school. Principal Jackie Benn highlighted that in advancing the development of the nation, the development of the young demographic is tantamount.