On the $100.00 per Barrel Highway: The Energy Industry's Roadmap to the Future

Article excerpt

FEW HEADLINES HAVE CONSISTENTLY DOMINATED THE NEWS MORE THAN THE RISING OIL PRICES OF THE LAST SEVERAL YEARS.

"Can Oil Return to a 'Sensible' Level?"

FINANCIAL TIMES

"U.S. Energy Chief Pleads for More Saudi, OPEC Oil"

The New York Times

"Oil's Surge Reshapes the World"

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

AND WHILE JOURNALISTS HAVE PAINTED BLEAK PICTURES OF OIL STOCKS CAUSED BY COMPETING WORLDWIDE CONSUMER DEMAND FOR EXISTING SUPPLIES, DECLINING OILFIELD PRODUCTION RATES AND CONTINUING MIDDLE EAST STRIFE, THE BUSINESS OF FINDING AND PRODUCING OIL COULDN'T BE MORE EXCITING, LUCRATIVE OR INVITING THAN IT IS TODAY, ESPECIALLY FOR STUDENTS GRADUATING FROM LEADING BUSINESS SCHOOLS.

While exploration and production (E&P) industry challenges may seem daunting, they should probably be considered "typical" when placed alongside all the issues that have faced the industry throughout its history, from Spindletop to the Exxon Valdez to Deep Mission, the latest big find four miles below the Gulf of Mexico.

Nevertheless, the industry is ripe for the fresh ideas and enthusiasm of new business graduates, especially those wanting to join the industry's ongoing debates, figure in the daily re-tabulations of supply and demand dynamics and manage the people and systems who pull black gold from beneath the surface. There's no lack of need for business minds that can grapple with the industry's direct and indirect effects on the environment - and companies' bottom lines.

One industry analyst puts it this way: Business school graduates who are interested in a career in oil and gas exploration and production "must fully understand the workings of both global and domestic energy markets and be able to predict trends, forecast and react." How simply stated. How difficult to do.

INCREASING WORLDWIDE DEMAND AND GLOBAL LINKAGES

Keeping up with global supply and demand and its impacts on the business decisions of exploration requires the greatest of analytical and forecasting skills, at both macro and micro levels. …