PESA’s mission is to promote all that oilfield service, supply and manufacturing companies are doing to lead innovation across the industry. We work to elevate the understanding that these companies are actively developing the tools and technologies to harness our resources more safely, efficiently and with a smaller environmental footprint.
Oilfield equipment, growing increasingly stronger in automation and digitalization, is perfect to attract a younger generation that was raised on a diet of computers and video games. Young people coming into the oil and gas industry today will be those with knowledge in process automation, process-domain expertise, data management, cybersecurity and interface design. Our industry is on the verge of the most dramatic demographic shift in its history, and change is inevitable.
How do we as trade associations support and promote the reality of this innovation in our industry? PESA and many others engage with local, state and federal policymakers on legislation and regulations that will impact our business, maintaining an open dialogue between a collective group of member companies and the government entities that oversee and regulate our industry. PESA and other trade associations coordinate meetings between their member company technical experts and federal regulators to provide input on regulations and legislation, focused on avoiding any unintended safety or operational consequences for the industry.
Every trade association approaches its engagement with regulators and policymakers differently. At PESA, we strive to be a trusted resource to our state and local governments, providing technical expertise and education. We also support energy education programs at the elementary, high school and undergraduate levels to promote STEM disciplines that drive the industry; and we create workforce development programs to cultivate our oilfield personnel, developing their skills and competitiveness with trainings.
At the elementary and middle school level, we work with the Offshore Energy Center and schools across the U.S. to deliver on-campus field trips through Mobile Oilfield Learning Units (MOLU). At the high school level, we support five Petroleum Academies in Houston and Fort Worth, Texas, and the first-of-its-kind Energy Institute High School, a full magnet high school in the Houston Independent School District dedicated entirely to the development of geosciences, alternative energy and offshore technology.
And at the undergraduate level, Rice University’s Center for Civic Leadership has created a PESA fellowship, which consists of undergraduate internships with our member companies geared toward exposing engineering students to the social responsibility, sustainability, safety and environmental efforts of the oil and natural gas industry.
It is essential that we continue to cultivate and educate the next generation of oilfield employees, and very often it is trade groups that support this investment in innovation for the future.
To support our sector’s pipeline for innovation today, energy trade groups are continually providing member company personnel with best practices, technical trainings and relationship-building opportunities, growing talent in difficult market conditions where internal resources for these activities might not be available.
In a specific program example, PESA has an Emerging Leaders Committee comprised of one top-performing nominee from each member company. This group receives additional benefits such as executive coaching, mentorship with top PESA executives, small roundtable discussions with industry leaders and higher-level networking events. This is the group that will lead the great crew change, leading their respective companies’ future innovations and success.
What matters most, especially during times like this when the industry is experiencing such a volatile commodities market, is to continue to be engaged and promote dialogue between industry, education and government entities at all levels.
And even though our industry is facing challenging economics, our commitment to innovation does not stop. We’re proud of our legacy as innovators, and I’m honored to work in an industry that does so much to support and improve modern life for millions around the world each day.
For more information about PESA, visit pesa.org.