Petroleum Engineering Alumni Newsletter - January 2009

Thursday, January 01, 2009

First of all, let me wish you a very happy and prosperous new year. I hope that you had a restful holiday and are ready for the new year’s challenges. To round out 2008, we had our graduation dinner on December 19th. We had a good gathering of parents and students and John Redmond, the guest speaker, presented a very enlightening talk about how to start an oil company. For the fall semester, we graduated 20 B.S., 5 M.S., and 3 Ph.D. students. Of the 20 B.S. degrees, 13 were given to domestic students, 2 to students from Saudi Arabia, 3 to students from Angola, and one each to students from Nigeria and Venezuela. All of the M.S. and Ph.D.’s were given to international students. Most of the graduating students have had job offers; however, I have heard from some students that their job offers have been rescinded due to the changing economic environment. I assume and hope that these are very isolated incidents and are not the beginning of a repeat of what happened in 1984 - my first year as a faculty member at The University of Tulsa. Clearly, with oil and gas prices plummeting, I expect that our undergraduate students will have difficulty getting summer internships next year. Still, I hope that the companies will be able to honor their offers and not rescind them. Rescinding the offers causes lot of anxiety among the students, and could have adverse impact on our ability to retain the best students in the program.

We have a job fair planned for March 5th this year. For the last two years, this event has been extremely successful and has resulted in quality interaction between companies and students. Even though the job market has changed significantly this year, I urge you and your company to participate in the job fair. If nothing else, it gives the students opportunity to talk to representatives from various oil companies and understand the current status of the industry. If you are interested in participating in the job fair, please let me know and I will put you in touch with the right people.

Alumnus of the Month

This month’s alumnus is Zaid Al Siyabi. Zaid received his B.S. in petroleum engineering in 1992 from The University of Tulsa and his M.S. in 1996 and Ph.D. in 2000 in Petroleum Engineering from Heriot-Watt University. During his career, he has held various technical positions in Petroleum Development Oman, LLC and the Ministry of Oil and Gas. Currently, he is Director General of Oil and Gas Exploration and Production in the oil and gas ministry of Oman. In his current position, he is intimately involved in various negotiations related to joint agreements, LNG contracts, shared facilities agreements and production sharing contracts. Additionally, he is currently chairing a national committee examining the role of R&D in the energy and industry sectors within Oman. For more on Zaid, please click here.

Keep sending your comments.

Mohan