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Technical Professions

Well Drilling Engineer m/f

In the Exploration & Production sector, Total is noted for steady growth in its
production and in its oil and gas reserves, thanks to its positions in the North Sea,
Africa, the Middle East, the Far East and America. Once a prospected area is shown
to be promising, a subsidiary drilling operation is set up and the Well Drilling Engineer
drills wells to confirm the presence of hydrocarbons. If this is successful, new wells
are drilled to determine the precise dimensions of the field. Finally, development wells
are drilled to extract the oil and gas from the fields.

Total at
a glance
With operations in more
than 130 countries
and nearly 100,000
employees, Total is
today one of the
worlds leading energy
companies.
Our exploration,
production, refining,
chemicals, new energies,
marketing and retail
businesses, as well as
our support disciplines,
offer a host of
opportunities in more
than 500 professions.
Each year, Total hires
nearly 10,000 people
from a wide variety of
backgrounds to fulfil its
mission: to responsibly
enable as many people
as possible to access
energy in a world of
constantly growing
demand.
Future employees share
a commitment to job and
geographical mobility,
boldness, listening,
mutual support and team
spirit, the cornerstones
of Totals success.

The tasks of a Well Drilling Engineer lie in four core areas:


Conducting operations: in a subsidiary, he or she is based overseas working
on drilling rigs or platforms to prepare operations or take part in intricate operations.
He or she supervises well drilling and helps to solve day-to-day technical problems.
In development, he or she delivers the field, ready for production, to the operator.
Planning and design: he or she produces drilling and completion programmes, forecasts
the timescale and budget for operations, analyses and optimises methods
and processes. He or she selects the equipment and controls costs. He or she orders
and supervises special studies by head office or engineering service companies.
He or she manages the relative budgets.
Contract management, project and drilling site supervision: at a subsidiary or
headquarters, he or she prepares tenders, produces technical specifications then
selects suppliers. He or she takes part in the fabrication and acceptance of equipment
and manages relations with contractors.
Operations supervision and engineering studies: at headquarters, he or she has a role
in supervising and assisting with operations and carries out studies for the subsidiaries
or other departments.
As part of each task, the engineer watches over the safety of men and women
and installations and ensures respect for the environment.

First steps
A junior Well Drilling Engineer works initially (for eighteen to twenty-four months) as a
Junior Supervisor and sometimes as a Rig Engineer on a drilling rig. His or her second
posting will be to a subsidiary as a junior base engineer (around two years) then he or she
will join a research team based in Paris or Pau (around two years). At the end of this
training period, he or she is a qualified engineer and joins a subsidiary.

Career options
After an initial posting to a subsidiary as a qualified engineer, he or she will be given
a change of post approximately every three years, alternating between a subsidiary
and headquarters. Eventually, he or she may become a senior Well Drilling Engineer,
a departmental manager at headquarters, a Drilling Manager in a small to medium-sized
subsidiary then in a large subsidiary, or occupy other managerial posts. He or she may
also take up a career as a specialist or expert.

Profile required
Graduate of a school of general engineering, possibly supplemented by an ENSPM/DEG
training course. Long training periods or International Business Program (VIE) in the oil
industry, preferably in the field of drilling, are appreciated.
Geographical mobility, personal authority, aptitude for team work, adaptability, decisionmaking skills, receptive to new ideas.
A good working knowledge of English essential, a second foreign language appreciated.

Nationality: French - Age: 31 Well Drilling Engineer - Graduate of the cole Centrale
de Nantes, ENSPM Diploma in Oilfield Development and Production

After a two-year posting in Venezuela followed by two years of


supervision on a drilling site (on land then offshore), I spent three years
as a Well Drilling Engineer at a subsidiary in Luanda, Angola. Now I am
at the forefront of the development operations carried out by the
Group. Specifically, I conduct preliminary project engineering studies
and business related with new wells, upstream of operations,
in conjunction with the exploitation engineers. These engineers
coordinate development studies for new or producing oilfields. They
manage relatively large projects which they initiate by collecting data
required for engineering and economic analyses. Then they coordinate
with the Groups business lines which take the studies forward in their
special fields.

Synthesising well-drilling expertise


For my part, I coordinate all studies related with well drilling. I analyse
the problems, seek solutions with the help of specialists (stratumborehole link-up, activation, rock mechanics...) and finally I assess
the well-drilling expertise and recommend the best solution.
A study may take a week for a prospect analysis, or up to six months
in the case of a preliminary project engineering study. It deals with both
the technical and economic feasibility of the project. The areas of
interest are located all over the world, so I virtually, or actually during

A joint decision-making process


The exploitation engineer is particularly interested in the cost
estimates produced in the study. After I have submitted my study,
and once the technical feasibility and HSE (Health, Safety and
Environmental) risks have been assessed and validated, he or she
passes it to an economist to assess the cost-effectiveness of the
project. His or her report then goes up through the various decisionmaking levels of the Group as far as the Executive Committee, which
decides in last esort whether or not to launch. Every study does not
have a successful outcome and paradoxically this is what makes the
job so interesting. By examining the subsequent stages through which
the studies pass, you see in action the decision-making process on
which the launch of a project depends.
So I get an overall view of the operation of the Group, particularly in
Exploration & Production, and of all the related validation procedures.
And then if a new field is opened up I have the satisfaction of telling
myself that maybe I had something to do with it.

Nationality: Venezuelan - Age: 31 Well Drilling Engineer Paris (France) - Graduate


of an Engineering School in Venezuela and holder of an MSc degree in Oilfield
Development and Production from the IFP

Assisting the subsidiaries

Constant monitoring of new technology

First of all, the team assists the subsidiaries upstream or during their
operations. The team leader centralises requests and operational queries
from the subsidiaries and, according to the specialities, each member
responds to them within his or her sphere of activity.

Finally, I have a third cross-departmental task of acting as a kind of referral


agent over two specialities within the Group. Total has decided to centralise
information on new technology so that it can be passed onto the
subsidiaries. Therefore several of us are tasked with a technology watch
at companies supplying the subsidiaries and other operators, to monitor
the deployment of new drilling technology and inform the subsidiaries
of innovations.
For example, a task that has been put on hold for lack of adequate
technology may be reinstated if advances in technology enable it to be
done. My brief covers multilateral technologies (wells with several branches)
and expandable tubular technologies (casings that are lowered into wells
then expanded to increase well production diameter).

Preliminary design studies well


architecture
I also participate in preliminary design studies. Once the drilling location has
been pinpointed by the reservoir engineers and a development project has
been drawn up by the exploitation engineers, we conduct feasibility studies
on, for example, vertical profiling, the section of the casing that will be
lowered into the drilled well to bring up effluent, or the choice of a piece of
drilling equipment capable of exploiting the well. For a well feasibility study,
one must calculate whether the pumping capacity during drilling and the
hoisting capacity for raising and lowering well casings will be sufficient.
At the same time, we must examine the strength of the materials chosen
at the pressure and temperature to which the well will be subjected.
What I like about these studies is that, in addition to varying in duration and
complexity, they are very specific and hands-on. In addition, the team that
monitors the subsequent operations (those who put what we have studied
into effect) gives us regular feedback on our recommendations. We then
use this operational feedback to optimise our future studies.

Shared experience and multicultural


interaction
In my job, I am frequently in contact with people who have more work
experience than I have. However, when carrying out studies experience is
an important factor. By working with more experienced people you learn
from them. My work environment is also a multicultural one because of the
many contacts with the subsidiaries and with service companies or other
operators. This is very rewarding.
An important factor in my job is planning control. I often carry out several
studies at the same time and the important thing is to produce a result
quickly and not become bogged down in the details of the study.
To avoid overrunning deadlines and also savour the sheer variety
of assignments, it is essential to manage your time well.

Recruitment, Careers and Diversity department


2, place Jean Millier - La Dfense 6 92400 Courbevoie - France

www.careers.total.com

Copyright : Total / Roussel - Zylberman - Boulen - Dufour.

Claudia P.

study assignments, tour the world as part of a team of seven


engineers based in Paris who do the same job as I do. I do five to six
studies simultaneously so I need to organise my time very carefully.

R.C. PARIS 493 291 108

Samir O.

m/f

Experiences

Well Drilling Engineer