"Keys" to Success. Inside Schlumberger's Abu Dhabi Training Center

October 10, 2011

   Company with almost 100-years history has its own system for selection and training of the most talented new-hires and provides opportunities for personnel growing and development into world-class technical specialists. Also, there is a very clear structured career development path (SCDP).  

   One of the most important elements in the system for development of oil and gas industry professionals is a relatively young Middle East Learning Center, located near Abu Dhabi, the capital of United Arab Emirates.

   Few months ago, MLC just met its fourth anniversary.  More than 100 qualified teaching specialists work in the MLC: instructors, senior instructors and training managers in each service segment, support team and Learning Center manager. Up to 600 students from all over the world study in the MLC daily. Often, almost every week, many different major oil operators’ representatives from different countries visit the Learning Center for different reasons, such as: attending to specialized technical training courses, meetings, getting  to know how the training process is organized.

   The Middle East Learning Center is not the only training center that Schlumberger has, and there are few of them in Europe, Russia and in the U.S. All these centers are well-known in oil industry and have their own history and legacy. But the MLC is quite unique. During its design, construction and furnishing the experience of its “elder colleagues” – the centers in the U.S. and Europe – was used. In fact,  the MLC is a big complex of offices, lecture rooms, spacious workshops with new tools and equipment, full copies of wellsite pads with wells “fit-for-purpose”, and depends on requirements by specific service. The MLC complex was built on the highest quality standards. It has its own hotel,  which can accommodate up to 480 students. Also, the MLC has a reconstructed copy of WesternGeco marine seismic vessel with a water pool up to 12 meters deep for training purposes with the function of real time sea-bed data acquisition. At the MLC, most of conventional and new technologies in different oilfield services have been introduced that Schlumberger provides worldwide in wireline (REW), workover, all types of drilling, hydraulic formation fracturing, operations with coiled tubing, cementing services, artificial lift , well testing and some more. The company is very dynamic so in the nearest future, the MLC plans to include into the  training process  foam cement pumping and catenary systems in coiled tubing operations. This was made possible thanks to  big investments of nearly $350 million.

   Who are the students? Typically, all of them are selected by recruiting department – graduate engineers of colleges and universities from different countries. Students  are sent to the Learning Center from oilfield locations only after successful passing of an on-line entrance exam. Even the minimum passing score of the entrance exam, finalizing a pre-school training, is 75-80 percent for all test topics; in general, the training process focuses on helping students achieve maximum possible result with highest possible score. From their mentor on location attendees