Geophysicist Oil & Gas
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Job title: Geophysicist (India)


A levels: Art, Physics, Maths, Chemistry
BSc in Physics & Maths from Durham University
MSc in Geophysics from the Durham University

What exactly does a Geophysicist do?

I work in our New Ventures and Exploration team. This means that I work in a team whose job it is to acquire new acreage within which to explore for hydrocarbons. The search begins with acquiring a sound understanding of the regional geology, which in turn enables us to assess the available acreage according to how likely we think it is that we will find something valuable there. Once a licence to explore has been granted the specific exploration targets are identified and drilled. Successful ones are taken forward into the next stage, Development and Production.

Apart from formal qualifications what other skills and characteristics do you need?

To be successful in any job you must have an interest in what you do. As exploration/new ventures geophysicist, no project will ever be quite like another, so a liking for variability and problem-solving is advantageous. The ability to deliver your work to the highest standard (given our often tight timetables) is also important. Geophysicists play a key role in any team and each team member must integrate themselves and their work to ensure the team’s success.

What sort of organisation do you work for?

I am employed by a leading player in the global energy market with specific expertise in natural gas. The head office is in the UK but there are operations in some 25 countries over five continents.

Was this your first job? If not what did you do in between?

This was my first job after finishing my post graduate studies, although after ending my studies I took the opportunity to travel.

Do you travel within the UK or overseas much?

Although my company is UK based I have spent most of the last four years working abroad. I am currently based in Mumbai, India. Employees are encouraged to gain a wide spectrum of experiences at home and abroad and graduate entrants are actively encouraged to go overseas.

Do you work a regular day or are shifts involved?

My work is office based and the working hours are dictated by the local culture and norms. This varies from one place to another but usually conforms fairly closely to 9am-5pm, Monday to Friday.

What do you enjoy about your job?

The first thing I enjoy about my job is that I never stop learning. The variety in projects that I have worked on has always ensured that I am never bored. I can apply the knowledge gained during my academic career directly to my more recent experiences and can continue to develop myself. The opportunity to travel and experience different places and cultures has been a real highlight - along with making many new friends along the way.

What advice or extra information do you wish you’d had before starting this career?

Don’t get hung up on picking the “right career” straight away. Every job you do develops fundamental transferable skills - such as analytical thinking, teamwork and project management. Work hard, and explore the opportunities given to you. In this way you will quickly realise whether it represents the right career for you, without losing any ground to your peers in parallel careers. Building good relationships with your colleagues is as important as delivering consistently good work.

What position would you like to hold in five years’ time?

The nature of my job and stage of my career make it difficult to name a specific position or role I would like to have five years from now. I intend to continue learning and developing both the depth and breadth of my technical experience, and to become an effective leader of future teams of geoscientists.

Background image: Rock Cores. Credit: Joshuahicks, Wikimedia