Ivan is a Senior Petroleum Geoscientist for ExxonMobil US Production and lives in Houston
I only have good memories of my student years at the University of Manchester, and in hindsight I realise how crucial those years were to develop the skills to become a Petroleum Geoscientist.
I am currently working as a Senior Petroleum Geoscientist for ExxonMobil US Production in the Houston office. I have been working for ExxonMobil for the last 4 years, and during this time I have done three assignments in different parts of the company. The first three years, I worked in the Exploration Company, and I was based in the London office.
During this time, I was working in three different projects: Unconventional Exploration in the Pannonian Basin (Onshore Hungary), Deep Water Exploration in the Sirte Basin (Offshore Libya) and Deep Water Exploration in the Western Black Sea (Offshore Romania). As an exploration geoscientist, I was involved in seismic interpretation, basin analysis, stratigraphy, well planning, operations geology and well-site geology. I have recently moved to the Houston office where I am working as geoscientist in the Production Company (Offshore California).
Before starting to work in the oil industry, I undertook my post-graduate studies at the University of Manchester, including an MSc in Petroleum Geoscience during 2003-2004, followed by a PhD in Stratigraphy and Reservoir Modeling during 2005-2008. The knowledge acquired during these years, played a crucial role in helping me to get a job within the oil industry. The Petroleum Geoscience MSc provided an extensive technical knowledge in different skills used by a geoscientist in the oil industry (i.e. formation evaluation, stratigraphy and structural geology, basin analysis, operations geology etc.), as well as exposing me to a professional experience by undertaking the MSc project within an international oil company (BG Group in Reading, UK). The PhD program played an important role in developing further extensive knowledge in a more specific subject, which was also a relevant topic for the oil industry. During this time I also gained further professional experience by undertaking a 3 months internship within another major oil company (Norsk-Hydro in Bergen, Norway). Both placements were possible thanks to the network facilitated by the lecturers working in the department.
Beyond the technical skills that I developed, these programs also contributed to my transferable skill-set, which is useful in any job (i.e. communication and presentation skills, teaching skills, teamwork skills within a multicultural environment, documentation skills etc.).
Manchester is a great city to live in. Although climate can sometime look a bit unappealing (especially for someone born and raised in Spain), Manchester is a brilliant place to live when you are a student. As one of the biggest cities in the UK, Manchester offers the best of a big city (plenty of bars, great music scene, restaurants, shops, cinemas…) but without having the issues of a busy large city like London. Transportation never becomes an issue, with a fantastic public transport service between the city center, the university and the different popular areas to live.
I only have good memories of my student years at the University of Manchester, and in hindsight I realize how crucial those years were to develop the skills to become a Petroleum Geoscientist.