Professional Development of a Production & Facilities Generalist as a Jack-of-All-Trades

Robert Pearson, George Brindle, Babatunde Anifowose

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceedingpeer-review


This paper looks at the Professional Development of a Production and Facilities (P&F) Generalist ("a Jack-of-All-Trades"). It discusses the criticality of Continuous Professional Development (CPD) and how to take advantage of the SPE Volunteer Opportunities and Programs (Training Services, Competency Development Matrices, and the Competency Management Tool (CMT)). Most professionals in the SPE Production & Facilities Community graduate with variety of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) degrees and many pick up applied Petroleum Engineering and Project Management knowledge on the job. The SPE Competency Matrices provide a framework for developing: 1. A minimum Breadth of Knowledge either as an undergraduate or during the first year of employment in the Exploration & Production (E&P) Sector of the Energy Business. 2. A minimum Depth of Knowledge, acquired over the first 4-5 years or so, in General Engineering and their chosen (or assigned) Technical Function, in this case, either Production & Operations (P&O) or Projects, Facilities & Construction (P, F & C). The mid-career period is often a time of significant turbulence and confusion with many generalists testing-out or being assigned to a variety of roles, such as Subject Matter Experts, Team Leads, Supervisors, and Project Managers, or with other functions and/or new companies before settling on a longer-term career path. Traditional paths for knowledge development are further complicated by an increased focus on Data Science & Engineering Analysis (DSEA), Sustainability, Decarbonization, and the Energy Transition, along with a need to reinforce our Social License to Operate. The largest corporations and major training organizations, including the SPE, provide Competency Management Tools to help practitioners identify proficiency gaps and training requirements for a current or anticipated future assignments. Similarly, the SPE provides ongoing support not only with Business Management Leadership (Soft Skills) Training but also through the Technical Communities and Sections. In the final analysis, most P&F Generalists are "value-creation professionals" who just happen to work in the Upstream Oil & Gas Industry and have working knowledge of the acronyms and terminologies typically used in our profession.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSociety of Petroleum Engineers - SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition 2022, ATCE 2022
PublisherSociety of Petroleum Engineers (SPE)
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9781613998595
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 26 Sept 2022
Event2022 SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition, ATCE 2022 - Houston, United States
Duration: 3 Oct 20225 Oct 2022

Publication series

NameProceedings - SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition
ISSN (Electronic)2638-6712


Conference2022 SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition, ATCE 2022
Country/TerritoryUnited States

Bibliographical note

The authors would like to acknowledge the informal contributions from current and former members of the SPE Engineering Professionalism Committee; the associated work groups for General Engineering, Production & Operations and Projects, Facilities & Construction; and members of the SPE Production & Facilities Advisory Committee. We would also like to thank Dr. Linda Battalora of the Colorado School of Mines; Ken Ogle and Dr. Serdar Dogulu of IHRDC for their advice and help in getting permissions to republish some of the figures.

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2022, Society of Petroleum Engineers.


  • professional development
  • strategic planning and management
  • project management
  • development
  • upstream oil & gas
  • personnel competence
  • knowledge
  • educational setting,
  • generalist
  • competency matrix

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Fuel Technology
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology


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