On February 5-8, PESA hosted its highly-regarded Oil and Gas Industry Training Program for 25 U.S. foreign and civil service officers from the Departments of State, and Trade and Development. The training program was developed 25 years ago to educate global energy influencers on technological innovations and business dynamics of our industry, allowing for stronger relationships between industry/US interests abroad and promoting better-informed decisions at embassy posts around the world. Throughout the week, the group heard from industry and subject matter experts at Baker Hughes, a GE company, Chevron, Citi, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil, FairfieldNodal, Gaffney, Cline & Associates, Halliburton, National Oilwell Varco, Rice University’s Baker Institute, Schlumberger and TechnipFMC.
PESA’s International Programs Committee, who directs and develops the FSO Program, includes committee chairman Jock Pool, Oceaneering International, Inc.; Dan Domeracki, Schlumberger; Matt Armstrong, Baker Hughes, a GE company; Irene Flores, Chevron; Clent Rawlinson, DistributionNOW; Mack Moore, ConocoPhillips; Dr. Ken Medlock, Rice University; Jeff Mathews, TechnipFMC; Mike Bowie, Baker Hughes, a GE company; Laura Logan, ExxonMobil and Lindsy Sallee, National Oilwell Varco. This committee of both PESA members and operator partners develops the FSO training course curriculum with a focus on specializing technical content and promoting industry’s achievements in efficiency, sustainability, global poverty reduction and local content development.
PESA Board and Advisory Board members met with the FSOs for an industry dinner on the third evening of the course. Board Member Chris Cragg, Executive Vice President – Operations, Oil States International, welcomed the group and Sue Saarnio, Acting Special Envoy and Coordinator for International Energy Affairs, Bureau of Energy Resources, thanked PESA for directing the program and emphasizing the importance of collaboration between industry and State.
PESA members also attended a luncheon with the FSOs on the last day of the program, February 8, at the Baker Hughes Center for Technology Innovation. During the luncheon, attendees had the opportunity to hear from a panel which included Joe Barnes, Bonner Means Baker Fellow, Baker Institute for Public Policy; Alexandra Valderrama, International Government Affairs, Western Hemisphere, Chevron and Mack Moore, Manager – International Affairs and Risk, ConocoPhillips, who addressed the importance of collaboration between the U.S. Department of State and the oil and gas industry. The panel, moderated by Matt Armstrong, Counsel and Director, Global Government Affairs & Policy, Baker Hughes, a GE company, also spoke to the value of influence the Foreign Service Officers will have as they venture to their new posts across the globe.
“It is so important for you (Foreign Service Officers) to be out in these countries where doing business in the sector may not be as easy as we would like it to be,” said Alexandra Valderrama, Chevron. “It’s critical to be mindful of what is happening on the ground in your posted counties, especially politically. Providing information on new market entry and building strong relationships with American companies in the region is imperative.”
Another topic covered during the panel discussion was how disruptions in trade can be a game changer for E&P operations. “We rely on people like the Foreign Service Officers to facilitate conversations about trade agreements and we appreciate any information you can provide back at your posts,” said Mack Moore, ConocoPhillips.
“The PESA FSO Industry training course is a collaborative effort designed to familiarize foreign and civil service officers with the energy industry, driving stronger collaboration with operations in country and influencing informed energy policy decisions in country,” said Leslie Beyer, PESA President. “Like other PESA training programs, the FSO Industry Training course addresses advanced technologies that drive our industry, as well as the dynamic geopolitical and economic landscape in which we operate.”
To meet growing interest from the U.S. State Department and Foreign Service Institute, PESA conducts FSO trainings twice a year. The next training session is scheduled for August 20-23, 2018, where PESA will continue celebrating this 25th anniversary year of the FSO Training Program.
PESA thanks all of the companies and individuals who provided their time, expertise and leadership to make this critical program a success.