COMPARISON OF USA AND KAZAKHSTAN OIL INDUSTRIES, USING THE EXAMPLE OF BRIGHAM OIL AND GAS EXPLORATION COMPANY, AUSTIN, TEXAS, USA
Participating in Business Immersion Program this summer the main objective the author had is to gain knowledge about oil and gas exploration and production in the United States and to see whether and how much does it is prosper in Kazakhstan. Besides, the interest was in how do people operate in a big office, their relationships within and outside it and of cause to know more about the American people’s culture.
This summer the author was as an intern in Brigham Oil and Gas Exploration Company which is situated in Austin, state Texas. Brigham is an independent exploration and production company that has been applying 3-D seismic imaging and other advanced technologies to systematically explore and develop onshore oil and natural gas provinces in the United States for over 15 years. The President, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board is Ben M. "Bud" Brigham who founded Brigham Exploration Company in 1990. As founder and CEO, Mr. Brigham managed Brigham Exploration Company’s rapid growth as a private company from an initial investment of $25,000 in 1990 to its initial public offering in 1997. Since 1997, Brigham Exploration Company has continued to achieve low finding costs while achieving significant growth in reserves, production and cash flow.
The first day of my internship along with other days in the company seemed to be very interesting because everything was new for me as I have never been in such big companies dealing with oil and gas before. With HR Manager I had an office tour from which I knew how many departments the company has and I may say that the structure as well as in Kazakhstan’s companies depends on the business the company deals with, but there are some departments that every company should has such as HR department, Marketing department, Accounting department, Legal department. I was really surprised why there are so many maps with different colors all over the office. But later I knew that maps are the main tool for the interaction between the departments so to say the language they communicate with each other. In a few days I began understanding this language.
Every day I learnt something new about oil and gas. From the geophysics’ department I knew about methods they use to explore oil and gas, these are: gravity (to get a big broad picture), magnatics (to determine how thick this or that layer), and radiometrics (shape and contrast of the layer), 3-D (gives an aerial picture, to reduce a risk of not finding oil and gas). They give information about different sections of the Earth's crust. All these methods are used before drilling a well and after they have started drilling it in order to be convinced are they on the right way or not. I had a chance to make LOG(s) using outcrop near the company. That is I examined the outcrop and made diagram which showed the resistance of layers. Usually it is made with a special tool but I did it with my hand and pencil. I knew that logs with different information are the base for making maps. But also with the help of them one can see where the formation of oil is and to find it. I was told how they drill for oil, what ways of drilling they use, with the help of what they drill wells and of cause the different kinds of oil they produce.
The most excited practice exercises I had were making maps to find production well and investment exercises where I analyzed 4 projects using appropriate information and doubled my potential $3000000.
Speaking about the relationship within the company and outside it I’d say I wish I worked in such company like that one. There are a lot of specific benefits company provides for their employees which you will unlikely see in Kazakhstan’s companies such as wellness, smoking cessation, weight loss program, casual dress, food service, special events, fitness centers etc. People there are like a family, they definitely know what a team work is and I think that it says a lot about the HR department, that it is really developed one. They have such slogan as “Work & Have Fun Together!”
Getting knowledge about oil and gas and having analyzed the situation in Kazakhstan I can assure you that this kind of business will prosper from year to year because Kazakhstan has a lot of oil- much more than most other countries of the world. It is estimated that Kazakhstan has as much as 46 billion barrels (proved, probable and possible) of recoverable oil, whereas the US has about 23 billion (proved). In addition, these oil resources are only in the earliest stages of exploration and development. Difficulties are present however, such as the problem of oil transportation to world markets and the presence of oil impurities (poisonous and corrosive hydrogen sulfide and carbon dioxide gases), both of which significantly increase the cost to develop the oil reserves. For this reason, Kazakhstan must rely upon foreign investments to help grow its petroleum industry.
As I mentioned in the very beginning I also wanted to know more about the American people’ culture and I can say that having lived there for 1 month I accustomed to their different in many aspects culture due to my host families I lived with. I had 2 host families: Douglas’ family and Lewis’s family. We spent together really nice weekends.
In the conclusion I want to say that all my objectives I pursued, participating in this program are gained successfully and I’m sure that this unforgettable experience I got will no doubt help me in my future profession and in further communication with foreign partners.