OUR GREAT MINDS

Alex Obvintsev

Drilling Manager, Energy Partners Limited

Growing up in Nadym, Siberia, Alex Obvintsev has literally spent his entire life in the oilfield. Today, a long way from home, Obvintsev manages all drilling operations for Energy Partners Ltd. He is one of the youngest drilling managers in the Gulf of Mexico by approximately a decade.

In his 15-year career, he has overseen well design, planning, management, supervision, and post-analysis for onshore, shelf and deepwater international and domestic projects. Obvintsev joined Energy Partners in November 2004, following eight years with Schlumberger’s integrated project management division. He holds a Master of Science degree in petroleum engineering from Freiberg University, Germany.

We asked Alex:

The OGM: What does sustainability mean to you?

Alex: Quality is crucial for sustainability. I think that it makes the most sense to invest in the highest quality goods and services available, steward these investments and make them last. This is applicable in business and in our day-to-day lives.

The OGM: Have you had a mentor?

Alex: My father was my first mentor teaching me the core values in life and work ethics that have brought to where I am today, and my best mentors today are the seasoned professionals that work for our team in the field. They have taught me so much more than any academic program.

The OGM: What does success mean to you?

Alex: In business, I work very hard to create opportunity via safe, smart operational excellence. In my personal life, I treat every day as a gift.

The OGM:If you were to describe your career in three words what would they be?

Alex: Ascending. Accelerating. Fun.

The OGM: What advice would you give to someone looking for a career in the Energy Industry?

Alex: Realize that it is very hard work, unforgiving of errors or mistakes, but that hard work and excellence will be rewarded.

The OGM: Describe a milestone in your career?

Alex: Becoming a drilling manager for an up-and-coming, high-growth company, and being at the beginning of its growth.

The OGM: Describe a challenge you faced in your career?

Alex: The biggest step is when you cross over from partial accountability to full accountability. Another big challenge is one shared by the entire industry: finding personnel to enable us to take advantage of the industry’s latest technology drivers and discoveries.

The OGM: What impact does Technology have on your career?

Alex: My job is entirely driven by technology. We leverage technological efficiencies that would have made some of our drilling campaigns economically impossible five years ago.

The OGM: What do the next 5 years look like in your career?

Alex: Further integration of expertise and newest technologies across the oilfield value chain will enable us to take advantage of profitable opportunities. The learning curve is steep and exciting.

The OGM: Were you always interested in a career in Energy?

Alex: My mother wanted me to be a doctor like her, but it was my dad (an oilfield engineer himself), who convinced me that it is an exciting industry with amazing engineering challenges in all corners of the globe. I was drawn to the oilfield because of the physics and because of the international aspects of the business.

The OGM: What interests you to sustain a career in the Energy industry?

Alex: Every day is challenging and competitive. I am a rather competitive person.

The OGM: Do you have a role model you look up to?

Alex: My father was a true pioneer in this industry. He was a great leader, both in terms of technical acumen and business ethics.

The OGM: What does Energy mean to you?

Alex: The abundance of affordable, clean energy means a higher quality of life for people around the world. I am honored to contribute to that.

The OGM: What is your favorite APP on your phone?

Alex: Pandora.

The OGM: What impact will the Millennial Generation have on the Energy industry?

Alex: I believe that they will challenge us to communicate with more clarity as we scale knowledge transfer. So much of what we know exists between the ears of people on the verge of retirement. The entry of a new workforce will compel us to capture this information and share it.

The OGM: What’s your take on Social Media and our ever changing digital world?

Alex: Having information from around the world at your fingertips and the proactive exchange of it has fascinated me since my Schlumberger days. It seemed like sci-fi 15 years ago. Just a few years ago, it was being looked down upon by seasoned professionals. These same guys are on Facebook now! I am new to social media, but I can see a great deal of value in it.

The OGM: What Social Medium do you use on a daily basis?

Alex: My favorite social medium is the telephone. But I’m also on LinkedIn and Facebook.

The OGM: Do you use Social Media for work?

Alex: Occasionally.

The OGM: What do you think of Social Recruiting?

Alex: I think it requires a great deal of savvy, especially when dealing with such an in-demand workforce.

The OGM: Why do you love what you do?

Alex: It is challenging and creative. Every day is an opportunity to learn. Dealing with a team of people who are also passionate about what they do. There is never a dull moment in the oilfield!

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