Kazakhstan calling MITAS graduates

The Maersk International Technology and Science graduate internship programme is producing top talent for key technical positions and securing sustainable growth in an important market for Maersk Oil.

kazakhstan_mitas_graduates

About MITAS

Maersk International Technology and Science Programme (MITAS) is a two-year international entry-level programme designed to prepare recently graduated engineers and geoscientists for technical and specialist careers. Each year highly talented graduates are selected to undertake the programme globally across Maersk Oil and ­Maersk Drilling.

Maersk Oil is always searching for technical talent that can help ­execute its major projects and secure strong operational performance. One of the best ways to recruit young local talents is through the two year graduate programme, MITAS. 

Laura Salimgozhinova is a typical graduate from 2014. She has a robust technical background and a strong connection to one of Maersk Oil’s operated countries. 

Her MITAS journey has taken her to three of Maersk Oil’s operated countries; Denmark, Qatar and Kazakhstan. She says the wealth of different experiences on offer across her rotations was the obvious highlight of her ­MITAS ­programme, but the deep ­subsurface environment is what marked each destination out. 

“In Copenhagen I was working with really mature reservoirs. The characteristics were completely different to my home base, where the work carried out in Aktau was all on new fields,” says Salimgozhinova. 

webb_aliyah
“MITAS helped me to obtain broad drilling experience with a good balance of field and office training in Denmark and Qatar, as well as Kazakhstan,” says Aliya Kupeyeva, Deputy Head of Drilling Engineering, Drilling & Well Services in Kazakhstan. 

The MITAS programme is very popular among graduates. This year around 8,700 applied for Maersk Oil’s 53 positions. For Maersk Oil, the programme is a key pillar and reason for the  healthy demographic of its  technical workforce. And the retention of the graduates is high. Since MITAS started in 2006, 76% of those graduates who finished the 2 year programme are still with Maersk Oil.

Stina Bjerg Nielsen, Head of Human Resources and member of the Maersk Oil Executive Team, explains that while countries such as Kazakhstan are the primary beneficiaries, on a corporate level the advantages are measurable and paying dividends. 

“Our goal is to build sustainable businesses in the countries where we operate, and that means attracting local talent. The feedback we’ve had from Kazakhstan is that we’ve succeeded on two important fronts – attracting the best talent to Maersk Oil and fulfilling the businesses’ needs for specific, highly specialised young engineers and geoscientists who are eager to apply their new international experiences to Dunga, Maersk Oil’s onshore project in ­Kazakhstan,” she says.

webb_kairhzan
“The opportunity to test myself in completely different environments, including onshore operations in West Kazakhstan, harsh winter conditions offshore in the North Sea and working with a highly experienced scientific team in Houston has been eye-opening to say the least,” says Kairzhan Albazarov, Reservoir Engineer in Kazakhstan.

Broadening skills

One of Salimgozhinova’s MITAS colleagues is Kairzhan Albazarov, a Reservoir Engineer in Kazakhstan who has worked in three different countries across a variety of industry segments in his 2 year in MITAS. Having started in ­Kazakhstan as a petroleum engineer, he rotated to work offshore Denmark, ­coordinating offshore drilling operations in the North Sea. This was followed by a placement in Houston, Texas with the exploration team, running reservoir simulation studies for Maersk Oil’s offshore project in Angola. 

“By working intimately with such diverse parts of the global business I have been fortunate to gain a big picture of the oil and gas industry. The opportunity to test myself in completely different environments, including onshore operations in West Kazakhstan, harsh winter conditions offshore in the North Sea and working with a highly experienced scientific team in Houston has been eye-opening to say the least.” 

The range of experiences and the value that the rotations will add on return is echoed by Aliya Kupeyeva, Deputy Head of Drilling Engineering, Drilling & Well Services in Kazakhstan. 

“MITAS helped me to obtain broad drilling experience with a good balance of field and office training in Denmark and Qatar, as well as Kazakhstan. Maersk Oil is recognised worldwide for its drive for innovation and deployment of new technologies. I was lucky enough to witness multilateral drilling and well completions as well as enhanced oil recovery-related well drilling – all in less than one year,” she says.

Reservoir Engineer Askar Urakov says that skills learnt in the North Sea are helping the Dunga project.

“Having been assigned to the drilling as well as to the petroleum engineering departments in the Kazakhstan, Danish and British business units, I diversified my repertoire of knowledge and skills. I had the opportunity to work on various projects, including the North Sea HPHT environment with the application of extended-reach drilling techniques. After my arrival back to the home-base location in Kazakhstan, I continue to apply the key lessons related to the technical aspects, which is contributing to the Dunga field development.”

webb_askar
“Having been assigned to the drilling as well as to the petroleum engineering departments in the Kazakhstan, Danish and British business units, I diversified my repertoire of knowledge and skills,” says Reservoir Engineer Askar Urakov.

Deepening Ties

There is a great business case for investing in local graduates as they are key contributors to the technical workforce.

“There are several important ­elements in play here. The MITAS graduates we welcome back to Kazakhstan after their rotations are filling key roles in technical disciplines. These are positions which demand highly skilled people and we are thrilled that these employees return with all the added value of their international rotations too,” says Karsten Jensen, Managing ­Director of Maersk Oil in ­Kazakhstan. 

“At the same time as delivering the people we need, we’re pleased it makes an important contribution to developing the next generation of Kazakh engineers and geoscientists, and presents another opportunity to give something back to Kazakhstan.”

More stories about Maersk