Please tell us about yourself
Travel enthusiast Abhinandan Kohli applies his skills as a Petrophysicist to make an impact on Shell operations worldwide. He’s currently based in Shell Technology Centre Bangalore, where he works on projects as far afield as Brunei, Egypt’s Saharan desert and Italy’s Southern Apennines.
How did you end up in such an offbeat, unconventional and fascinating career?
“My foray into Shell was actually through an internship. I did a bachelor’s in petroleum engineering at the Indian School of Mines, during which I joined Shell’s seven-week-long internship. I was offered an internship by three different Exploration and Production companies, but I chose Shell because its programme was structured, had me working on a live project and concluded with a formal assessment for an employment opportunity, which the other companies did not offer.
Later I heard about the fast-track, tailored Shell Graduate Programme and so, a year after graduating from university, I joined the programme where I could realise my full potential.
“I was impressed at how the programme’s teaching elements fit together: classroom training, on-the-job learning, and mentoring.”
Tell us about one of your projects
I was immediately asked to deliver a live project related to an offshore field in Brunei. I was initially nervous, but I had support from a senior Petrophysicist who taught me about delivery and Shell’s internal software.
We would have long sessions understanding different methodologies and workflows. It was also interesting to see my work having an impact on actual profitability, in terms of dollars earned by the company. The day-to-day coaching from team leaders and members also helped me understand Shell’s value loop, putting the bigger picture into perspective.
How has your career path been?
After spending about 10 months in the company, I was posted to Muscat, Oman for a seven-month Operational Assignment with Petroleum Development Oman (PDO). There, I went to the field to understand the various processes that happen on a working well site. I saw for the first time how a well was drilled, logged and completed, and the importance of quick decision-making that can maximise efficiency and lower costs.
Having completed the programme, my transition out was smooth. I passed my assessment successfully and moved into the Shell Advanced Technical Programme (SATP). The SATP brings your skills to a level where you can perform non-standard tasks and make non-standard decisions independently.
What do you like about your job?
The Shell Graduate Programme has all the right elements of coaching, on-the-job training and job rotation.
“Everybody is open and willing to help if you have any personal or professional issues. That’s the relationship I have with my peers; they’re like family.”
The best part is that you’re globally benchmarked, so graduates everywhere receive the same learning opportunities.
It’s a little early to visualise my personal contribution to the industry, but I’m very satisfied with my contribution to Shell so far. I’m also involved in a lot of company activities like Shell’s Campus Ambassador Programme, Young Professional Network and currently I serve as secretary to the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) Bangalore Section.
“I love the global brand value that Shell provides. I see many innovative energy projects and of course I relish any opportunities I may get to work abroad.”