The number of international employees of Repsol has increased significantly in recent years, especially in Exploration and Production (E&P) projects where six out of every seven expatriates work. This tendency was borne out of “the conviction that in order to grow, the company had to focus on that sector, especially on the international field”, continues Jiménez.
International specialists in E&P, such as reservoir engineers geophysicists or drilling experts are far and few between and are very much in demand. The industry continues growing and “National Oil Corporations (NOCs) in particular, which often do not have professionals with technical profiles in their own countries, are tough bidders and we are all competing for the same talent”, explains Jiménez. Repsol is also forming their own reserve of young talent and each year between 40 and 50 young people from all over the world are trained in their Masters in the Exploration and Production of Hydrocarbons. Willingness to travel is also a requirement in the selection of personnel for the more international areas of the company, which is increasingly spreading to more areas.
Each year between 40 and 50 young people from all over the world are trained in Repsol’s Masters in the Exploration and Production of Hydrocarbons
Each expatriation case is dealt with individually and the company’s services take on the task of supporting the expatriate and their family in the new social environment. For the last two years a support and cultural integration unit has been running which assesses the international personnel before they travel. As well as the professional and technical profile, awareness of differences has become a requirement “since international employees must have a series of basic competences to work in a difficult environment, with people from other cultures and under pressure”, explains Jiménez.
With an average age of between 40 and 60, they have extensive international experience and always travel, as far as it is possible, with their families, but they are committed to accepting any destination. A decision on who has the last word is the Corporate Security department of Repsol, recently awarded a prize by the Civil Guard for the security of company operations abroad. Protection of international employees is placed above everything: “a prime example was the evacuation of our personnel in Libya in 2011. I can safely say that the Senior Management of the company provided all the necessary means with the sole objective of getting people out”, concludes Jiménez.
REAS collective are experts in the oil and gas business who are on permanent international assignment