Chris Riley - Alaska Exploration and Drilling Engineer

Name: Chris Riley
Position: Alaska Exploration and Drilling Engineer
Expertise: Drilling Engineering, Chemical Engineering
Employer: Shell
Location: United States

I have a BS degree in chemical engineering from Auburn University, and I have been working for Shell since then. I started working onshore South Texas and now work in the Alaska exploration group.

I was attracted to the petroleum industry because the jobs take you all over the world. The projects are technically challenging and can be massive in scale. It is an exciting and challenging field. The problems and boundary conditions change all the time. The social impact is considerable. There is a significant amount of new technologies enabling us to push the limits further all the time.

I think the best part of my job is the variety of the work I perform. One day I may be doing design work at my desk, the next presenting a well plan and cost to management; and then I may be off in the field to see my plan in action or to visit with a stakeholder group.

A Bit of Advice

The challenge, cost and risks of drilling wells can be very high, so you have to have a strong technical foundation. The fact that so much of the work is done in teams requires you to possess great people skills, too. Additionally, I don't think that many days go by when I don't reference the Drilling Data Handbook, 7th Edition (the Green Book) by Gabolde and Nguyen or my Halliburton cementing tables (the Red Book).

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