Ahead of the panel, Abel Cruz, Chairperson of the Society of Petroleum Engineers in Angola, delivered a keynote address. He acknowledged the active participation of young individuals and students within the Society of Petroleum Engineers.
Thereafter, testimonials were delivered by representatives from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and SLB. Tona Ndamba, Chief Refinery and Products Analyst at OPEC Angola, stressed the importance of providing young people with the right tools to overcome industry challenges. Ndamba stated that, “My advice is to invest in continuous training because technology is growing; to continue learning, because learning is never too much; be humble, because our relationships with people are important; believe in yourself and commit to yourself. You can help your country go further and make a difference.”
Décio Policarpo, SLB and Society of Petroleum Engineers Liaison Young Professional, echoed this sentiment, highlighting the industry’s challenges and the capacity of young people to drive the energy transition. He stated that, “We have many challenges; the energy transition is the greatest challenge the industry has faced. As young people, we have the intellectual capacity to make it a reality. It demands discipline and resilience. To the industry leaders: keep investing in young people. Take the Angolan potential and make it a reality.”
Boasting a young population as well as a growing oil and gas industry, Angola has all the ingredients to become a global oil and gas leader. By leveraging the skills, potential and innovation of the youth, industry leaders believe that the country will be able to achieve this goal.
President of the National Oil, Gas, and Biofuels Agency of Angola Paulino Jerónimo emphasized that, “We have to pave the way; the youth alone cannot pave their own way. This starts with training. It is an intensive capital industry, and where the errors are costly. After preparing the youth, it is important that we integrate them. One of the problems we have is that many youths conclude their courses and do not know where to do their training. It is important to create a space for youth to integrate. Concluding university alone is not enough.”
As the energy sector expands, there are opportunities for youth to participate across the entire value chain, including the mid- and downstream sectors. Dr. Luís Fernandes, Director General of the Oil Derivatives Regulatory Institute in Angola, emphasized the importance of creating internship opportunities, stating, “We see the transition from this generation to another across the mid- and downstream as well. The companies have to define strategies. There is a need to create internship opportunities.”
Osvaldo Inácio, Board Member of Sonangol, claimed that, “We are evolving more and more into technology and digitization, and we will need young people. Youth will realize and bring the energy transition into play.”
Similarly, Martin Deffontaines, Country Chair and Managing Director at TotalEnergies E&P Angola remarked that, “We are absolutely convinced that in the transition, that digital and innovation will come from young people. We need young people in order to do our job differently, and this will be done through young people.”
With new innovations and technology on the rise, young individuals have the potential to lead transformative changes and contribute to the future growth and sustainability of the energy sector.