threat of environmental disaster. Yet oil (33.6%), natural gas (23.8%) and coal (29.6%) account for nearly nine-tenths of the total energy market. Reserves of oil, gas
and coal are estimated to meet world demand for 46, 58 and 118 years
ENGINEERS, YOUR MISSION (SHOULD YOU CHOOSE TO ACCEPT IT) IS TO LEAD A REVOLUTION IN GREEN GENERATION
respectively; while global coal consumption grew at 7.4%, gas at 7.3% and oil at 3.1% during 2010, according to BP’s figures. Engineers, your mission (should you choose to accept it) is to lead a revolution in green generation and gradually replace fossil fuel use.
So what resource is best placed to substitute hydrocarbon generation? Nuclear power is targeted because of its low carbon impact, but environmental concerns remain because of safety (following the earthquake incident at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi plant) and waste storage issues. Still, it accounted for 5.2% of global output in 2010 and provided nearly 22% of total supply in the majority of OECD countries. French output grew by more than 4%. France is also the site for Europe’s largest experimental fusion reactor (the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor), which could revolutionise and clean up nuclear energy by fusing hydrogen nuclei on an industrial scale. Its first 500 megawatt output is not planned until 2025. Immediate growth areas
are in other renewable technologies. Surprisingly, biofuel energy (made from
David Mallum, 33, joined the Maersk International Technology and Science Programme (MITAS) graduate scheme in 2008.
“I am from Jos in Nigeria, and I had always wanted to get into the oil exploration industry. To achieve this I studied for my
Oil exploration – current challenges
The Deepwater Horizon disaster proved that oil drilling operations are huge technical challenges. Yet there are many exploration techniques and practices that enable the oil industry to locate and extract its product, causing minimal environmental harm.
Working in energy
Skill sets in the energy industry rely on a solid base of practical and academic disciplines. Employers require a wide range of graduates. For instance, in nuclear power stations roles vary according to job description, but the industry draws candidates from
Graduate schemes in energy
Maersk The Maersk International Technology and Science Programme: a two-year international scheme for newly graduated engineers, geologists and geophysicists in energy and offshore oil and gas.