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Oklahoma City energy industry forum focuses on young leaders

More than 360 young energy professionals from throughout the state met Thursday at the Sheraton hotel in downtown Oklahoma City to learn more about both the oil and natural gas industry and the opportunities they have within it.
by Adam Wilmoth Modified: July 19, 2012 at 9:25 pm •  Published: July 20, 2012

The effects of the 20-year drought are still obvious in almost every oil and gas company.

Firms of all size are filled with people who have more than 25 years of industry experience and recent college graduates with fewer than seven years of experience.

But very few people in the industry fall within that range of seven to 25 years in the industry.

The trend is severe, but it will become even more significant as about 40 percent of the industry is expected to retire within the next decade.

Young professionals still in their 20s already are assuming middle management roles — and in some cases senior level positions — after only a few years in the workforce.

I served as a moderator for a portion of the Oklahoma City Young Professionals Energy Forum, leading the discussion with Devon Energy Corp. Executive Chairman Larry Nichols and a panel of executives as they challenged attendees to pay attention, work hard and focus on character as they pursue opportunities to quickly advance in their careers.

The executives warned that the industry changes rapidly, so young leaders must be flexible and remain educated on the latest technologies.

by Adam Wilmoth
Energy Editor
Adam Wilmoth returned to The Oklahoman as energy editor in 2012 after working for four years in public relations. He previously spent seven years as a business reporter at The Oklahoman, including five years covering the state's energy sector....
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