Kazakhstan, once one of the 15 republics of the Soviet Union, has gained international prominence in the oil and gas scene. The country is a rising star in the oil and gas industry, with rich hydrocarbon reserves and several world-scale projects such as the Tengiz and Karachaganak field developments. With a burgeoning oil and gas industry, petroleum engineering and geology students are becoming more active in seeking out development and networking opportunities. Technical U. (KNTU) organized its third international youth forum on "Future Caspian Oil and Gas" in Almaty, Kazakhstan, during 15–16 April. Approximately 300 students attended from universities across Kazakhstan, Russia, Uzbekistan, and Kyrgyzstan.
This paper presents the background, implementation, and initial results of a pilot project to address the shortage of qualified petroleum engineers in developing countries. Oil and gas talent gap in emerging markets was identified as an eminent problem by the Steering Committee of the World Economic Forum's (WEF) Oil & Gas Community in 2017. Chevron, Eni, and Shell acted on the initiative of WEF and, with the addition of Colorado School of Mines (Mines) as the academic partner, kicked off a pilot project to improve the Petroleum Engineering (PE) program at Satbayev University (SU) in Almaty, Kazakhstan, in 2018. The WEF working group, consisting of the representatives of the three companies and the department heads of Mines and SU, identified three priority areas: (1) Establishment of an Industry-Advisory Board (IAB) to promote mutual trust and collaboration between academia and industry, (2) Curriculum revision and improvement of the course material and delivery with the support of Mines, and (3) Student and faculty internship programs to provide industry training and support for faculty development. Many challenges of the Kazakh PE education are common to the other emerging oil and gas producing countries also. Therefore, the lessons learned from this project will be useful to develop similar projects not only in Kazakhstan but also around the world. This paper presents the details of implementation, challenges encountered, and initial results of the project.