Re:think Original
Crafted by The Atlantic’s marketing team and paid for by American Petroleum Institute
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Rising to the Top
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Rising to the Top

Bringing heat, light, and mobility to two billion additional people worldwide by 2040 – the projected increase in global population. Leading the world in natural gas and oil production. Reducing emissions to the lowest level in a generation. This is the work facing the modern natural gas and oil industry. Ten years ago, achieving these goals would have been considered monumental. Today, meeting them is just another part of the job.

The U.S. natural gas and oil industry supports 10.3 million jobs domestically and constitutes nearly 8 percent of the country’s economy, supplying cleaner energy at home and abroad. Yet even with such a significant contribution to people’s everyday lives, the natural gas and oil industry can still feel a step removed. Here’s what we mean.

Take a moment to imagine that you’re working in the natural gas and oil industry. If you’re anything like us, you probably hear the word petroleum and your mind drifts to the mechanic at your local gas station or the hard hats and construction workers at a nearby building site. But you’d be surprised to know that the industry is also made up of problem solvers, innovators, and disruptors.

Today, it’s standard practice for natural gas and oil companies to use artificial intelligence when drilling new wells, drone technology and 24/7 monitoring when performing inspections, and predictive analysis when evaluating potential risks. Because the natural gas and oil industry comprises thousands of wells spread out over hundreds of miles, these technologies not only save time, money, and lives — they also ensure that natural gas and oil companies can meet consumer demand for energy head-on. All of that adds up to lower-impact operations and a smaller carbon footprint.

“We are a part of creating the solution to one of the world’s biggest challenges: climate change,” says Shell Oil President Gretchen Watkins. “We do have challenges in front of us, but solutions are out there.” In order to meet those challenges head-on, while continuing to increase global access to energy, Watkins explains that it’s necessary to pair the industry’s best technology with the world’s brightest talent. “When I think about the major challenges ahead, I ask, ‘What’s the talent pool that we need in this industry to make that happen?’”

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