Raphael Guerithault, Vice President, Technology & Solutions, Schlumberger
How did you come to be in the energy industry?
Very accidentally. Upon joining University of Houston to pursue graduate studies in Chemical Engineering, I came across a larger-than-life couple, Dr. Michael Economides and Dr. Christine Ehlig-Economides, who convinced me to join their Petroleum Engineering program and undertake thesis work in Reservoir Engineering. The rest is history.
What do you believe is the greatest challenge to our industry’s future growth?
In order to maintain resilient and competitive operational strategies through a future paved with expand-and-contract cycles, our sector will need to embrace new ways of working, new competencies and learn from other industries. Are we ready for it?
Where do you see the greatest opportunity in today’s global energy markets and how are you positioned to capture this opportunity?
The timely emergence of digital technology enablers is creating new opportunities to amplify the impact of traditional domain expertise required to achieve greater operational agility and efficiency.
Schlumberger has fully embraced digital enablement to drive its own transformation and recently launched the DELFI cognitive E&P environment to help our customers drive the transformation of their core E&P processes.
What are the strategic priorities for your company in the next 12 months?
A strategic priority is our continuous investment in leading edge software technologies and talent development to deliver greater service integration, agility and performance transformation for our customers.
What differentiates your company from similar companies working in Asia Pacific?
Beyond our technology edge, Schlumberger is known as a company with global resources and local expertise. We bring best practices gained from global experiences and deliver them through a workforce able to understand, respect and work in the local culture of our customers.
How would you describe your company in one sentence to a new client/partner/investor?
Schlumberger Software is the industry leader in upstream E&P software. Our goal is to lead the energy industry into a digital future.
What takeaways would you like attendees at our Asia Pacific Assembly to go home with regarding your company and your work both in Asia Pacific and further afield?
Digital transformation is a mandate for the future of the Oil & Gas industry and the sustained “lower for longer” outlook should serve as a catalyst for driving sustainable change.
What one businessman/woman do you most admire and why?
My wife: running all aspects of the Guerithault household with surgical precision and unmatched efficiency.
What was the wisest advice you received from a mentor?
Challenge some, empower a lot, make yourself redundant always.
What advice would you pass onto a recent graduate wishing to work in the energy industry?
The recent downturn is a deterrent for new graduates. The truth is, of all industries, the E&P sector stands to make some of the most significant gains in adopting new forms of science, new ways of thinking, new ways of working. The industry needs you. My advice to any new comer is simple: Where there is a will, there is a way, always have the ambition to learn, adapt and lead to make a lasting difference.
All-time favourite book?
The World Atlas. I am as drawn to it today than I was as a 6 year old.
What three items would you take with you to a desert island?
An mp3 player, a solar charger, headphones.
About Raphael Guerithault
Raphael Guerithault works for Schlumberger as Vice President – Software Technology & Solutions, based in London, UK. He was prior to this Vice President Petroleum Engineering software solutions.
His 16-year experience in Oil & Gas, all of which with Schlumberger, exposed him to a variety of technical, functional and managerial positions across geographies. Following an initial 5-year Reservoir Engineering experience in North America, he spent 7 years in South-East Asia developing and managing software and information solutions for the upstream E&P. It is during these years that Raphael gained significant exposure to large-scale Digital Oilfield and Integrated Operations.
In 2012, Raphael moved to Egypt as HR Director for East Africa & East Mediterranean Oilfield Service operations, before joining in 2015 the Schlumberger workforce productivity corporate transformation program out of Paris, France, and moving in 2016 to London where he currently resides.
He holds degrees in Chemical Engineering from the National Institute in Chemical Engineering in Toulouse, France and the University of Houston.