Russian Oilman on Studying at Mining University

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Russian Far North is not exactly the region everyone dreams of living in. Moving back into it after spending several years in Saint Petersburg is a decision even most Russian themselves do not get. Yet that is what Alexander Posokhov, a graduate of St. Petersburg Mining University, did upon completion of his studies. 

Harsh winters, remoteness from major Russian cities – very few people are ready to take the challenge and build their careers in the Extreme North of Russia. However, that is where the country’s largest oil fields are located. The area is home to enormous mineral and natural resources, which makes it a perfect place for fast career progression of oil & gas engineers.

“I am originally from Nefteyugansk, the city almost surrounded by oil fields. Nearly everyone here is employed in the oil industry. People either work for the only big enterprise – Yuganskneftegaz – or for some service company. I am often asked whether I would want to move from here to somewhere with a nicer climate, or a bigger city. I would not. Life is not easy here, but this is the place I grew up in, and the Russiaclimate is not the reason why I like it. Besides, I am living in the oil-bearing region, and the petroleum industry is vital to the country’s economy. Why would I ever leave?

As a schoolboy, I already knew what my future profession would be. And thanks to the high grades at school and excellent performance at the academic competitions, I was admitted to Mining University – specifically to the “Development and Exploitation of Oil and Gas Fields” program.

I must say I was somewhat shocked at first. The university is enormous: historical buildings with marble floors co-exist with ultramodern facilities and scientific centers. We used to work in the university labs, learned how to make drilling fluids, or repair oil and gas wells. Practical training engages and motivates to study further, while afterward, it makes the process of entering the profession smoother. And the labs we worked in are not just some showcases – they accept orders from leading Russian companies,” says Alexander.

Alexander’s internship took place in his home city. As the graduate believes, by applying the skills and knowledge acquired at the university in the working environment, he realized the true nature of his profession. He decided to proceed further and apply to the Master’s degree program.

“Alma Mater is a place where I gained a broad picture of the oil & gas sector. This includes both industry-specific information and, on a more global scale, world economic trends and political decisions they depend on,” admits Alexander.

Upon earning his degree, the fresh graduate returned to Nefteyugansk and started working for Yuganskneftegaz as an Oil & Gas Production Operator. Now, having worked in the company for several years, he advanced to the position of a Leading Specialist in Production Optimisation.