A consortium made of PetroChina, Total and Petronas signed an agreement with the Iraqi government to develop the giant Helfaya field, Iraq. In 2012, PetroChina recruited 21fresh Iraqi graduates of different engineering disciplines to integrate them into the Company operations. They were graduates from the various local universities and colleges across Iraq.

It was evident that a traditional training program similar to what is used by many companies in the oil industry would not be suitable for the Iraqi graduates. A competency-based development program was specifically designed for Halfaya field operations and the needs of the newly recruited graduates.

This paper describes the approach adopted in designing this program, the key features of the program and the implementation experience.

Iraq has the world's second largest proven reserves of conventional crude oil after Saudi Arabia. While there are many publications on the technical aspects of the Iraqi oil industry, there is very little published on the development of Iraqi professional work force. This paper is a contribution towards bridging this gap. It provides a case study on how to design and implement a competency-based graduate development program tailor-made for Iraqi graduates.

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