The expertise and strength of our team are key to who we are at Wild Well Control. We’d like to introduce you to some of our people and share their insights on the oil and gas industry. Next up in our Well Controlled series is Ken Smith, our VP of Well Control Training. Keep reading to learn more about his experience, insights on industry trends, and what he loves about working with the team at Wild Well Control.
Name: Ken Smith
Role: VP of Well Control Training
Location: Houston, TX
Tell us about your role with Wild Well
I came on board with Wild Well in January of 2008 as a Well Control Instructor in Casper, Wyoming. After a few years, I transferred to our Training Center in Oklahoma City as a Mid-Con Area Manager. Next, I relocated to our headquarters in Houston as an Operations Manager, then General Manager, and now my current position is Vice President of Training. I love my current role as not only do I still get to interact with our clients but also interrelate with internal departments within the company.
Can you describe your industry experience?
Growing up in Wyoming I have been exposed to the industry since I was a young man. As a restless young man, I decided to begin my career within the U.S. Marine Corps. After my time in the service, I moved back to Wyoming and joined the law enforcement community. But, ultimately, I wanted to start a career in Oil and Gas. I started my oil industry career as a roughneck and never looked back. My background as a Marine, peace officer, and ultimately oil and gas professional has provided me with a unique perspective on an individual's specific needs for effecting learning and developing the future leaders in the Well Control training space.
While working in the oil field, I also did my studies at the University of Wyoming. Working, attending classes, and supporting my family at the same time was challenging but rewarding - making all the hard work well worth it!
What trends do you see in the industry?
I've been in the industry for over twenty years now and have been fortunate to see it grow and change over time. Even though so much has changed with technology, regulations, and oversight, the foundations of oil and gas have remained the same; it's always had the most incredibly hardworking and talented people.
It's been rewarding, to say the least, watching the industry move in a constructive direction while maintaining the positive work environment and the dedication of the individuals within. The advent of COVID in early 2020 required the industry to think outside of the box. Traditionally, Well Control Training was performed on an in-person only basis, relying on the close team interaction and group learning approach. Realizing with the imposed restrictions that this was not possible and still having the need to train, the industry needed a solution. The IADC and the industry team developed an entirely online-based curriculum adapted from the in-person course and deployed via online-based portals. This was a game-changer in our industry and has allowed fully endorsed and proctored training courses to be delivered during 2020 when in-person courses were unavailable. This insured our ability to maintain the required well control expertise for the industry.
What differentiates Wild Well?
Working together we strive to deliver the best service possible to our clients. What I like most about my role is working with others to offer a superior product. My lifelong passion has been martial arts, and in that, the greatest reward is seeing people grow and accomplish things that they did not think were possible. I receive that same joy at Wild Well in fostering a good working environment and always helping bring up those around me.
The company philosophy is focused on the TEAM and this is something that I strongly believe in and something I practice both at work and in my personal life.