Working in energy: An attractive opportunity in Croatia

Daria Karasalihovic Sedlar's picture
Daria Karasalihovic Sedlar, Associate Professor, University of Zagreb
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As reported by Energy Tomorrow, the natural gas industry in the US supports nearly 3 million jobs and adds approximately $385 billion to the national economy each year. The Croatian energy industry continues to show signs of development as more infrastructure comes online; providing the region with the opportunity to offer more jobs in the industry than ever before. 

With the CEE Gas Conference taking place next week, 7-8 March, in Zagreb, Gastech Insights spoke to Associate Professor at the University of Zagreb and Executive Advisory Board Member, Daria Karasalohovic Sedlar, to learn more about the growing job opportunities in Croatia and gain an academic's view on why individuals should join the  gas industry. 

Gastech Insights: As more infrastructure is expected in Croatia over the coming years, will the relevant workforce be there?

Daria Karasalihovic Sedlar: Currently, Croatia has 10 universities with more than 30,000 graduates every year. Leading by the number of graduate students is the University of Zagreb, which has twelve technical and two economy and organization faculties. The Faculty of Mining Geology and Petroleum Engineering is a place where students are educated in the field of petroleum engineering specializing in the natural gas market, therefore it is the right place for the education of a relevant workforce for planned projects.

Beside graduates, there is a large number of people with knowledge and experience already employed in the energy sector. The unemployment in Croatia currently represents one of the main economic problems for an increasingly high-educated population, and therefore there is a high migration of high-educated specialists to Western Europe. A new energy infrastructure means an offering of new jobs and therefore, finding a job in the energy industry should be even more attractive with enough workforce at the labour market.

Gastech Insights: What are the greatest opportunities the growing energy industry can bring to the region, specifically Croatia?

Daria Karasalihovic Sedlar: The gas crisis in 2009 has encouraged EU countries to diversify gas supply routes in order to increase the safety of supply by building LNG terminals and new gas pipelines. Croatia plans to provide safe gas supply through the construction of the LNG terminal on the island of Krk and the construction of the Ionian Adriatic Pipeline along with constructing of reversible gas flows within current pipeline interconnectors.

Apart from securing safe gas supply, these projects would enable Croatia to expand the gas business to the wider region. After the completion of mentioned projects, new alternative routes for gas supply for countries in Central and South East Europe. By developing natural gas infrastructure Croatia could gain a new geopolitically important strategic position in the region. This could mean not only the development of the natural gas market in Croatia but the greater competitiveness of gas companies in the region. Also, it could bring correction to the gas prices.

Gastech Insights: For individuals hoping to start their career in the gas and LNG industry in the CEE region, what advice would you give?

Daria Karasalihovic Sedlar: Advice to individuals who want to develop a successful career in gas business is to monitor the market situation on a daily basis. Attention should be paid to the current events in the pipeline and LNG terminals construction. If the construction of the pipeline is behind schedule that opens up greater opportunities for LNG terminals. Also if US gas liquefaction and export LNG will be achieved that would mean reduction of gas prices.

Another piece of advice is to popularize natural gas broadly through media and participate in conferences to gain new experiences and meet professionals from the industry. It is important for natural gas to be recognized not only as transitional fuel towards low carbon society but also as a leading fuel in primary energy consumption.

The Petroleum Engineering Summer School (PESS) has been organized every year within the frame of advanced studies of Inter-University Centre Dubrovnik as a program for graduate students, PhD students and young specialists who would like to become involve with contemporary issues in field of natural gas and the energy industry in general, making it a great start for the successful career in gas industry in the region.

Gastech Insights: What are you most looking forward to at CEE Gas Conference next week (7-8 March)?

Daria Karasalihovic Sedlar: The CEE Gas Conference is a great opportunity to hear information about latest projects in the region and hope to have more students networking.

With the CEE Gas Conference taking place next week (7-8 March), be sure to register for the delegate pass today so you do not miss out on hearing industry experts discussing the Central and Eastern European gas market opportunities.

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