Maersk Oil launched the web-only video game Quest for Oil early this summer with the aim of making the oil and gas industry more accessible. OE discusses the strategy behind the game with CEO Jakob Thomasen.
Maersk Oil launched the video game, Quest for Oil, to give people—inside and outside of the business—a better perspective about what occurs within the exploration realm of the industry. Quest for Oil allows players to use their strategic and practical skills to retrieve oil virtually from deep waters off Qatar and in the North Sea. The game provides a detailed look at the exploration process, and allows users to make operational decisions.
Maersk Oil CEO, Jakob Thomasen, says that without understanding the process of retrieving and producing oil, having these natural resources often gets taken for granted.
“Not many people understand what it takes to find and produce oil and gas,” Thomasen says. “The world’s need for oil and gas is leading exploration into ever deeper waters and ventures demanding precision and cutting-edge technology.”
Quest for Oil became a fresh, innovative method for Maersk Oil to spread the word about the industry. Thomasen says the game engages audience members with opportunities to get involved in the world of exploration and production.
A team of two from Maersk, along with three different external agencies and their team members, came together to execute the US $400,000 project, which took eight months to finalize from the start of production.
“Our goal with Quest for Oil has been to invite everyone in to our ‘homebase’ and inform, educate, inspire, engage and have a dialogue,” he says. “We hope that a game like this can create some awareness about the industry and how exciting it is to work here, that we have jobs in the future, and that you can have the world as your playground.”
The game teaches players how to read the earth’s layers—and determine how to detect and find oil reservoirs, and how to determine if you’re about to strike a dry well. Seismic analysis, reservoir identification, placing and drilling wells, and setting up and optimizing production are all challenges that players will face while immersed in the game.
Thomasen says the company plans to integrate the game into Maersk Oil and Maersk Drilling as part of an introduction package, as well as offering the game during training sessions and courses at the Maersk training center. Furthermore, the company is working on an educational package to be distributed to high schools in Denmark for educational purposes on the industry.
He also said that Maersk has been researching ways to recruit more women to industry, and that the game has already sparked some interest in a few women who’ve submitted applications to the company.
“We have been thinking about how to attract more women to the industry, but women have not been a specific target group itself (for the game). We’re focusing on attracting more women to the industry in general. We’ve already received a couple of applications from women who would like to work here, after playing Quest for Oil,” he says.
As knowledge and interest in the game expands, Thomasen says Maersk hopes to add Quest for Oil as another method of interaction with consumers. For now, the company has been responding to feedback about the game through social media and email.
“We will now monitor the feedback and see how we can integrate it in our business, no doubt that this type of media for communication and dialogue with our audience is in the future,” Thomasen says. “We are tracking our social media channels and responding directly to emails via questforoil.maersk.com.” OE