<a href="http://youngpetro.org/2013/03/06/how-is-it-possible-to-produce-oil-from-sand/"><b>How is it possible to produce oil from sand?</b></a> <a href="http://youngpetro.org/2011/10/09/people-engineers-and-spe-members/"><b>People, Engineers and SPE Members</b></a> <a href="http://youngpetro.org/2012/12/19/if-i-were-a-prime-minister/"><b>If I Were a Prime Minister…</b></a> <a href="http://youngpetro.org/2012/12/26/polish-shales-delayed/"><b>Polish shales delayed?</b></a> <a href="http://youngpetro.org/2013/01/11/russia-continues-the-policy-of-states-companies-monopoly/"><b>Russia continues the policy of state companies’ monopoly</b></a>

The O&G Industry Downturn: What It Means For Recent Grads? And How To Survive It?

The O&G Industry Downturn: What It Means For Recent Grads? And How To Survive It?

It was June 2014 when the oil and gas industry started to experience a downward market. Oil prices fell sharply to around $70 per barrel by November 2014, and this marked an end to a four-year period of price stability above $100 per barrel. Besides the geopolitical and economic factors responsible for the drastic change in oil prices, the prominent factor for the crash of oil prices was the unbalance between supply and demand.

According to the December 2014 monthly update of the United States Energy Information Administration ( EIA ), there was an increase in supply of liquid fuels by 1.8 million B/D to 92 million B/ in 2014, whereas demand did not keep pace. The global demand was low due to high oil prices for too long and low economic activities. On the other hand, supply was up because of U.S. shale oil boom, and the return of Libya’s production. Decreased demand and increased supply directly leads to low oil prices.

It was expected that the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries would play its conventional role of protecting the oil prices by reducing its quota to balance the supply and demand as it always did. However, what OPEC did was totally the opposite. OPEC decided to not cut production in a new strategy to protect its market-share. Consequently, the O&G industry was dealt a crushing blow. The crash in oil prices has led to many layoffs, spending cut backs, project deferrals, service price deflation, renegotiation and significant delays at major projects and this officially announces that the O&G industry is in a downturn.

What The Downturn Means For Recent Grads?

The crash in oil prices especially after November 2014 -when OPEC decided to stick to its market-share strategy- has led to many layoffs from both operating and service companies along with a slowdown in the hiring activities or completely putting a freeze on hiring. As a consequence, many O&G professionals have lost their jobs and fresh graduates are finding it extremely hard to secure a job in an industry they spent four years earning an entry ticket to.

The increase in the number of people seeking jobs -both due to the current layoffs that left many professionals unemployed and recent graduates- accompanied with few or no job postings from O&G companies has undoubtedly made 2014 a pivotal point where a transition in the market type from “candidate-driven market” to a “client-driven market” took place.

In a client-driven market where demand for jobs is much higher than what is being offered, the competition is extremely high and the possibilities of securing a job is much lower especially for recent graduates. Job applicants with experiences and job training are more preferred than recent graduates in such a market. This is due to the fact that the value they add to the company comes much faster than what fresh graduates do, and this is due to the longer time required to train fresh graduates.

Even in the case of fresh graduates job openings; in a client-driven market, O&G companies are at an advantage of having a chance to choose the best candidates with even less salary. This is due to the fact that in a client-driven market, many applicants compete over few job openings unlike in a candidate-driven market where prospective candidates are currently working, and there is a need for new workforce which gives an advantage for any applicant to get the job with less competition.

Low oil prices and its consequences on the hiring activities has also driven many petroleum related courses’ graduates to either divert into different industries -sometimes not even related to their field of study- or spend their time at home doing nothing other than killing time waiting for the market to recover. It is true that fresh graduates and professionals who lost their jobs due to the crash in oil prices are experiencing a bad time, but this is the price to keep the industry going and guarantee an even-keeled revenue stream and business sustainability.

How Can Recent Grads Survive The Downturn?

It is important to keep in mind that the oil and gas business is boom and bust by nature, this is not the first price bust in the O&G industry and definitely will not be the last. A similar downturn occurred in the late 1980s through the 1990s and the most recent downturn occurred in 2008. Downturns are harsh realities that can not be avoided as it is the nature of this business. What you can do as a recent graduate who is passionate about this industry is to navigate the industry during the downturn in the following ways:

1- Keep in mind that it will get worse before it gets better as the current events in 2015 are indicating signs of no price recovery such as the continuous increase in production from Iraq, Iran and Libya and few other countries, China’s dramatic slowdown, refining maintenance season which is about to begin soon, Greek crisis and lifting sanctions from Iran. Knowing that things will get worse will ignite the fire within you to take the following advice seriously and work hard.

2- Get informed about the current events in the oil and gas industry. Know where layoffs happened, which sectors are more affected and which are still having employment activities and apply for them. Besides, knowing where new projects are taking place will help you to increase your possibilities of getting a job by applying for jobs in response to the need.

3- Diversify. This means keeping your petroleum engineering skills broad. It doesn’t matter what your focus is or what your final year project was, you should learn about other engineering disciplines, and read more. It also means cultivating new skills that will surely set you apart from the rest of your peers.

4- Widen your connections. This is a very crucial point not only for getting a job, but also for your career development and success. Create a LinkedIn profile if you do not have one, make it professional, start adding people and network with them. Attend conferences and events related to your industry. All those will help you widen your network, which comes with an advantage of increasing opportunities.

5- Volunteering. Volunteering during a downturn has career benefits. Apart from enhancing your industry network which surely can help you get a job, it develops your leadership skills, provides a résumé boost, and it gives you access to technical information. Never underestimate the outcomes of any volunteer activity even if it is not related to your field of study. Just go for it, and learn. Chances are, it will pay you back later.

6- Get a job that will help you be independent and support you to make a living. It does not matter where as long as you work, and make money. And if you can afford to further your education, do so. This adds value and helps increase your chances of getting a job later especially if you further your study in business administration, finance and so on.

The downturn is going nowhere at least for the end of 2015, and it is your decision how to react to that. If the O&G industry is your passion, I trust you will fight and win the battle. But before that happens, a lot must be done, so start now.

Corrosion and it’s remedy

Corrosion and it’s remedy

In simple words corrosion is defined as ruination of material because of its reaction with environment. It should be made clear here that for corrosion material does not have to be metal only and this vast term is not restricted to metals alone. On the other hand ruination of wood, rubber and paint due to exposure to sunlight is also considered to be corrosion.
Stress Corrosion Cracking (S.C.C) happens when mechanical stresses occur in the presence of corrosive environment and this phenomenon can cause serious problems. It is common observation that corrosion is always detrimental but interesting fact is that in some cases corrosion is beneficial and desirable like while anodizing of aluminum used to obtain a protective corrosion product on the surface and uniform appearance.
Chemical machining is widely used in aircraft’s industry. In this process unmasked areas are subjected to acid treatment and excess metal is dissolved. This process is adopted in situations where parts are hard and difficult to machine. Analysis of corrosion in Oil & Gas industry is of prime importance because of two main reasons:
1. To maintain continued and extended production to avoid loss of revenue.
2. To avoid catastrophic failures of facilities and avoid irreparable loss of life.
To control corrosion many industries are spending several billion dollars so one can realize the devastation caused by this phenomenon. Corrosion can be classified as either Sour or Sweet depending upon environments. Usually sour corrosion is caused due to the presence of high sulphur contents and its compounds in oil and gas industry.
Most common corrodents are:
1. Acid gases
2. Brine
3. Aggressive soils
4. Anaerobic bacteria
To control corrosion following corrosion measures may be taken:
1. Chemical Inhibition
2. Chemical Control (removal of dissolved gas)
3. PH control
4. Oxygen Scavenging
5. Cathodic Protection
6. Thickness measurement (Ultrasonic thickness meter)
7. Control of physical factors (Shocks etc)
It is important to calculate cost effectiveness of any of corrosion control measures before applying it and this can be calculated only in case of proper monitoring, the effectiveness of corrosion control program can be judged only in case of its proper monitoring.
At the end in Oil and gas industry it is difficult to total elimination of corrosion one can feel comfortably satisfied if the rate of corrosion is retarded up to safe extend.






2. Defining oil reservoir: Oil lake under the surface or a sponge made of rock filled with oil?

2. Defining oil reservoir: Oil lake under the surface or a sponge made of rock filled with oil?

After reading last article you should have a good understanding of the types of companies in the industry. As it was mentioned there, petroleum industry is commonly divided into three sectors: upstream, midstream and downstream.
The upstream sector (better known as E&P sector – Exploration and Production) contains all tasks and operations which deal with bringing oil and gas to the surface. It includes searching for the potential underground crude oil or natural gas fields, drilling exploratory wells and then drilling wells that bring oil.
The midstream sector deals with marketing of the unrefined products: storing in tanks, terminals, salt caverns, creating intermediate products and sending them to refineries through pipelines, long-distance transporting, delivering refined products to distributors.
The downstream sector (also known as refining) deals with all processing hydrocarbons, distribution of commercial products received from oil and gas.

We can now properly describe oil life in 6 points.
1. Oil reservoir.
2. Extraction.
3. Long-distance transport.
4. Refinery.
5. Delivery of refined products.
6. Fuel stations.

Concentrating on the first point, what actually is oil and gas reservoir? Most of you, like me first imagined it as a big lake filled with oil, hidden somewhere under the ground. Wrong? Looking to the dictionary you will find that it is “a subsurface pool of hydrocarbons contained in porous or fractured rock formation”, so the world “pool” can bring the image that petroleum is hidden in “pools” or “lakes” in the caverns under the ground. In fact it more reminds a rock sponge, but since we can’t physically see what is under the ground, drilling companies take core samples of the reservoir to measure rock properties such as porosity and permeability. Core samples are cylindrical sections of rock which are inspected and analyzed by geologists and petrophysicists in specialized labs. As we observe part of the rock carefully, we will see that a reservoir rock has spaces which can be filled with fluids, property which describes number and size of the paces (pores) is named porosity. However, to let petroleum flow, the rock must also have appropriate permeability. Permeability is really an expression about how the pores are connected.

Image source

As temperature and pressure are changed during production, fluids in pores decompress and flow into the well. It is fundamental to understand more advanced topics we are going to go through.

Image source

Unconventional reservoirs has less permeability than conventional ones. Unconventional gas reservoir is an accumulation of the same natural gas as we use in gas stoves for years. Natural gas is a mixture of hydrocarbons (mostly methane – about 90%) and sometimes a small amount of hydrogen sulfide, carbon dioxide and other components.
There are 3 types of unconventional gas reservoirs:
• Shale gas
• Tight gas
• Coalbed methane (Link here you can read more about coalbed methane)

Unconventional oil haven’t been yet strictly defined, but according to definition it is “a type of petroleum that is produced or obtained through techniques other than traditional oil well extraction. Unconventional oil production is commonly seen as more costly than conventional oil production, less efficient, and is likely to cause more environmental damage.” More about the types we are going to discuss later.

In the next article we will try to find out how is petroleum and natural gas formed and name basic drilling string components.

Sources: wikipedia, investopedia
Main Image source: dleng.info

1.Integrated vs service oil companies here you can read 1st part.

Life of the oil field

Life of the oil field

Today, I am going to describe a life of the oil field. Probably the topic is obvious and well known but the basic knowledge is worth to be repeated. Oil field is a region with a large number of boreholes extracting petroleum. Oil fields typically occupy large areas up to several hundred kilometers in width, so the total utilization of the deposit is possible only thanks to location many boreholes around the area.

Before starting exploitation of the deposit, firstly of course we have to discover it, and make inventory of resources. Promising geological formations are examined by analyzing the propagation of the artificially generated seismic waves in the earth’s crust. Test drilling are performed, and then we can start extraction. At the beginning crude oil is readily available and it is easy to increase production. Later, it is more complicated: we have to pump it, squeeze out of the ground by introducing water and gas into the reservoir – production will be stabilized and then will be decreased.

Advanced mining and drilling techniques allow very efficient exploitation of the deposit of oil. Several decades ago it was normal to extract approximately 20% of the deposit. But today we can exploit even more than 50%. The specific value depends on the type of oil layer, the deposit and other factors like porosity, permeability, etc. Regardless of the type and the efficiency of the mining methods, there remains less and less crude oil in the deposit. In the extracted crude oil is also more water. When the amount of water becomes too large (eg. 99%), we should abandon wellbore. Gradually we will turn off the exploitation of the oil wells. The typical lifetime of an oil field is a several / a few dozen years and depends largely on intensity of exploitation. Deposits which are intensively exploited (particularly with the use of horizontal wells enabling rapid pumping of oil) reach “end” much faster. Also decrease of production of such a deposit is characterized by a rate of over a dozen percent per year, in contrast to several percent per annum for deposits exploited using “classical” methods.

The world is full of old, abandoned oil sites. Once there were lively places, giving employment to thousands of people, providing energy throughout the countries. Today – there are only abandoned, decaying remains of old wells, pumps and destroyed infrastructure.

And what’s more? Any questions? I urge you to search on!


Sources: anz.theoildrum.com, oilfield.com

The Story of Oil Sand

The Story of Oil Sand

Is it possible to produce Oil from Sand? Yes!
Canada has 3rd largest Oil reserves in the World and 97% of Oil reserves are tapped in sand called “Oil Sand”. Out of “173 Billion Barrels” of oil reserves “167 Billion Barrels” are present in the Oil Sands.
So here Question comes what are Oil Sands?
Basically Oil Sands are naturally occurring mixture of “sand, clay, water and bitumen” lies in the category of Unconventional Petroleum deposits. According to National Energy Board of Canada Bitumen main component of oil sands which can be refined into diesel fuel is defined as “A highly viscous mixture of hydrocarbons heavier than pentanes which, in its natural state, is not usually recoverable at a commercial rate through a well because it is too thick to flow”.
Canada’s oil sands have drawn attention for more than 200 years. Historical background date back as far as 1715, when “James Knight”, wrote in his journal about “gum or pitch that flows out of the banks of a river” (The Athabasca). Efforts to exploit the oil sands resource began in the early 20th century.
Oil sands are recovered using two main technical methods:
1. Open Pit Mining
Large shovels scoop the oil sands into huge trucks which transfer it to crusher.
Large pieces of clay are broken down at crusher units.
Oil sand is then mixed with water & transported to plant via pipeline.
Bitumen is separated from other compounds.
Recovery rate through this process is 90% —— useful & cost-effective.
20% Oil sands are present close to earth’s surface.
2. In-Situ Drilling
In situ drilling accounts for 80% of oil sands reserves because mostly these reserves are located below 200ft from surface.
Advanced technology (Directional Drilling) is utilized to inject steam, combustion or other sources of heat into the reservoir which warms the bitumen so it can be pumped to the surface through recovery wells.
Majority of in situ operations are performed through steam-assisted gravity drainage, or SAGD.
Steam is pumped underground through a horizontal well to liquefy the bitumen, which is then pumped to the surface through a second recovery well.
Recovery rate is 50—65%
Another method is Cyclic Steam Stimulation in which steam is pumped down through a vertical well to liquefy the bitumen, which is then pumped to the surface through the same well.
Recovery rate is 30—-40%.
Crude oil which is derived from the oil sands is usually sent to refineries across North America to make gasoline, diesel, aviation fuel and other consumer products and then utilized commercially.

Image Source Oilandgasiq.com

Prices-down, anxiety-up. Is it legitimate?

Prices-down, anxiety-up. Is it legitimate?


During the age of the American oil boom prospects to pursue a petroleum engineering degree were encouraging and a lot of young people thought that it is a certainity on the work market for the nearest future.

Unfortunately, crude prices are contiuously declining- the U.S. benchmark fell to $57.81 a barrel on Friday- and present student are starting to wonder whether their decision will transpire as a good one.

Valid energy companies as Apache Corp., BP, ConocoPhillips and Continental Resources are said to be planning budget cuts, experts anticipate further industry consolidation, which is a justified premise that petroleum branch is heading a slowdown.

Anxiety of students is also related to their apprehension that hunting for job and internship will become more competitive. Industry can’t assure work for future graduated and thit is not a problem of a moment so they are considering undertaking master’s degrees or jobs which will provide them practical experience so they won’t finish they internships empty-handed.

University officials do not have such a harsh attitude as students have and expect that working in petroleum industry will remain attractive for students. They don’t treat numbers as authority and are pointing substantial side of the problem- this business is cyclical. However they are adivising to become more flexible or ponder taking non-engineering roles.

Ramanan Krishnamoorti, chief energy officer at the University of Houston, does not expect that industry will hire less. According to his words, salaries and bonuses might decrease althought he doubts that companies will not invest in young talents.

Daniel Hill, head of petroleum engineering department at Texsam A&M, did not experienced negative effects of slowdown in the industry, 85% of his students still have secured job offers. “The world’s demand for oil and gas is not dropping,” Hill said. “And it’s got to come from somewhere.”[1]


Read more at:


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1. Integrated vs service oil companies.

1. Integrated vs service oil companies.

Have you ever considered a career in the oil and gas industry? For the next couple of weeks, YoungPetro will be releasing series of articles related to the oil and gas industry. The purpose of these articles is to generate general understanding and present you basic technical aspects in terms that everyone can understand. This will be a great resource for gaining knowledge. Stay posted!

We live in times when there are so many sources of energy available for us, but indeed oil and gas are still on the top. Due to its high calorific value, easy transportability, and abundance, oil has been the world’s leading source of energy since the mid-1950s. Oil is the product of prehistoric organic material, compressed over geological time. Once produced, crude oil undergoes refining to create such widely-used products as gasoline, diesel, and heating oil. Without a doubt, oil’s transformation into these useful products brought incredible advancements in world’s energy and bring demand for oil companies.

Today we are going to concentrate about the types of oil companies: integrated oil companies and service companies, and differences between them. Integrated oil companies are the large ones which names may sound familiar to you (for example: Chevron, Shell, BP). They engages in exploration, production, refinement and distribution area. Given the high entry cost relating to many operations, they are world’s largest oil and gas companies. Generally, integrated companies divide their operations into 3 categories: upstream which includes all exploration and production efforts, midstream which is based on storing and transporting and downstream which is confined to refinement and marketing actions. Also, there many different non-integrated, smaller companies that focus on exploration and/or production and then sell their results or unrefined product to companies that specialize in refining or to the integrated companies. Most of integrated companies focus on upstream and downstream and leave refining to other special, smaller companies that deal only with midstream sector.
In conclusion, integrated oil&gas company participates in every aspect of the oil and gas business, which includes discovering, producing, refining and distributing oil and gas (or engages another company for certain aspects). An integrated company organizes its tasks and operations into categories: upstream, midstream and downstream.

Image source

Oil service companies don’t look for, transport or sell oil and gas, but provide services to companies that do these operations. They might upgrade technology, drill wells, do evaluation, completion, sell devices, provide software or even ensure security for workers. First and second place in World’s Top 10 biggest oilfield services list belongs to Schlumberger and Halliburton.
Once again, oil service companies are those ones that provide services to the petroleum exploration and production industry but do not typically produce petroleum themselves.
Now as you know who can you work for, the next article will discuss the major sectors of industry, describe oil and gas reservoir, explain the difference between conventional and unconventional resources.

Sources: investopedia.com, oilandgasiq.com, instituteforenergyresearch.org
Main image source: valuewalk.com

Historical Background of exploration in Pakistan

Historical Background of exploration in Pakistan

If we talk about first exploratory well which was drilled in the region of undivided sub-continent (now Pakistan) then facts highlighted that it was drilled in1866 by Punjab Oriental State, right after seven years of World’s 1st well drilled in USA to a depth of 65ft.
With the passage of time, discovery of oil in province of Balochistan was the main success where thirteen shallow wells produced 25,000 barrels of oil between 1885 and 1892. Here one fact should be made clear that during this early phase all the drilling activities were controlled by The Government of Indio-Pak.
Unfortunately, they were unable to find such a reserve which exhibit commercial storage until 1910. Later on Attock Oil Company (AOC) made a first commercial oil discovery (4.31 MMbo) in 1915, in Punjab province. This achievement leads to attract many exploration companies to utilize their investment in region of sub-continent. As consequences three oil fields were established consecutively in 1936, 1944 and 1946 by joint venture of Attock Oil company (AOC) and Burmah Oil Company (BOC).
After the independence of Pakistan in 1947, the Government of Pakistan issued Regulation of Mines and Oilfields and Mineral Development Act 1948 and classified rules under this Act in 1949. The main objective of this Act was to provide regulatory authority to encourage and accelerate petroleum exploration and production activities in the country.
BOC and AOC transferred its exploration activities to local companies, by establishing Pakistan Petroleum Limited (PPL) and Pakistan Oilfields Limited (POL) respectively.
After establishment of PPL & POL, a well drilled on the Sui structure (located in Balochistan Province), made the inaugural discovery of one of the largest reserves of natural gas and recoverable reserves were estimated to be over 10 trillion cubic feet (TCF) which is equivalent to about 1 billion barrels of oil. This discovery was a milestone towards the development & prosperity of petroleum industry in Pakistan which made numerous E&P companies attentive towards this part of globe.
In order to drill more exploratory wells in prospective areas, permits were issued to Standard Vacuum Oil Company (1954), Hunt International Oil Company (1955), Shell Oil Company (1956), Sun Oil Company (1957) and Tidewater (1958) respectively by the Government of Pakistan which led to further discoveries of natural gas reserves.
In spite of new gas discoveries during this time frame, the exploration activities towards the oil discoveries exhibit negative trend.
By keeping this trend in focus Government of Pakistan decided to establish the state oil exploration company and in 1961 a joint stock company under the name of Oil and Gas Development Company Limited (OGDCL) was established which expands moving scheme of prosperous profile with the small gas discovery at Sindh province in 1965, followed by discovery of oil reserve at Potwar region of Punjab in 1968.
Later on gas reserve at Sindh in 1970, Punjab in 1972, then Sindh in 1973 and gas/ condensate at Punjab in 1975 were discovered by the same company.
Meanwhile POL discovered oil at Punjab province in 1968 and American Oil Company (AMOCO) discovered a small gas accumulation at Balochistan province in 1975.
After the modification of petroleum regulations in 1976, British Petroleum a USA Company came to Pakistan and started its activities and has drilled 65 discovery wells in Pakistan.
This opened a new oil province and broke the tradition in the north region. After Sui (Balochistan), the discovery of oil in the Southern Basin was the second milestone in search for hydrocarbons in Pakistan and this area has attained the distinction of contributing 59% of the total oil production of the country.
Following journey of success OGDCL discovered a large gas storage in Eocene Carbonates of Middle Indus Basin in 1989 and fortunately in the same year, Eni made a gas discovery in Sandstone (Cretaceous) in south region lead to discover number of significant gas reserves in 1993 and then in 1998 by OMV of Austria followed by Mari Gas Company Ltd (MGCL) in 1999, in 2002 Petronas of Malaysia provide its services to reveal hydrocarbon bearing zones.
North Frontier Province of Pakistan (NWFP) deviates attention of industrial progress when MOL of Hungry in 2002 and as well as in 2005 made discovery of reserves which has reinforced the belief of many Geologist that this region can host large hydrocarbon reserves and recently nine blocks have been awarded in this province.
Offshore exploration which had started in 1961 remained limited to the drilling of only eleven exploratory wells due to lack of success and high drilling cost.
Current statistics reveals that only four blocks in the offshore region are held under license, two by Total, one by Shell and the fourth one is by British Gas.


Image: Courtesy naturalgasasia.com

Field vs. office work in Oil & Gas Industry

Field vs. office work in Oil & Gas Industry

New article from Fair Recruitment – written by professional Recruitment Consultant – Pawel Wodka

Choosing your career path is one of the hardest decisions faced by after finishing studies. For graduates of oil & gas exploration and production related faculties the main choice is whether to work in the field (on the rig), or in the office?

As usual in such situations each choice has its own pros and cons creating both opportunities as well as barriers in future career. One of the most important, if not the most important rule while considering the start of professional life is to do what you like and you’re good at. Following that advice, you are increasing your chances for achieving success, further advance and personal development.

Field work in oil and gas usually means rig, therefore I would like to point out usual requirements for people who are looking for rig jobs:

– Ability to handle stressful situation and think quickly.

– Stamina and flexibility to work outdoors in any weather conditions.

– Very good communication skills

– Ability to explain things clearly to others

– Ability to take direction and show initiative.

– HSE awareness

– Tolerance for travelling to and remaining in isolated locations for extended periods of time.

– Willing to walk long distances in uneven terrain carrying heavy loads.

– Enjoy outdoor physical activities and operating all-terrain vehicles.

-Willing to travel on boats, helicopters and other wilderness transportation.

Working on the rig usually means rotation. Rigs are located in the same places, where resources, hence there is quite a good chance of getting into remote location, distant from what we call civilization and very possibly with harsh weather conditions. It is to some extent adventurous characteristic however, confusing. Working on the rig means everyday routine described by shifts and enforced by HSE rules. Unlike some TV documentaries show, rig work can be boring. But still you should expect the unexpected as the working environment is by definition hazardous one. So rather than adventure seekers, companies are looking for mature, responsible people with strong character and safety awareness.

Although higher education is not necessary for such work, due to international character of rig personnel, good communication skills are a must. That means good knowledge of English but also an ability to talk to and get along with people of different origins with different characters, which is even more important because, you will spend some time with these people.

If all written above applies to you, then you should follow this path. Mainly because higher educated candidates with addition of hard work are very likely to advance within the company or within the industry. Another advantage comes from the fact, that having strong field work background should make you an interesting candidate for operators, contractors or service companies. Even in case of sales related jobs (sales of services, tools, etc.) previous rig experience is a plus.

One of the most important advantages of such work are salaries, which are among the highest within the industry. Even entry level positions are paid over the average, especially compared to non oil and gas industry.

Although, the work itself is a routine, especially young employees see it as possibility to travel to distant areas, which normally would not be seen, meeting interesting people or for some, even a test of their abilities. But as I mentioned above, at work, maturity and responsibility are highest regarded characteristics and even testing yourself in harsh environment should be done in accordance to safety rules.

Last but not least, many young employees like the rotations. Mainly because number of days off, gives the opportunity to realize their plans related to private life.

Now, let us sit in the office, where following characteristics are required:

– Usually good knowledge of maths / physics / science.

– Understanding of engineering principles.

– Ability to understand and present scientific data.

– Ability to explain things clearly to others both verbally and in writing.

– Having an inquiring and analytical mind.

– Ability to work independently as well as part of a team.

– Focus on detail.

– Ability to solve complex scientific problems.

– Ability to work with sophisticated computer programs for data analysis.


First what comes to mind while thinking about office work is stability. Usually, after going through trial period you would be offered permanent employment. In many cases, that also means working in the same place, most probably in a big city, where offices are located. In case of office jobs, higher, industry related education is currently a must. That means, that majority of your colleagues will have similar background.

One of the main characteristics of such jobs is constant development of professional skills, which is reflected in large number of different trainings and courses. Due to high cost of specialist trainings, office workers should see it as one of the most important benefits, which should compensate lower than rig salaries. However, these still are attractive in relation to other industries and are supported by different benefits.

Office work does not bring excitement similar to field work but can also be challenging, especially in case of science oriented projects. Nevertheless, the main advantage is the stability, which allows you to think about starting your own family without fear of long absence periods.

Coming back to reality, we know that due to limited number of job offers for graduates you may be forced to take the offer that is on the table at specific moment. But even facing such situation, you should remember to take a while to think about the offer. Sometimes wrong choice may break your career in the beginnig, so it is useful to consider your priorities ie. stability vs. better salaries, regular working hours vs. shifts and rotation. Even physical fitness can be an issue. It is possible, that passing on one offer may give you a chance to find job, where you will have opportunity to develop yourself into highly regarded professional. Especially now, when almost all surveys show a huge gap in oil and gas workforce both field and office based. This situation should open doors for successful career, which I wish for all of you.

Also, at this time of the year, I would like to wish you all the best during your exams and searching for dream job. But most of all, have a great holidays!


this article is written by:

Pawel Wodka

Recruitment Consultant



slider image: http://images.wisegeek.com/

One day as an oil rig worker.

One day as an oil rig worker.

There is a growing demand for oil rig workers in offshore oil platforms, as a new work on new reserves is booming. Living away from home for weeks, long shifts, extreme isolation, open ocean, stressful environment make it quite demanding job. However, oil workers tend to get attractive wages and benefits. Every applicant for an oil rig worker wonders how it is like to live in such environment. So what is life on an oil rig really like? What does a day in the life of an oil rig worker entail?

It is important to mention that conditions vary according to different posts. Drilling or construction employees work outdoors while for example geologists do their tasks in offices, inside oil rig platform. This is the reason that it is impossible to generalize what a day on the rig looks, but let’s look at the average working conditions and what life is generally like.

1. Accommodation

Accommodation can vary from one rig to another and from one company to another, but accommodation can be anything from single rooms with suite facilities to a cabin shared by shift workers. Nevertheless, living conditions on oil rigs have improved considerably and  nowadays many offshore installations meet hotel standards. While on board, you can spend your free time in a wide variety of amenities and amusements such as modern satellite TV, updates selection of videos, gym, sauna, video games, connection to Internet. This is not the norm, but many companies offer this kind of activities for oil workers to avoid stress and  ensure the quality of work.

2. Schedule

Schedules and shifts are another important subject. They can vary between companies and  positions. A very common types of schedule consists in 14 days on, followed by 21 days off or working for 1, 2 weeks or even a moth and leaving for the same period. Sometimes, depending of the service, you will have to work until the job is finished. Timetables are between 80-100 hours per week, typically work shifts tend to last 12 hours. They can begin at any time depending on the particular schedule on the rig. This means working for a long shift, followed by 12 hours of rest.

3. Salary

Salaries – like on land – are established depending on position, experience, education. Also, those who arrived for shorter period of time earn less than workers employed on a permanent positions. Of course, the salary is calculated only on working-days. The range of salaries is from 150 euros / day for up to 400 euros / day and more. It should be noted that the higher the risk associated with the job is, the higher the salaries are. Moreover, food and accommodation is fully paid for while you’re working, and any transport to the rig is also arranged.

4. Isolation

Needless to say that work on the rig is not for everyone. The job drives some people crazy, a lot of people have trouble with getting used to open ocean and sometimes claustrophobic conditions. You have to consider that you can’t go anywhere. Space is an issue on an offshore rig, which is basically a camp that is propped up on ramps in the sea, so life on the rig can be quite claustrophobic. Workers compare it to having a second family. The isolation, the intensity of working so many hours straight and the danger breed closeness uncommon in most jobs. There are movie nights and video game tournaments. There’s even a nurse who get their cholesterol and blood pressure tested.

In conclusion, life on an oil rig can get monotonous, but is mitigated by fairly long breaks that allow you to recover, attractive salaries and additional bonuses and benefits.

Sources: drillingrigs.blogspot.com, oilvoice.com, ap.org
Photo from: facebook.com/Offshore-Jobs