This is meant for those who desire a career in the oil and gas industry, especially for graduates and undergraduates who may want to be informed.
It’s ironical that despite the high graduate unemployment rate and imminent glut in oil supply due increase production worldwide, there is actually a shortage of skilled and specialized labour in the global oil and gas industry. Unfortunately, the most in-demand occupations require specific skills that can only be acquired through experience.
As an oil and gas professional, I have followed the trend and revolution in the industry globally over the past few years. I also follow technological breakthroughs (especially the fracking technology in the US that is redefining the dynamics of the industry worldwide), oil discoveries and hiring patterns all over the world. Based on these trends and statistics, I have come up with a compilation of the top 10 in-demand occupations in the oil and gas industry. This is not limited to the to the industry in Nigeria. This is based on global demand.
I can guarantee that you will always get a quality job (somewhere around the world) if you have at least 5 years experience in the fields. If after gaining five years experience in any of the top 10 fields mentioned below, you lack a well-paying job for more than 6 months, you better go and see your pastor or imam for deliverance. Maybe na from village.
So, for your graduates desiring a lasting career in the oil and gas industry, you may consider these specialized fields. Just work on getting basic experience and you will become indispensable:
2) Drilling engineers/ drilling supervisors/driller
No (1) & (2) With recent oil and gas discoveries all around the world including Africa (East Africa and the Gulf of Guinea) and the aggressive exploration for oil all over the world, there is a very high demand for geoscientists (geologists and geophysicists). Geoscientists are involved in the exploration for oil and also in the initial stages after oil discovery. Drilling engineers/ drilling supervisors /drillers are involved in drilling operations (both for exploration and production). There is an shortage of experienced drilling engineers worldwide. A colleague of mine who is drilling engineer told me that he has already received two good offers via linkedIn (even without applying!). And he barely has 3 years experience!
3) subsea engineers
4) subsurface and completions engineers
5) pipeline and piping engineers
No (3) – (5) With oil companies going into the more uncertain but rewarding deepwater operations, there is a high demand for individuals with deepwater experience. Subsea engineers design, implement and maintain structures, tools and equipment used in underwater components of offshore oil and gas production. Pipeline engineers design and maintain subsea pipeline in offshore fields. You can’t ignore subsurface/completions (well) engineers who ensure oil is produced at optimum level from oil wells.
6) Marine specialists / engineers
Marine specialists are very critical in oil and gas industry. You need marine professionals in offshore oil and gas operations. This is because of the constant use of marine vessels and boats for supply and transportation of crude oil, liquefied gas, food, equipment, etc. Besides, the increase in FPSO’s (floating vessels for oil production in deepwater fields) all around the world requires the specialized skill of marine professionals to maintain vessel stability on the sea.
Believe me, marine specialists are on top of their world. I know a marine specialist that has worked for 3 major oil companies in Nigeria in the last 8 years.
7) Offshore maintenance technicians
These are the mechanical, electrical and instrumentation technicians working in rigs and production platforms both onshore and offshore. There is a high demand for them globally. And the minimum requirement to become one is just an OND.
8) Truck drivers and crane operators
Yes, you read right! There is a high degree of lifting operations in the oil and gas industry and certified crane operators are in demand. Believe me, they earn well.
Truck drivers are in great demand too, especially in US and Canada where there is a significant onshore oil production. Truck are needed to move rigs and equipment, haul oil, water and sand away. The new fracking technology that has made USA self-sufficient in oil production requires constant evacuation of sand from drilling sites. The drivers are also expected to be mechanics, able to fix to fix their large trucks. With USA set to be a net exporter of oil to the global community (competing with the likes of Nigeria for markets), there is currently a shortage of truck drivers to meet her goal.
9) Tax accountant
The oil and gas industry is technology driven, thus the technical professionals are the most demanded. However, the only non-technical profession to break into the top 10 is accounting. With oil and gas companies always the easy targets for governments and public ministries in areas of tariffs, royalties, taxes and other deductions, the role of experienced oil and gas accountants become critical. There is a crying need for accountants (especially tax accountants), who can balance the books and ensure sustained profit.
10) Reservoir Engineers
Eventhough this list is in no particular order, I think reservoir engineers are actually No. 10 on the list. The reservoir engineers play a significant role in the oil and gas industry. Their job is identify oil and gas reserves and develop strategies to maximize recovery and conducting simulation studies to ensure the optimum recovery.
Other in-demand professions that did not make the top 10 list include technical safety engineers, environmental specialists, welding technicians, process engineers and machinery (mechanical) engineers