How you can land a career in Oil and Gas, one of the most profitable industry sectors today
Below you will find career development opportunities, guidance on the specific job responsibilities and comprehensive lists of courses that can support your professional training
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Worldwide the number of jobs in the Oil & Gas sector, both those with technical profile positions and business administration roles, are increasing. The hot spots of the industry are areas with raw resources, where advanced technologies and an enthusiastic workforce are available, and where there is an interest in E&P business development.
When an Oil & Gas company receives the official license to start exploring resources in a certain area, field studies are required to plan, develop and start the extraction process. Prior to reaching to raw oil and LNG deposits, detailed geological studies, presenting the petrophysical structure, potential environmental threats and the sustained duration of the extraction process are required.
The initial sourcing stages entail constructing a geophysical map and survey of the areas above and beneath the seabed. During this phase, professionals with geological and petro-chemical knowledge participate in choosing the methods of surveying the site and carrying out the maping process.
There are many methods of surveying the future exploration site, all of which help to build up the picture of the rock formations below the seabed. Seismic reflection techniques are the most widely used in the Petroleum industry, for the accuracy of hydrocarbon exploration maps they can deliver. The subsurface distribution of stratigraphy and its structure revealed by seismic reflection techniques can be used to reveal potential hydrocarbon accumulations. Alternatively, well logging can be utilized for generating high resolution information about rock and fluid properties in a vertical section.
Key job roles focused on the Sourcing phase of an Oil & Gas project are: Geologist, Petrophysicist, Geophysicist. Responsibilities connected to these jobs include:
- Drawing and organising seismic data to reconstruct the subsurface configuration
- Locating anomalies of sites and potential oil traps.
- Calculating the amount of raw oil that could possibly be extracted from the reservoir.
- Analysing of the resources available for extraction
- Interpreting seismic reflection results
- Building map of the subsurface layers
After the sourcing and surveying phases have been completed, exploratory wells will be drilled at the potential oil and gas field. The main responsibilities of professionals focusing on the exploration phase include reservoir modelling, decisions regarding the size and shape of the reservoir, the most appropriate positioning of the production, and planning the optimal recovery of the oil and gas. As the well is drilled, extracted mud brings back to the surface the 'cuttings' from the hole. These cuttings are analysed by reservoir engineers to give further information on the types of rock below the surface.
After the extraction hole has been drilled and before it is cased and cemented, measuring devices are used to produce a wireline log which will provide more information of the rock types and formation. At this stage, using all the data that has been gathered so far, decisions will be made on whether to develop the field and where the most appropriate locations will be for drilling the production wells. Once the wells have been drilled and completed they will be capped ready for production
Key job roles focused on the Extraction phase of an Oil & Gas project are: Reservoir Engineer, Mudlogger, Drilling Support staff and Drilling supervisors, who are in charge of:
- Drilling Monitoring
- Acquiring mud and drilling data from multiple surface sensors
- Analysing formation characteristics based on rock cuttings and mud hydrocarbon content
- Recording formation characteristics on mud logs.
Well services entail well maintenance, core analysis, drilling extractions and a thorough review of all operations. Services to the well where operators will manipulate tools down the well that are attached to wirelines and pump fluids down the well with the coiled tubing. Coiled tubing is today the most widely used method to perform drilling activities.
In exploration a wireline with measuring equipment is lowered into the well and produces a log that maps the rock type and formation. During the development of the production wells, wireline equipments perforate the casing, cement and rock to allow the oil and gas to flow into the well.
Key job roles focused on the well services of Oil & Gas projects are: Operations Supervisor, Wireline Operator, Coiled Tubing Supervisor. Responsibilities connected to these jobs include:
- Supervising overseas the activities
- Monitoring the good maintenance of the well, using the necessary attached equipment to the wireline
- Using coiled tubing to perform downhole tasks, such as pumping fluids in the well to stimulate oil and gas flow
- Supervising coiled tubing string and ensuring maintenance of the associated equipment
Driving oil and gas resources to the surface is done towards the final stages of the extraction process. Professionals in charge of monitoring the well need to be able to carry out the maintenance of the tools, provide warning signals and evaluated the amounts of crude oil or LNG extracted. At the heart of this final production stage is the control room, where the status of each well is closely monitored. Elements of power generation, separators and gas compressors are also correlated to provide a clear picture of the volume of extracted resources.
Key job roles focused on the production stage of Oil & Gas projects are: Production Engineer, Production Operator, Control Room Operator. Responsibilities connected to these jobs include:
- Monitoring the wells
- Performing periodical re-assessment of pressure inside the well, to recommend adjustment measures for increasing production efficiency.
- Managing and monitoring the well activities and reporting to operation supervisors.
Working on the business side of the Oil & Gas industry involves management tasks not purely related to the technical side of E&P processes, but rather to the general allocation of resources, administration of funds, people management and strategic development activities. Among these, recruitment, L&D, financial operations, marketing activities and external communication are part of the agenda of non-technical staff of Petroleum companies.
Key job roles focused on the non-technical, business operation part of Oil & Gas projects are Finance and Accounting staff, Supply Chain Managers, HR, PR representatives and senior executives, directly in charge of the business development activities. Responsibilities connected to these jobs may include:
- Coordinating recruitment processes and development among both technical and non-technical staff
- Managing and supervising the supply chain operations, procurement and purchasing processes
- Conducting internal audits of business operations, ensuring environmental compliance of all of the firm's activities
- Managing projects and programmes, internally or with contracted parties
- Establishing an agenda for public relations and communicating with external partners
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Move up in your Oil & Gas career and find out how your responsibilities change as you advance in your job role.
As the industry develops and new technologies are launched, professionals in the Oil and Gas industry need to adapt their skills to sustain growth in their organisations. The overall technical operations and business processes are continuously optimised under the supervision of management and engineering professionals. You can be part of the change and contribute with your expertise to new developments for your company and the industry in general.
As a fresh graduate with a degree in an Engineering field, you meet the basic pre-requisites for specialising in Oil & Gas Engineering projects. If you have a technical background and have studied disciplines like Chemical Engineering, Energy Engineering, Technical Operations, the transition to the Petroleum sector can be supported with a specialised module or a professional development course.
If you have a degree in Geology, Geophysics or Petrophysics, you can already begin working with Oil & Gas projects, focusing on rock analysis, seismic maping and reservoir modelling. Your knowledge is extremely valuable to companies who work with sourcing and locating Oil & Gas resources. Working on the actual drilling site, onshore or offshore, you will get familiar with how the processes are streamlined and, depending on your exact job attribution, you may have maintenance, supervision or business improvement responsibilities.
If you've spent your junior years in an energy company, you can further specialise and take a more top down view onto the operation entailed. You can undertake higher level responsibilities such as supervisory roles in the maintenance of well services, and move over from purely monitoring roles to actually designing and planning all processes related to well construction. With more than 5 years of experience in this field, you are entitled to coordinate projects, teams and/or business divisions, and contribute to the business development initiatives in a larger sense.
If you hold the decision-making power in the Oil & Gas sector, professional training that can help you develop in your role include financial operations management, investment, new technologies development. Senior mangers in the Petroleum industry need to be at the forefront of global challenges and innovation and to lead their teams towards a successful implementation of new technologies. They also need to meet the challenges of culturally diverse teams, motivate staff and coordinate the decision-making process more successfully.
By empowering and supporting employees to make valuable contributions to fulfill company objectives, managers are able to focus on strategic goals and streamline organisational development processes. As a business executive in the Petroleum industry, you can give your employees the opportunity to work with state-of-the-art resources and technology and offer them attractive career paths, tailored to their area of expertise. Contributing to your staff's development can be easily achieved with corporate training solutions and In House training packages tailored to each department of your Oil & Gas company.