The petroleum industry, also known as the oil industry or the oil patch, includes the global processes of exploration, extraction, refining, transporting (often by oil tankers and pipelines), and marketing of petroleum products. The largest volume products of the industry are fuel oil and gasoline (petrol). Petroleum is also the raw material for many chemical products, including pharmaceuticals, solvents, fertilizers, pesticides, synthetic fragrances, and plastics. The extreme monetary value of oil and its products has led to it being known as “black gold”. The industry is usually divided into three major components: upstream, midstream, and downstream. Upstream deals with Drilling and Production mainly.
Oil and gas engineers are responsible for making sure that oil or gas surfaces from reservoirs safely and efficiently.
Oil and gas engineers are heavily involved with every stage in the process which results in the extraction of oil and gas from reservoirs. They may be primarily involved in just one area of the process but will need to retain an awareness of all stages at all times. Typical responsibilities include calculating and creating plans which show the locations in which the most oil and gas can be extracted, controlling one or several wells, and ensuring that health and safety regulations are met at all times. Oil and gas engineers will need to use their knowledge of petrophysics to ensure that drilling operations are conducted accurately and efficiently.
They will be expected to draw upon their mathematical and scientific knowledge at all times but will also need to be able to retain a broad perspective throughout each project. They will need to adopt supervisory roles and managerial roles at different stages of the process. Engineering is an industry which employs people from all backgrounds and cultures and both men and women find roles in engineering particularly rewarding.
Most oil and gas engineers hold degrees in relevant subjects and many hold postgraduate qualifications. Relevant subjects include aeronautical engineering, chemical engineering, civil engineering, and mechanical engineering. Oil and gas engineers with a relevant PhD often command a higher salary. Since the industry is so competitive, an upper second class degree will give you an advantage. Large international companies offer graduate training programmes, which offer both a good salary and invaluable experience for a future career in oil and gas extraction. It is not possible to become an oil and gas engineer with an HND.
Companies usually encourage employees to gain chartered status and many choose to become members of relevant institutes and associations.
Top reasons to choose a career in Oil and Gas:
Unparalleled range of opportunities
From upstream to downstream, with various verticals, the industry offers an expansive range of opportunities. Not just technical roles but there is an immense opportunity to grow in non-technical roles as well. You can choose your area of work according to your skills and expertise. The industry will welcome you with open arms. To begin exploring a career in oil and gas, you must also look at the current oil and gas recruitment trends.
It is commonly believed that the oil and gas sector is perhaps one of the most rigid and traditional industries. With gradual steps towards big changes, the industry is emerging as a progressive industry. Be it with respect to women in energy or safety reforms, the oil and gas companies are taking significant measures to bring about progressive developments. How the industry is embracing the digital revolution is another major feat!
With the ongoing Great Crew Change and arrival of more millennials in oil and gas, the industry is welcoming innovative ideas and solutions to the age-old industry problems. Most importantly, the companies are investing in innovation that can help them bring down the costs and enhance efficiency. From Big Data to Industrial Internet of Things, technologies are being explored. Certainly, a lot can be learned from an industry that is applying innovative ideas on such a massive scale. Also, you need to upskill for a career in oil and gas industry that is going digital.
Opportunity to travel
A career in oil and gas offers great opportunities to travel with industry footprints across the globe. Hence, as a professional, you will get many chances to travel and explore a different part of the world. This will not only help you broaden your perspective but also help you understand how the industry operates on a global scale. Above all, you will get a first-hand experience of the different conditions and challenges. Consequently, your work profile will get stronger with time.
Because people from all over the world are contributing to its prosperity, the oil and gas industry celebrates diversity. As a result, different ideas, perspectives, and opinions are bringing out the best in the industry. In your career in oil and gas, you will be learning from people coming from diverse geographical and cultural backgrounds. Even more, an alternative worldview only helps us push the boundaries. Similarly, with a global perspective, you will be working on better and innovative solutions to the existing problems.
Ensuring your skills are kept up to speed will contribute greatly to your career trajectory. Travel possibilities are common, due to the global demand for these resources. The growing need for skilled professionals means this career choice gives you real geographic versatility – especially if you work off-shore!
Oil and gas engineers may progress from holding technical roles, where they would be involved in the daily work of a project, to managerial and supervisory roles. Some choose to move away from work offshore to hold positions in the marketing department of the oil company or consultancy. These individuals will be responsible for managing the growth of the business.