Twenty nine companies responded to the survey in 1986. Data covering all aspects of the survey were available in 22 of the replies, but for some aspects of the analysis as many as 27 replies were usable. In terms of numbers of engineers employed at the end of 1985, the distribution of company sizes for the 27 companies was:
More than 1000 - 6 companies 500 - 999 - 2 companies 100 - 499 - 6 companies 10 - 99 - 6 companies Less than 10 - 7 companies
Year-end employment of engineers for 27 companies is shown in Figure 1. Year-end employment figures for those with petroleum engineering degrees were available only for 25 companies, and this is also shown in Figure 1 and tabulated in Table 1. These companies, over the five years, reported 25% of their engineering work force to be petroleum engineers, although the percentage rose continuously from 21.9% in 1981 to 29.6% in 1985. The total engineering work force showed its lowest point in 1983. The petroleum engineering work force on the other hand showed a continuing increase over the entire five years.
Employment and projection estimates were available for only 25 of the responding companies. Some respondents felt the current situation to be too unstable to permit any kind of projections. Figure 2 and Table II shows the projections to vary from an increase of 17.5% over the next five years to a decrease of 10.1%, but both high and low projections show a lesser total employment of engineers for both 1986 and 1987 than in 1985. The drop projected from 1985 to 1986 is not so large as would be expected from recent reports of retirements and layoffs that have been circulating, although the low projection for 1986 shows 15.4% less than 1985.
The depressed state of the industry is more evident in the reported figures for hiring. Figure 3 shows the five-year history for hiring of engineers from the campuses. Two graphs are given, one for a total of 27 companies, the other for the 25 companies who also provided projection data. Table III also gives the data for the 25 company set. 1986 is projected to be the year of lowest hiring with a projected recovery in hiring that is quite strong.
The reported figures for hiring of petroleum engineers over the five-year survey period and projects hirings of petroleum engineers are given in Table IV and Figure 4 for the 25 company set. It is of interest to note that petroleum engineers represented about half of the hires during the last three years of the survey period. After the 1982 year, companies were able to meet the targets they had set for numbers of petroleum engineers to be hired. Projected hirings show either 1986 or 1987 as the low point, with recovery of hiring reaching the 1981-85 levels by the year 1990. The wide variation between high and low projections reflects greater uncertainties than have been evident in past surveys.
Bourgoyne (JPT, March, 1986) has given data on the number of jobs available annually to petroleum engineering graduates for the period 1981-85. The 25 companies, for whom petroleum engineering hires are given in Table IV, reported hirings to fill 39.4% of the available jobs during the 1981-85 period.
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Discussion of 1986 SPE Manpower Survey
Paper presented at the SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition, New Orleans, Louisiana, October 1986.
Paper Number: SPE-15458-MS
Published: October 05 1986
Calhoun, J.C. "Discussion of 1986 SPE Manpower Survey." Paper presented at the SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition, New Orleans, Louisiana, October 1986. doi: https://doi.org/10.2118/15458-MS
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