Over the years, the Society of Petroleum Engineers through the society-wide Manpower Committee has attempted to obtain a better understanding of manpower for the upstream side of the petroleum industry. One of the critical areas of this understanding is engineering manpower demand. In former years data has sometimes been sparse, negating any meaningful understanding of manpower drilling and production engineering needs and trends for the U.S. petroleum industry. petroleum industry. The basic questionnaire sent to companies is in need of revision to expand its scope to international engineering manpower for the exploration and production industry at large. Questions and data should be focused to obtain more interpretable information which would be beneficial to the overall industry and which could be easily correlated year to year.

This year the responses to the manpower survey were up significantly from 11 responses in 1988 to 23 responses in 1989. Responses were received from majors, large service companies, and independents. 5 respondents had 15–50 engineers employed in the subject sectors 5 with 51–100 engineers, 4 with 100–500 engineers, and 6 with more than 500 engineers. The remaining responses were not usable.


Of those surveys in which five years of history and five years of projections were given, Table 1 shows a dramatic reduction in engineers employed in 1986 as companies reduced staffing as a result of the oil price collapse.

Respondents showed an average reduction of 22.3% of their engineering drilling and production operations engineers. 1988 was the production operations engineers. 1988 was the next highest reduction year with a loss of 8% of engineering jobs among 16 respondents.

The companies also estimate that at the end of 1989 an additional 4.6% of this type of staffing will be eliminated. While this trend is true for majors large independents and large services companies, the trend for small independents show slight increases are expected in employment in 1989. Beyond 1989 slight growth is expected over the period 1990–1993 at about 0.6% per year. Most companies either must be projecting real prices to be relatively level over the 1990–93 period or they must anticipate efficiencies of staff. computerization and technology improvements will allow fewer engineers to steward capital assets domestically.

It is important to note that one-third of the engineering force has been lost in the last five years alone(1984–1988) with reductions in staffing occurring since the March 1982 peak. Philip C. Crouse and Associates, inc. estimates Philip C. Crouse and Associates, inc. estimates the loss in exploration and production engineering jobs domestically is 50% since the peak. peak. In the low case, responding companies see a -7-irtual level total engineers employed showing an increase of only 100 positions in 5 Years among 14 respondents providing projections.

PETROLEUM ENGINEERING DEMAND PETROLEUM ENGINEERING DEMAND 15 companies provided information on the number of BS or MS degree petroleum engineers employed.

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