Opportunities for Petroleum Engineers in Overseas Work
- H.W. McCobb (Standard-Vacuum Oil Co.)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Journal of Petroleum Technology
- Publication Date
- August 1959
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 11 - 12
- 1959. Original copyright American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical, and Petroleum Engineers, Inc. Copyright has expired.
- 4.1.2 Separation and Treating, 6.1.5 Human Resources, Competence and Training, 1.10 Drilling Equipment, 5.1.2 Faults and Fracture Characterisation, 4.1.5 Processing Equipment
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"Wanted, for overseas operations-switchers-with-their-brains-knocked-out." That's roustabout talk for petroleum engineers. While tinged with sarcasm, the men who work around drilling rigs pack a world of respect into the description.
Today, with more and more U. S. oil companies staking their future on foreign operations, there is an increasing demand for top petroleum engineers. The dynamic growth of foreign markets in recent years is the basic reason for increasing overseas participation. This sets off a chain reaction of competition in the already highly competitive oil industry. In the scramble for a share of the "market", companies compete for the best petroleum engineers while the engineers compete with each other for the desirable posts.
While this may sound like the promised land to both newly graduated as well as experienced petroleum engineers, it is not entirely a land of milk and honey.
The Overseas Outlook
Just what is the present outlook for petroleum engineers in overseas operations? Latest available figures show that some 150 oil companies are engaged in about 400 separate operations in 73 of the countries spread around the world. This is about double what it was some five years ago and would indicate a heavy demand for petroleum engineers. The demand ratio shrinks rapidly, however, because more of the opportunities are with relatively small companies just entering the foreign field than with the majors having long-established operations.
The demand is further whittled by restrictions, and understandable ones, placed on operations by the governments of the host countries. Just as we are desirous of opportunities for our nationals in the U. S., the governments of other countries want to assure technical development of their people. Consequently, the ratio of U. S. expatriates to foreign nationals is relatively small. The ratio will continue to shrink each year as more people of other nations are trained in such a technical field.
The world-wide business recession which plagued us for a year and a half also cut into the demand for petroleum engineers overseas. Happily, this now appears to be on the wane.
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