Careers in Oil and Gas Engineering On the Rebound?
The oil refining industry in North America and Europe has been stuck in a downward trend for the last 25 years or so. As a result, oil and gas engineering has also been trending downward as the number refineries and drilling sites has decreased. Major oil companies have been meeting their engineering needs through engineers currently working, along with a handful they've managed to lure from retirement. But those days are quickly coming to an end as more engineers are reaching their golden years. In fact, statistics indicate that careers in this field may be starting to rebound.
A Little History
The start of World War II was a tremendous boon for the oil industry because of the demand for refined products to move the armies of the world. Oil and gas engineering exploded right along with the industry and work was easy to find. Furthermore, oil industry regulations were a lot more lax than they are today. Companies were searching more, drilling more, and refining more. The trend continued through the energy crisis of the late 1970s and into the early 1980s pretty much unabated.
In the early 80s however, as the 60s teenagers were entering positions of influence and power, oil began being portrayed in the public eye as the enemy. The oil and gas industry found itself in a war being waged against it via government regulation and targeted public relations. Around the world oil companies found it more difficult to build new refineries, conduct exploration, and even tap new wells; simultaneously, the Western world became more and more dependent on Middle Eastern nations. Between 1980 and 2007, the total number refineries in the West dropped by more than 60%. Accordingly oil and gas engineering jobs also fell away.
The Industry Today
Although Europe and North America have not even come close to returning to the oil refining output of 25 years ago, the industry is starting to come back as governments are coming to grips with the fact something needs to be done. With the global warming hoax finally riding off into the sunset it's becoming more and more apparent that we in the West cannot continue to depend on the Middle East for oil. Regulations are being too loosened, oil companies are moving, and careers in oil and gas engineering are opening up.
To meet the current demand for engineers, some oil companies are looking to general engineering contractors who include oil and gas on their list of services to meet current engineering needs. At the same time, they are pushing to hire their own engineers as well doing what they can to encourage oil and gas engineering careers among young people. If the industry rebounds to even half of what was at its peak, this could mean a lot of jobs for a lot of people. And in a world that's struggling to keep people working, any jobs are a welcome sight indeed.