The gas and oil industry is a very successful business that exists in our modern world. Without it, we would struggle to perform many daily tasks that we take advantage of, such as heating our homes using our gas boiler or driving our diesel/petrol-fuelled cars to work. The demand for gas and oil is growing at a consistent rate. With many jobs on offer in this industrial sector, here are some of the things that you should consider if you decide to go into this field of work.
The Production and Consumption of Crude Oil is Growing
Currently, the daily global production and consumption of crude oil are around 90 million barrels each day. The proven reserves that are reported by governments have begun to rise steadily over the last few decades. This shows that this industry is very secure as well as stable due to the high demand for the product. There are many new and challenging national projects for the development of this industry, so it will definitely be around for a long time. The main thing that needs to be thought about is how to use and manage these resources sustainably.
Shifting in Production Landscape
Recently, there has been a lot of change in the global energy landscape. OPEC (Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries) countries that dictate production has also recently changed due to technological advancements of alternative reserve extraction. For example, oil sands or shale oil. According to the US Energy Information Administration (the EIA), this means that non-OPEC countries have begun to produce a significant amount more. The US has now become the largest producer of oil and is the biggest combined gas and oil producer for the first time ever.
OPEC Significantly Influences the Market
OPEC’s are a cluster of countries (plus their state oil company) that meet and agree on a particular production strategy periodically. This is mainly in the form of a production quota for countries that are members. In 2014, members of the OPEC accounted for a daily supply of around 30 million barrels of crude oil according to the EIA. This is equivalent to around 40% of production globally. Together, around 80% of the planet’s reserves are held in these countries.
Producing Oil Requires Multiple Stages
There are two main stages in the oil supply chain. Number one is the ‘upstream’ phase, which includes the search for, finding and the physical extraction of oil from the ground. First, the exploration of potential deposits using technology like seismic imaging takes place. If something is discovered, nearby wells are created to help evaluate the scale and value of the new deposit and to help research in developing the field further. This process can occur onshore and offshore. Natural pressure from underground is then used to squeeze out the oil. As the pressure lessens, the use of other mechanisms is needed to collect the oil. Examples include using gas and water injections to help maintain the pressure in the reservoir. After this, the oil goes to a refinery. This leads us to the second stage known as the ‘downstream’ phase. Here, the crude oil is refined and treated to convert it into products we can use.
Wide Range of Oil Products
The term ‘oil’ is actually generic and refers to a range of various hydrocarbon products. Extracted from the ground, crude oil is basically oil in its truly natural form. It consists of a variety of light and heavy hydrocarbons. These are separated using heat in a refinery. This process is known as fractional distillation. This results in ‘straight run products’ and the majority of these hydrocarbons will not be useful on their own. Further complex processing needs to occur. This helps with creating finished products that we use every day, such as fuel oil, gasoline, and diesel. Some products like feedstocks will be used in the petrochemical industry to make plastics.
A Unique Work Experience
The nature of the work available in this industry is widespread and flexible. This means that there is a wide range of unique, valuable, and interesting opportunities available to you. Depending on the field of work you decide to go into, it is worth having a look at what oil and gas qualifications you may need to pursue that career. Doing plenty of research either online or via people who already work in that environment is highly advised. Here are a variety of courses for the oil and gas industry that may interest you including distance learning courses and even apprenticeships. Some of the professionals in this booming industry are the highest-paid in the world, which is a massive benefit to people who manage to get into this trade.
This industry is worth millions and with a wide range of jobs available, there are so many great benefits to you if you decide to take on this career. Just remember that research is key. You need to make sure you have the correct qualifications and know what sector you’re interested in before rushing into things.