Home Blog Core Values Education – Part 4

Education – Part 4




Jul 21, 2015

Continuing The Founders Series on H&J Petroleum Management & Consulting’s about our core values is our 4th post in the series on education. See the first 3 post here https://hjpetro.com/category/core-values/

Working for a consulting firm for 8 ½ years, prior to starting H&J Petroleum Management & Consulting, I have had an opportunity to observe some of the positive and negative aspects of consulting firms in general, through my direct work with hundreds of individual consultants.

Due to the overwhelming growth in demand for skilled workers in the oil & gas industry large gaps in skills exist for workers of all kinds, including those working as consultants.
Core Values 4


Shown above is the North American Baker Hughes Rig Count. As you can see from 2005 to 2009 the rig count rose by approximately 100% prior to falling off due to the Great Recession and accompanying drop in oil & gas prices. Then from mid-2009 to late 2014 the rig count increased from around 200 rigs to just over 1600 rigs, an increase of 800 percent, as a result of the unconventional oil revolution in North America.

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The Petroleum Service Association of Canada published the above graphic. Doing some simple math:

1400 new rigs X (21 direct jobs + 124 direct jobs) = 200,000+ new direct and indirect jobs to fill. (As a side note: this nowhere near includes the full economic impact jobs supported by the industry equal to 2,700,000 in 2014) This also does not include jobs in maintaining production from these wells, or midstream and downstream part of the industry. I find the full impact on this type of rig growth difficult to comprehend. However, what I do know is that often times when it comes to our skilled workers we are “robbing Peter to pay Paul.” What I mean by that is we often fill field supervisory roles from our most skilled workers, leaving skills gaps in many places. While this is done in many industries the rate of growth in oil & gas has meant that experience, skills & knowledge, often times does not reflect the level of responsibility.

For example, on a drilling rig, well-site supervisors are often promoted from rig managers, mud engineers, and directional drillers, drillers, and less common from degreed engineers. Depending on the path one took to well-site supervisor, there can be vast differences in knowledge and skills. In addition, due to the “Great Crew Change”, the level of experience is at historically low levels. The key to solving this extraordinary issue is education. As Albert Einstein said, “The only source of knowledge is experience.”

The Harvard Business School confirmed my notion in their recent publication, America’s Unconventional Energy Opportunity. The authors note one of the biggest challenge that must be addressed to fully realize America’s Energy Opportunity is to “develop a skilled workforce”. I have seen this challenge first hand. We have put our frontline supervisors in positions to fail by not providing them with the tools they need to succeed. This results in unplanned events and non-productive time, increasing well cost, decreasing the bottom line, and in the bigger picture, reducing America’s competitiveness in energy markets.

H&J is committed to providing solutions to issues that face our industry. We are currently developing our education curriculum to address 7 Core areas including:

  1. Safety
  2. Leadership & Management
  3. Communication
  4. Problem Solving
  5. Technical Knowledge
  6. New Technology & Computers

Through a combination of industry collaboration, in-house training, and industry recognized schools, H&J is committed to providing learning opportunities to the upstream oil & gas industry. While the rig count has decreased from 1600 rigs, down to almost 600 today, that is still 3 times higher than levels seen through the majority of the first decade in this millennium. Medium and long term expectations are for increased rig count which will once again result in an expanding need for a skilled workforce.

H&J promotes and provides, at no direct cost, continuing education to its contractors setting a new standard in the industry. H&J will also provide educational services to a broader section of the industry by providing our in-house training to the public on a fee basis.

H&J will be offering our first in-house educational course soon. Please visit https://hjpetro.com/fluid-mechanics-dynamics-for-drilling-applications-level-1/ for more info. We will have a limited number of spaces available at no cost so please check back often!