Geoscientist have a broad spectrum of disciplines and career options. Oil & Gas is the industry that a lot of people prefer because it has had financial benefits in the past. People forget that there are many more career choices as a geologist, geophysicist or engineer. We try to give an overview of different jobs in the different branches and show you resources that might help you find a job.
Geoscientists work in oil and gas, service companies, academia, mining, engineering, for environmental agencies, government agencies, law firms, insurance companies, etc etc.
The oil and gas industry is probably the biggest employer of geoscientist. However, O&G acts very cyclical. Boom and bust! Good times are rapidly followed by bad times when a lot of people with good qualifications lose their jobs at the same time. Finding a job in a downturn can be challenging. Retaining a job in a downturn can open a lot of doors. The old-timers who survived the last BIG downturn during the late 90s say that McDonald’s was the biggest employer of geoscientists in Houston at the time. That might sound like a funny anecdote but it can be brutal reality. Why is it so cyclical? Money money money! Most companies are publicly traded at the stock market and try to please their investors by cutting ‘unnecessary’ costs like geoscientists who might not immediately add value to the company.
A drop in commodity price is usually caused when crude oil demand is lower than production, causing an oversupply. Until the oversupply (‘the glut’) is removed from the market, prices will be low and almost all companies dramatically cut their spending into new field developments or exploration to preserve money. This however causes a shortage of production after some time, typically 2-3 years. Lower production means demand can be larger than supply which makes prices go up again. Sometimes dramatically. Remember that $140 price tag for a barrel back in 2008? Now we are down to less than $50 a barrel (2015).
The oil and gas industry consists of many sub branches
- Oil and gas producers
- Oil field service companies like Halliburton, Schlumberger,Weatherford, etc
- Drilling/Rig companies
- Seismic companies like PGS, WesternGeco(part of Schlumberger), CGG, Polarcus, DolphinGeo, TGS, SpectrumGeo and many more