Lots of oil and gas industry professionals have had time out of work over the last few years but this is slowly changing and jobs are starting to appear. If there is a gap in your CV then it can stand out as a weak point when being selected for a new role, so it is important to explain this to a hiring manager when applying for an oil and gas job or having an interview.
For a lot of people out of work they had little choice in the matter – they were either fired or no new oil and gas freelance jobs were available. However, a gap in your CVstill requires explaining, and if the answer is that you spent a few years away from work to focus on family / travel / doing the garden, then being truthful about it would be recommended – most hiring managers understand how hard the industry has been and will not hold this against you, they will however question why you are now applying to roles. Also make sure to highlight any further training or charity work you have undertaken while out of work as this will help you stand out and show your motivation, all positives when trying to land a new oil and gas job.
If you managed to pick up work outside of oil and gas but are now looking to get back in, then an interviewer will surely want to ask why you want back into the industry. Answering “because it pays more” is not recommended (even if it is true), but you should focus on the fact that as an oil and gas industry professional your skills are going to waste in another industry, or emphasise that even though the downturn was bad O&G is still an exciting place to be and an industry you want to be involved in.
Your cover letter is a great place to explain any work breaks as you can easily use a couple of sentences to highlight why you were out of work, what you did, and why you now want to get back.
For those of you trying to find a new job after an enforced career break – we wish you luck with your oil and gas job search.
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Headline crude prices for the week beginning 15 October 2018 – Brent: US$81/b; WTI: US$71/b
Headlines of the week
Less than two weeks ago, the VLCC Navarin arrived at Tanjung Pengerang, at the southern end of Peninsular Malaysia. It was carrying two million barrels of crude oil, split equally between Saudi Arab Medium and Iraqi Basra Light grades.
The RAPID refinery in Johor. An equal joint partnership between Malaysia’s Petronas and Saudi Aramco whose 300 kb/d mega refinery is nearing completion. Once questioned for its economic viability, RAPID is now scheduled to start up in early 2019, entering a market that is still booming and in demand of the higher quality, Euro IV and Euro V level fuels RAPID will produce.
Beyond fuel products, RAPID will also have massive petrochemical capacity. Meant to come on online at a later date, RAPID will have a collective capacity of some 7.7 million tons per annum of differentiated and specialty chemicals, including 3 mtpa of propylene. To be completed in stages, Petronas nonetheless projects that it will add some 3.3 million tons of petrochemicals to the Asia market by the end of next year. That’s blockbuster numbers, and it will elevate Petronas’ stature in downstream, bringing more international appeal to a refining network previously focused mainly on Malaysia. For its partner Saudi Aramco, RAPID is part of a multi-pronged strategy of investing mega refineries in key parts of the world, to diversify its business and ensure demand for its crude flows as it edges towards an IPO.
RAPID won’t be alone. Vietnam’s second refinery – the 200 kb/d Nghi Son – has finally started up this year after multiple delays. And in the same timeframe as RAPID, the Zhejiang refinery by Rongsheng Petro Chemical and the Dalian refinery by Hengli Petrochemical in China are both due to start up. At 400 kb/d each, that could add 1.1 mmb/d of new refining capacity in Asia within 1H19. And there’s more coming. Hengli’s Pulau Muara Besar project in Brunei is also aiming for a 2019 start, potentially adding another 175 kb/d of capacity. And just like RAPID, each of these new or recent projects has substantial petrochemical capacity planned.
That’s okay for now, since demand remains strong. But the danger is that this could all unravel. With American sanctions on Iran due to kick in November, even existing refineries are fleeing from contributing to Tehran in favour of other crude grades. The new refineries will be entering a tight market that could become even tighter. RAPID can rely on Saudi Arabia and Nghi Son can depend on Kuwait, both the Chinese projects are having to scramble to find alternate supplies for their designed diet of heavy sour crude. This race to find supplies has already sent Brent prices to four-year highs, and most in the industry are already predicting that crude oil prices will rise to US$100/b by the year’s end. At prices like this, demand destruction begins and the current massive growth – fuelled by cheap oil prices – could come to an end. The market can rapidly change again, and by the end of this decade, Asia could be swirling with far more oil products that it can handle.
Upcoming and recent Asia refineries:
Headline crude prices for the week beginning 8 October 2018 – Brent: US$84/b; WTI: US$74/b
Headlines of the week