This is an exciting time for energy professionals, especially for all those who are looking for a job change within the oil and gas industry!
The current year is already witnessing a steady rise in the oil prices and the number of LNG projects thus painting a positive picture for the future.
Additionally, industry experts say, that the trend of employing temporary and contractual staff on an ongoing basis will continue to grow by 24%, which up by 1% than the previous year.
Looking at the studies and profiles in demand, it is evident that there is immense scope in the industry and if one is looking for a job change, this could be an ideal time.
Opportunities, however, may come with a caveat and hence it is important to understand the pros and cons associated with switching jobs to make an informed decision.
Getting started: Gain clarity
Before you hand over your resignation letter, it is important to determine if a career change is a good move. Start by answering a few questions:
Dos for job hopping in the oil and gas sector
Regardless of your current job, your academic proficiency and your work history the oil and gas industry offers numerous opportunities. However, it is important to pick the one that will propel you to success.
DO – Know your options
The lifecycle of an oil and gas project moves from the conceptualization stage to the decommissioning phase. There are different levels in between and each of them requires a different skillset.
This industry is open to talented professionals, which means that if you are willing to learn you can easily climb the career ladder and even explore lateral movements to newer functions.
For instance, if you do not like working on offshore rigs, but are a technology enthusiast, you can switch to digital lead roles by completing a relevant certification.
DO – Intensive research
Since you are planning to move to another company, research becomes crucial for your personal as well as professional growth.
Start with researching the disciplines that are in high demand, the best companies to work for, covering your interest domain, company policies, work visa requirements and other government regulations.
While Houston, Abu Dhabi, and Perth are hotspots for exploration and production activities, new opportunities are emerging in countries like Malaysia, Mexico, and Mozambique.
Furthermore, speak to industry experts, and learn about the benefits and loopholes. The more you know, the better decision you will make.
DO – Compare the benefits
Learn about the benefits that you avail in your current job vis-à-vis the gains you will enjoy in your next job.
Begin by comparing the obvious: your compensation. As per the 2018-19 Hays Salary guide, 57% of oil and gas professionals will get a minimum of 3% rise in their next review while 21% of employers won’t increase your salary at all.
Learn where you belong and what are your chances of growth in your current organization. Once you have the number, compare it with the compensation that you are expecting in your new job.
Make sure you include the cost of living and the work-life balance in your decision-making. Apart from direct monetary benefits also compare additional benefits like working hours, job flexibility, growth prospects, insurance benefits, and other bonuses and allowances.
Don’ts for job hopping in oil and gas sector
It is important to know what might go wrong and how it can be avoided to keep the decision-making simple and easy.
DON’T – Be intimidated
The competition in the oil and gas industry is fierce. The industry requires highly skilled and experienced professionals and it is recommended that one keeps upgrading one’s skills as the demand shifts.
This dynamism in the industry often intimidates the professionals. Therefore, the idea here is to understand your potential, market value, and the expected competency. If you fit the bill, then you must consider switching.
However, if you identify a knowledge or skill gap, then it is advisable to gain the required expertise and then plan the job change. This ensures that you do not settle for less.
DON’T- Risk your safety
Safety parameters and guidelines are crucial in the oil and gas sector. Learn about the safety policies, employee benefits and the insurance policy of the company you are planning to join.
Gather references if possible from existing or former employees on how they treat their workforce to avoid work-related injuries, accidents, and diseases.
DON’T – Compromise on your stability
One should have the right reason to switch. Often employees quit due to boredom and monotony at work and then later regret their decision.
Therefore, if you are planning to quit for growth opportunities or better exposure, it is crucial to analyze rationally if you will achieve what you are aiming for in your new job.
Additionally, if you are not sure about the new work environment or the growth potential, then it will be wise to drop the plan until you have clarity and extensive knowledge.
But do keep looking for more suitable options. Switch only when you are sure. Compromising stability may cost you your career.
The best part about the energy sector is that if you are willing to do hard work, there isn't any dearth of opportunities. It offers a lucrative salary, travelling, stability and growth opportunity. Just weigh the pros and cons of your career decision and you are good to go!
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This winter, natural gas prices have been at their lowest levels in decades. On Monday, February 10, the near-month natural gas futures price at the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) closed at $1.77 per million British thermal units (MMBtu). This price was the lowest February closing price for the near-month contract since at least 2001, in real terms, and the lowest near-month futures price in any month since March 8, 2016, according to Bloomberg, L.P. and FRED data.
In addition, according to Natural Gas Intelligence data, the daily spot price at the Henry Hub national benchmark was $1.81/MMBtu on February 10, 2020, the lowest price in real terms since March 9, 2016. Henry Hub spot prices have ranged between $1.81/MMBtu and $2.84/MMBtu this winter heating season (since November 1, 2019), generally because relatively warm winter weather has reduced demand for natural gas for heating. Natural gas production growth has outpaced demand growth, reducing the need to withdraw natural gas from underground storage.
Dry natural gas production in January 2020 averaged about 95.0 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d), according to IHS Markit data. IHS Markit also estimates that in January 2020 the United States saw the third-highest monthly U.S. natural gas production on record, down slightly from the previous two months.
IHS Markit estimates that U.S. natural gas consumption by residential, commercial, industrial, and electric power sectors averaged 96 Bcf/d for January, which was about 4.4 Bcf/d less than the average for January 2019, largely because of decreases in residential and commercial consumption as a result of warmer temperatures.
However, IHS Markit estimates that overall consumption of natural gas (including feed gas to liquefied natural gas (LNG) export facilities, pipeline fuel losses, and net exports by pipeline to Mexico) averaged about 117.5 Bcf/d in January 2020, an increase of about 0.2 Bcf/d from last year. This overall increase is largely a result of an almost doubling of LNG feed gas to about 8.5 Bcf/d.
Because supply growth has outpaced demand growth, less natural gas has been withdrawn from storage withdrawals this winter. Despite starting the 2019–20 heating season with the third-lowest level of natural gas inventory since 2009, by January 17, 2020, working natural gas inventories reached relatively high levels for mid-winter. The U.S. Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) data on natural gas inventories for the Lower 48 states as of February 7, 2020, reflect a 215 Bcf surplus to the five-year average. In EIA’s latest short-term forecast, more natural gas remains in storage levels than the previous five-year average through the remainder of the winter.
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), January 2020 was the fifth-warmest in its 126-year climate record. Heating degree days (HDDs), a temperature-based metric for heating demand, have been relatively low this winter, which is consistent with a warmer winter. During some weeks in late December and early January, the United States saw 25% to 30% fewer HDDs than the 30-year average. This winter, through February 8, residential natural gas customers in the United States have seen 11% fewer HDDs than the 30-year average.
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, based on National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Climate Prediction Center data
Headline crude prices for the week beginning 10 February 2020 – Brent: US$53/b; WTI: US$49/b
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