Hui Shan

Job Steward at NrgEdge. If you are an Energy Professional (Oil, Gas, Energy) contact me for opportunities
Last Updated: October 6, 2018
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Career Development
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Job postings mostly end with a statement saying salary is negotiable, but how often do job seekers negotiate for a better package? As per Robert Half 2019 Salary Guides, only 39% of job seekers tried negotiating their salary with their last job offer. This means most job seekers accept what they are offered. If you too are going for a job interview, here are top 10 tips to negotiate your salary the right way:

1. Know your market value

Before going for a job interview, it is important to analyze your market value. You must do an in-depth research to understand your earning potential.

 Similarly, research for your job profile.

  • Use websites such as salary.com, salaryexpert.com, payscale.com, and glassdoor.com to understand the pay scales that are offered in various companies and countries based on qualification, experience level and job location.
  • Once you have the market estimates, compare your salary in terms of all these parameters. Now, calculate your salary based on the experience and skill that you will be offering to the next company.

 

2. Have the right attitude:

  • Be prepared to list down all the things that you will bring to the table if you get hired.
  • Give a clear picture to the recruiter about your abilities and the difference you can make in the company.
  • Be sure to make yourself a priority but at the same time, sound reasonable and logical.

 

3. Be considerate to the other person:

If you are considerate and have made the interviewer comfortable, chances are that he would be willing to patiently listen to your expectations and respond positively to your negotiation.

  • Make sure you sound logical and reasonable.
  • Face to face negotiations always works better because you can get instant feedback on your statements.
  • Be smart, confident, maintain eye contact to appear more trustworthy.

 

4. Don't be hasty

 During your interview process, don’t jump to the salary negotiation part. Let the interviewer get convinced that you are the right fit. To ensure this, do the following:

  • Talk about your experience, achievements and what you can do for the company.
  • If interviewer brings your salary early in the interview, make sure you tactfully bypass the discussion. Start talking about your achievements first and then bring this topic back.
  • Once, you have delayed the salary discussion, remember, once it begins you must make the first move.

 

5. Have a professional approach

  • Don’t compromise if salary offered is too low. Be polite and firmly state the reasons why you think you deserve higher pay.
  • Don't resort to rude behavior if the employer doesn’t understand your arguments or even he is putting you down.
  • Most of the time, people tend to get emotional in case of their dream job and they cannot negotiate rationally. But remember any job is good if it pays you your worth.

 

6. List down your priorities 

Let your employer know what parameters are important to you to accept the job whether it is the leave policy, work-life balance or salary. If the salary package is your top priority and if this is not met probably you won’t accept the offer, then chances are your desired salary might get accepted. Since the energy industry has the paying capacity but faces the dearth of talented professionals, they will choose talent over money in most cases.


7. Give a number not a range

 If your employer asks your salary expectation, do not talk in range or a round figure number for example 10 to12% raise or 15% increment on the previous salary. Give a precise number so that the employer knows you have done your research and know your market worth.

 

8. Talk about 'value' and not 'need'

When you are negotiating, you are selling your skills. So, make sure you don’t discuss what the company offers you rather talk about the ‘values’ which you will bring to the company. Let the employer see the ‘benefit’ of hiring you rather than discussing your personal benefit in joining the company.

 

9. Look at the complete package

If you like the opportunity and the employer likes you too but is unable to give you the desired raise, then it is advisable to look at the complete package. For the oil and gas industry, look for offshore opportunities, work-life balance, leave policy, work from home benefits, training opportunities, incentive, bonus, potential raises and so on. Analyse the complete package and benefits.


10. Don't settle and be courageous to walk away

When you know your worth, don’t ever settle for less. If you have done the negotiations and have analysed the complete package and still feel that you are not being fairly compensated, then don’t be afraid to walk away. There are numerous opportunities available in the oil and gas sector. Wait for the right one.

The oil and gas industry has a reputation of paying well. So, if you have right the skillset and negotiation power, you will get what you deserve. If you are looking for an opportunity in the oil and gas industry check out NrgEdge, an exclusive platform for oil and gas professionals.

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Saudi Aramco Moves Into Russia’s Backyard

International expansions for Saudi Aramco – the largest oil company in the world – are not uncommon. But up to this point, those expansions have followed a certain logic: to create entrenched demand for Saudi crude in the world’s largest consuming markets. But Saudi champion’s latest expansion move defies, or perhaps, changes that logic, as Aramco returns to Europe. And not just any part of Europe, but Eastern Europe – an area of the world dominated by Russia – as Saudi Aramco acquires downstream assets from Poland’s PKN Orlen and signs quite a significant crude supply deal. How is this important? Let us examine.

First, the deal itself and its history. As part of the current Polish government’s plan to strengthen its national ‘crown jewels’ in line with its more nationalistic stance, state energy firm PKN Orlen announced plans to purchase its fellow Polish rival (and also state-owned) Grupa Lotos. The outright purchase fell afoul of EU anti-competition rules, which meant that PKN Orlen had to divest some Lotos assets in order to win approval of the deal. Some of the Lotos assets – including 417 fuel stations – are being sold to Hungary’s MOL, which will also sign a long-term fuel supply agreement with PKN Orlen for the newly-acquired sites, while PKN Orlen will gain fuel retail assets in Hungary and Slovakia as part of the deal. But, more interestingly, PKN Orlen has chosen to sell a 30% stake in the Lotos Gdansk refinery in Poland (with a crude processing capacity of 210,000 bd) to Saudi Aramco, alongside a stake in a fuel logistic subsidiary and jet fuel joint venture supply arrangement between Lotos and BP. In return, PKN Orlen will also sign a long-term contract to purchase between 200,000-337,000 b/d of crude from Aramco, which is an addition to the current contract for 100,000 b/d of Saudi crude that already exists. At a maximum, that figure will cover more than half of Poland’s crude oil requirements, but PKN Orlen has also said that it plans to direct some of that new supply to several of its other refineries elsewhere in Lithuania and the Czech Republic.

For Saudi Aramco, this is very interesting. While Aramco has always been a presence in Europe as a major crude supplier, its expansion plans over the past decade have been focused elsewhere. In the US, where it acquired full ownership of the Motiva joint venture from Shell in 2017. In doing so, it acquired control of Port Arthur, the largest refinery in North America, and has been on a petrochemicals-focused expansion since. In Asia, where Aramco has been busy creating significant nodes for its crude – in China, in India and in Malaysia (to serve the Southeast Asia and facilitate trade). And at home, where the focus has on expanding refining and petrochemical capacity, and strengthen its natural gas position. So this expansion in Europe – a mature market with a low ceiling for growth, even in Eastern Europe, is interesting. Why Poland, and not East or southern Africa? The answer seems fairly obvious: Russia.

The current era of relatively peaceful cooperation between Saudi Arabia and Russia in the oil sphere is recent. Very recent. It was not too long ago that Saudi Arabia and Russia were locked in a crude price war, which had devastating consequences, and ultimately led to the détente through OPEC+ that presaged an unprecedented supply control deal. That was through necessity, as the world faced the far ranging impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. But remove that lens of cooperation, and Saudi Arabia and Russia are actual rivals. With the current supply easing strategy through OPEC+ gradually coming to an end, this could remove the need for the that club (by say 2H 2022). And with Russia not being part of OPEC itself – where Saudi Arabia is the kingpin – cooperation is no longer necessary once the world returns to normality.

So the Polish deal is canny. In a statement, Aramco stated that ‘the investments will widen (our) presence in the European downstream sector and further expand (our) crude imports into Poland, which aligns with PKN Orlen’s strategy of diversifying its energy supplies’. Which hints at the other geopolitical aspect in play. Europe’s major reliance on Russia for its crude and natural gas has been a minefield – see the recent price chaos in the European natural gas markets – and countries that were formally under the Soviet sphere of influence have been trying to wean themselves off reliance from a politically unpredictable neighbour. Poland’s current disillusion with EU membership (at least from the ruling party) are well-documented, but its entanglement with Russia is existential. The Cold War is not more than 30 years gone.

For Saudi Aramco, the move aligns with its desire to optimise export sales from its Red Sea-facing terminals Yanbu, Jeddah, Shuqaiq and Rabigh, which have closer access to Europe through the Suez Canal. It is for the same reason that Aramco’s trading subsidiary ATC recently signed a deal with German refiner/trader Klesch Group for a 3-year supply of 110,000 b/d crude. It would seem that Saudi Arabia is anticipating an eventual end to the OPEC+ era of cooperative and a return to rivalry. And in a rivalry, that means having to make power moves. The PKN Orlen deal is a power move, since it brings Aramco squarely in Russia’s backyard, directly displacing Russian market share. Not just in Poland, but in other markets as well. And with a geopolitical situation that is fragile – see the recent tensions about Russian military build-up at the Ukrainian borders – that plays into Aramco’s hands. European sales make up only a fraction of the daily flotilla of Saudi crude to enters international markets, but even though European consumption is in structural decline, there are still volumes required.

How will Russia react? Politically, it is on the backfoot, but its entrenched positions in Europe allows it to hold plenty of sway. European reservations about the Putin administration and climate change goals do not detract from commercial reality that Europe needs energy now. The debate of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline is proof of that. Russian crude freed up from being directed to Eastern Europe means a surplus to sell elsewhere. Which means that Russia will be looking at deals with other countries and refiners, possibly in markets with Aramco is dominant. That level of tension won’t be seen for a while – these deals takes months and years to complete – but we can certainly expect that agitation to be reflected in upcoming OPEC+ discussions. The club recently endorsed another expected 400,000 b/d of supply easing for January. Reading the tea leaves – of which the PKN Orlen is one – makes it sound like there will not be much more cooperation beyond April, once the supply deal is anticipated to end.

End of Article

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Market Outlook:

-       Crude price trading range: Brent – US$86-88/b, WTI – US$84-86/b

-       Crude oil benchmarks globally continue their gain streak for a fifth week, as the market bounces back from the lows seen in early December as the threat of the Omicron virus variant fades and signs point to tightening balances on strong consumption

-       This could set the stage for US$100/b oil by midyear – as predicted by several key analysts – as consumption rebounds ahead of summer travel and OPEC+ remains locked into its gradual consumption easing schedule 

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