Don’t Make These 3 Mistakes When Applying for Oilfield jobs Online

Like it or not, the world is moving online. And, as you might expect, the oil & gas industry is no exception.

While the web provides an unprecedented way to find and apply to oilfield jobs from across the globe, many seasoned oilfield folk find the online universe daunting and overly complex, and long for a time of handshakes and in-person interviews.

Indeed, without personal interactions it can be harder to make a good first impression and convey to a potential employer your true worth.

So then, how does one make a good first impression online?

In your quest for that perfect high paying oilfield job, avoid these 3 common mistakes and get your career started off on the right foot!

1. Send An Up-To-Date Resume & Proof of Tickets & Certifications

It is not only important to keep your information and experience on your resume current, but to ensure you tailor your resume to the job you are applying for. Also, be sure to insert precise keywords and details into your resume that will make you stand out as a good candidate as well as assist with any automated systems that an employer may use.

To further help your application stand out, make it clear which safety tickets & certifications you currently hold. This could give you an edge over individuals who either do not have any safety tickets, or who simply did not take the time to include them in their application.

2. Make Your Availability Clear

Let’s face it, things change quickly in the patch. An employer wants to know they can count on you when push comes to shove. The less available you are to these inevitable changes,  the less likely an employer will be willing to consider you.

Make sure to include in your application if you are available and willing to work odd shifts, spend time away in camps – or even relocate. This demonstrates initiative and gives you a clear edge over a candidate with no flexibility.

3. Mind Your Online Reputation

While you may not pay any attention to things like your email address and social media profiles, you may be surprised to learn that your employer might.

When sending a resume via email, your email address will act as a first impression. Do not use an email address containing words that are inappropriate, childish, or hard to read. This will leave a poor first impression and give an employer an easy excuse to skip over your application.

Large companies in the industry receive dozens – even hundreds – of applications per day. Don’t make it easy for them to skip you based on your email address alone.

Further, some employers may ‘Google’ your name and do some research online. Are your social media profiles publicly available? It may be time to review what the internet says about you. Controversial political views, photos, and hateful or disrespectful comments posted online may result in an employer passing you over for someone who’s online reputation is more neutral and mature.

Online is here to stay

Like or not, the oil and gas industry will continue to move the bulk of their hiring online, and the more you understand how the process works, the more likely you are to get hired.

 

By keeping these 3 simple things in mind and understanding what to do (and not to do), you increase your chances significantly on getting a ‘leg-up’ on competing candidates.

 

Good luck!

 

Clever Inventions That Simplify The Job Site

Sure the oil and gas industry, as with any other industry, has benefited tenfold from the constant advancements and improvements in technology – but it isn’t always the high tech gadgets or seemingly impossible systems that make our jobs the easiest.

Some of the gadgets that we use every day in sites all across the industry actually happen to be some of the simplest as well.

Here are a few examples of simple, yet clever inventions that have simplified the job sites for oil and gas workers.

Simplifying Job Sites With…

Pipeline Pigs

Pipeline pigs are bullet shaped devices, typically made of rubber, that are sent through pipelines for a variety of maintenance reasons – they clean, they collect data, and they inspect the quality of the pipeline.

Of course, over the years pipeline pigs have gone from the basic rubber version to having an array of high-tech spinoffs used to complete even more detailed inspections, etc., but even in its simplest form, a pipeline pig makes any oil or gas workers’ day a whole lot easier.

Keeping pipelines clean is imperative to workplace safety as well as pipeline production and efficiency – and having a product that essentially does all of that work for you allows you to focus your energy and attention elsewhere. 

Pig Passage Indicators

Of course, sometimes these pigs cause problems – they get stuck, they go down the wrong pipe, heck sometimes they flat out get lost. That is where the invention of pig passage indicators comes in handy.

Pig passage indicators provide visual cues to where a pig is within a pipeline.

One of the most common, and non-intrusive versions of a pig passage indicator uses magnets – how’s that for simple. The indicator attaches to the outside of the pipeline and, using its magnetic detector, it is able to confirm when a pipeline pig, also fit with a magnetic piece, has passed by that spot in the pipeline.

This keeps workers up to date on the location of pigs, which helps them track down any that don’t reach the finish line more quickly than if they were not able to see its last confirmed location. This saves the workers time and saves the company money – a real win-win!

Windsocks

This is probably the simplest of the simple. What is a windsock you may ask?

It is a sock (okay, not exactly, but a piece of fabric that is similar in shape to a sock) that is used to determine the direction of the wind.

Told you – simple.

While this is a simple invention, it performs a very important job – knowing the direction of the wind helps workers know what areas of the worksite are safe from H2S.

H2S is a deadly gas that is present throughout many oil and gas worksites and is colourless and odourless.  Of course workers always have personal monitors and fresh air units on their person as well, but windsocks are truly the primary line of defense against this workplace hazard.

 

Are there any other inventions that have simplified oil and gas job sites that you think we should know about?

 

References

  1. https://www.apachepipe.com/pig-passage-indicators/
  2. https://www.aerosock.com/industry-use/windsocks-in-the-oil-industry.html
  3. https://www.glossary.oilfield.slb.com/en/Terms/h/h2s.aspx

 

 

 

Canadian Engineering in Australia’s Outback

DrillGear Oilfield Solutions is pleased to announce an oilfield equipment upgrade project between CalgaRIG Engineering and Australian firm Wild Desert Oil and Gas Field Services.

The integration of engineering with fabrication to enhance equipment efficiency specifically for the Australian operating environment has brought its own challenges. “Bringing together our expertise in design and engineering with Wild Desert’s operations expertise exemplifies our approach,” said Saj Shapiro, CEO of DrillGear Oilfield Solutions and CalgaRIG Engineering “spending the time to get to know our clients needs and requirements and then tailoring solutions has been our core competency.”

CalgaRIG’s Chief Engineer Milan Rajic added that “I love the engineering challenges that working internationally brings. After 40 years, I’m still learning every day, staying open to creative solutions.”

Jeff Schlachter, the Senior Trade and Investment Officer for the Government of Alberta Economic Development and Trade has worked hard to strengthen and expand the relationships of Alberta companies with international companies. “The support we’ve received from both Jeff, and his federal counterpart, John Williams, the Federal Canadian Trade Commissioner has been incredible. They have been tireless in promoting Canadian and Australian trade and cooperation,” added Shapiro.

Wild Desert is an oil & gas well servicing company based in Roma, Queensland, the heart of the Surat Basin.  The company was established in 2005 & has since grown to incorporate well servicing rigs, logistic services, rig camps & a workshop for the fabrication & maintenance of equipment.

CalgaRIG was founded in 2004 in response to a growing oil and gas industry. As an elite mechanical and structural engineering company based in Calgary, Alberta, CalgaRIG focuses on the design, manufacturing and servicing of oil and gas exploration and production equipment. CalgaRIG’s clients enjoy quality assured products and services in all sectors of the oil and gas and mining industries.

DrillGear brings Canadian expertise in design, engineering, project and quality management together with high quality, efficient fabrication solutions for oilfield clients worldwide. The result is cost-effective world-class oilfield equipment. DrillGear was founded with a vision to provide innovative, cost-effective and dependable oilfield solutions: whether manufacturing custom designs, managing projects from intial concept to finished product, or providing design and quality assurance and inspection services and personnel.

Why PMP Certification Matters

 

All of our projects are managed by Project Management Professionals (PMP).  They organize and control all of our projects. They’re like computer processors. Our PMP leaders take in huge amounts of data – employee information, project deadlines, budgets, special requirements, etc – and spit out projects that run on schedule and on budget. It’s an impressive and complicated process. So much so, that we wonder just how Project Managers run such efficient projects?

Becoming a Project Manager – the Journey

Our Project Coordinators work under the careful watch of our Project Managers. This helps our Project Coordinators gain the necessary management experience while learning from the best of the best.  While working full-time helping organize our engineering and manufacturing projects, our Project Coordinators are attending PMP classes. Recently, one of our Project Coordinators has taken the first steps towards applying for PMP designation. The application process is quite complex but worth its weight in gold. We thought we’d explore the intricacies of the application process and why it matters for the oil and gas industry.

What do Project Managers Do?

Tired of having project run over budget and over time? Projects of all scopes and sizes have thousands of things that can go wrong at any minute. With so many people working on the same project- from business, engineering, manufacturing – the smallest mishap can have the largest consequences. What stops projects from going out of control are Project Managers.

Project Managers are responsible for taking the chaos of employees, project requirements, budget, timelines (and more), and organizing everything and everyone into a set schedule. PMPs lay out goals, and set plans in place to obtain realistic objectives. This is part of the project initiation. But PMPs don’t stop there. Next, PMPs set to monitor and control the employees and resources throughout the projects life. Moreover, the PMP is the one responsible for closing the project. Meaning, the PMP does the final checks, wrap-ups, and presents the completed project back to the client.  Project Managers  also do contingency planning for cases where something can run off schedule or an unexpected event arises.

How Does Someone Get a PMP Certification?

Becoming a PMP  is no small feat.  Getting certified requires 3 to 5 years (depending on degree status) of project management experience.  It specifies further, asking for  4,500 to 7,500 documented hours of project management. Sounds like a lot, right? Well that’s not all. In addition to experience, the applicant must complete 35 hours of specialized training. The training covers initiating, planning, executing, monitoring, controlling and closing projects.

Maintaining PMP Certification

PMP certification is a quality signal to clients. It shows that an engineering or manufacturing firm can deliver quality projects on time and on budget.

Why?

Because the PMP designation is an on-going system. What does that mean? To maintain the credential, PMP holders must take 60 professional development units (PDUs) every three years. This ensures that all PMP holders remain up-to-date on their training and management expertise. Project management changes and evolves with time. But the basics of leadership, strategic business management, and technical project management remain the same. The PDUs ensure that professionals remain at the top of their game throughout their career.

DrillGear and PMP Designation

At DrillGear, all of our projects are managed by PMP designated professionals. Together with our APEGA certified engineers, we have the quality personnel to ensure all projects exceed client expectations. The process of moving from Project Coordinator to Project Manager is a big task. One that we’re sure our burgeoning Project Manager is up for.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

APEGA Matters

It is rare to find a talented, APEGA certified engineering firm in oil gas.

Why?

There are lots of talented engineers. There are not many engineers who can run a business efficiently. In this market, drilling contractors want effective and high-quality engineering. There is no room for going over budget or over deadlines. Many talented engineers dropped out when the going got tough as oil prices fell. As the industry begins to stabilize, many contractors will look for new engineering firms. Their only problem- how to choose the best firm.

How to find the best engineering firms

APEGA (Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta) certification highlights the best engineers and firms. It’s is a quality signal to drilling contractors because it proves certain milestones have been met.

What is APEGA?

In the olden days, guilds existed to regulate trades. They set practice standards and disciplinary systems for its members. Today, APEGA is the guild for engineers in Alberta.

Just as in the olden days, joining the APEGA guild is no easy feat. There are mandated technical, ethical and professional standards. These include 48 months of training, character requirements and passing standardized tests. All members and aspiring members must prove they uphold these at all times.

Certifications, like APEGA , highlight high-quality engineering. All engineers in Alberta have APEGA status. Otherwise, they are called Members-in-Training (MIT) or Designers. MITs and Designers do not follow the same regulations as engineers.

The Difference between Engineers, MITs and Designers

Engineering is HARD.

Engineering is difficult. It’s hard just to get into. First, students slave to get accepted to university. Then, it’s the task of passing with good marks. Finally, students undergo training for four years. Only then they apply for engineering status. While training, these students are called Members-in-Training.

Designing equipment is complex. It requires analytical thought and precision. Moreover, Designers must go to school for 1-2 years to receive a diploma. While it is hard work and requires immense effort, it teaches different skills than engineering programs. As such, designers aren’t subjected to the same depth of training or schooling as engineers. For this reason, designers are different from engineers.

However, not all that graduate with an engineering degree are equal. Possessing a degree and possessing true talent are two entirely different things. What really sets the great engineers apart is the APEGA certification. But what sets great engineering firms apart?

Hire the Best Engineering Firms

Looking at past work and references is a good start. But, the real test is looking at the firm’s certifications  Most importantly, does the firm itself have APEGA certification?

A company must undergo rigorous scrutiny to get certified. First, they need at least one APEGA engineer on staff. Then, they must describe their business, products and services. Finally, the firm must declare responsible members who take responsibility of the firms engineering output. As such, only elite engineering firms are granted APEGA status. In such, this preserves the quality behind the engineering.

(Hint hint- check out our certification)

DrillGear and APEGA

Here at DrillGear, we are proud to host only accredited APEGA certified engineers. These engineers serve as the backbone to our products and services. In such, they provide the talent, character and experience that allows us to be an APEGA certified firm.

Hurricane Harvey Wreaks Havoc on Gasoline Prices

How Susceptible is Crude Oil and Gasoline Pricing to Natural Disasters?

Hurricane Harvey is currently tearing through the heart of the U.S. oil county. The eye of the storm is causing damage left, right and centre. Gasoline prices are skyrocketing and crude oil prices are creeping down.

Almost 20% of production in the Gulf of Mexico have been affected as Hurricane Harvey continues to rip through Texas. Just over 10% of refineries have been damaged or evacuated. All told, this sums to 2.2 million bpd offline due to the storm.

Valero’s Port Arthur, Texas, refinery in September 2005. Rick Bowmer / AP file

That’s a huge disruption to the U.S. production of crude oil. But what effect will it have on world crude and gasoline prices?

Disasters, Supply, Crude and Gasoline Prices

How crude and gasoline prices are determined
Crude oil falls in price as refineries out of commission
Increased crude oil supply (from decline in operational refineries) lowers crude price

Part of what affects oil prices is the amount of oil currently available. When there is lots of oil in the market, prices fall. This is in part because consumers have the freedom to choose from many sellers, this forces sellers to lower their prices to be competitive. Because of the shutdown of U.S. refineries, there has been a decreased world demand of crude oil, as the volume of crude needing to be refined builds up. This has increased the reserve amount of crude oil (supply), and lowered the price of crude.

 

Decreased gasoline supply (from decline in production) raises gas prices
Decreased gasoline supply (from decline in production) raises gas prices

When natural disasters occur in oil capitals, it temporarily diminishes the amount of crude oil being produced. When the disasters are big enough, or when they stop rigs and refineries for long enough, the total world supply of oil falls. Now, instead of shopping around for the lowest price, consumers now bid against one another to purchase oil. This raises oil prices. This explains why gasoline prices are currently rising in the U.S.: production has been hindered, supply has fallen, and prices have leaped.

Hurricane Harvey and Short-term Oil and Gas Prices

The U.S. is famous for its large oil reserves. Moreover, the U.S. doesn’t export most of its oil and gas. This means that the storm’s effect on global prices is dampened.

Domestically, gasoline prices rose by 10% just in anticipation of the storm (according to BBC). In fact, U.S. gas prices have hit a two-year peak.  Moreover, the added hit to refineries lowered demand for crude by nearly 3%.

So, what’s the long-run effect?

Hurricane Harvey and the Future

Houston has been hit particularly hard, impeding access to the state’s main gateway port. Shoaling problems will take time and money to fix. How much and how long is currently under serious debate. Full disruption of the energy industry in Texas is unlikely as the U.S. can dip into their overflowing reserves.

To quote Niels Bohr, “prediction is very difficult, especially if its about the future.” Until we know the extent of the damage left by Hurricane Harvey, it is hard to estimate repair times.

One of the best tools for predicting the future is looking at the past. A good example is the Fort McMurray fire disaster of 2016.

Past Disasters: Fort McMurray and Prices

 

(EPA/Twitter/Jeromegarot)

Look at the wildfires that ravaged across Fort McMurray, Alberta’s goldmine of oil sands, in 2016. We saw a rise in crude oil prices and 600,000-1,100,000 bpd taken off-line during the crisis. The month-long shut-down cost Canada billions, and contributed to world crude oil prices hitting $50/barrel. The surviving firms, big and small, had to work hard and fast to survive.

Why?

Because the disaster caused such a disruption (along with military disturbances in Nigeria) that global oil reserves fell, raising prices. Depending on how severe the damage is in Houston, there could be a similar scenario emerging from Hurricane Harvey on gas prices (but opposite effect on crude prices).

What’s next?

Sometimes, the effect of natural disasters on oil prices seems negligible. But we must take the disaster and its effect into perspective. The Fort Mac disaster affected global oil price for months. This current disaster can have ripple effects in the energy industry for months. However, this disaster will most likely not fundamentally alter the energy status quo. Time will dissipate this disruption and eventually the markets should return to “normal”.

The market will adapt to accommodate the crude oil build-up until Houston is back up and running. Most likely Asian markets will compensate for lack of refineries on the Gulf of Mexico, and we should see stockpiles of crude oil diminish and price rise back up. The energy market is fluid, and we will see it encompass this disruption and return gasoline prices to pre-disaster levels.

Until then, we’re all thinking of the people of Houston and wish them the best in these trying times.

Lean and Mean

Oil prices have put bloated businesses on strict diets these last few years. Firms either lost the excess weight or died trying. The surviving firms are lean, mean, and hungrily devouring more and more market share.

If you’re reading this, then congratulations! You’re one of the efficient firms who have successfully outlasted the downturn.

So how did you do it?

The Big Bang of Oil Prices

When crude oil was $100/bbl, business was booming. There were hiring frenzies, assistants had their own assistants, and it seemed like the only way forward was up.

Most oil and gas firms were running inefficiently because there was no real cost to doing so. Oil prices were so high that businesses could afford large departments and overhead costs. Sure, these firms missed potential returns from investing (rather than spending) this money. But profits were so high that these potential returns were just a drop in the bucket.

Or so it seemed.

Expected Oil Prices and Trends in 2008

Inefficiencies and Expenses

There are explicit costs – the costs your accountants scratch their heads over at years end, and then there are implicit costs.

The explicit costs are the salaries, rent, and materials mentioned above. When oil coffers were brimming, firms could cover the explicit costs and then some. Even the implicit cost of business (those missed investment opportunities) was relatively low.

You have probably heard the saying “there’s no such thing as a free lunch”. And trust me, nothing is ever truly free. That is because for every action you take, you have forfeited the opportunity to partake in another. By running inefficiently in the oil and gas market, firms sacrificed the opportunity to make money by reinvestment.

But when those oil prices started to shrink, that small sacrifice started growing. Fast.

Macleans WTI Oil Prices 2000-2016 (2016)
Macleans WTI Oil Prices 2000-2016 (2016)

Tough Enough

Firms like yours, (those still around today) had the foresight to minimize their implicit costs when oil was high. You had savings, investments, and were running more efficiently than your competitors.

So when the time came to start losing the excess weight, you were able to trim departments and save on overhead. You had talented employees and were able to rely on them to work hard. You have narrowed your focus or specialty, perhaps outsourcing work to be more efficient. Though you had to make difficult decisions and tough cuts, you made them efficiently.

After all, a hair cut is better than having your head lopped off.

So, what are the benefits?

Those who survive these prices will grow to thrive as markets continue to recover.

Why?

Because they reveal firms that are able to adapt to their environments. Firms like yours.

You’ve made the tough calls and survived the current environment.   Your goods and services have withstood the test of time, and your operating costs have never been lower. Competitors have fallen wayside. This means that there is greater market-share available for efficient firms (i.e. you).

Seize the opportunity. This is the time to invest, reach for new projects, and attain new clients. Remember your past success from acknowledging those implicit costs. Stay the lean, mean efficient machine you have become, and watch your business grow.

The O-Word

Let’s talk about the O-word.

The word that raises eyebrows in some circles, but benefits those who know how to use it. Outsourcing.

Outsourcing and specialization have a cozy relationship. One where the more you specialize, the greater the gains from outsourcing. This gives you expedited timelines, flexibility and greater market share.

So why outsource?

Simple. Because outsourcing allows you to specialize in niche areas. And specialization increases your efficiency, quality of goods, and returns.

Outsourcing = Specialization = $$$

You probably already specialize and just don’t know it

Does your company invent, design, engineer and manufacture all in-house? Most likely not. The logistics and costs of handling every stage of the process can be a nightmare. Especially when your company focuses on filling a specific need in the oil and gas industry.

The specialization business model dictates that oil companies should limit themselves to a small number of core fields [within] which they can add value by applying specialized technology. So far, the stock market has rewarded companies that have done so, such as Seven Generations Energy in Canada and Diamondback Energy in the United States.”

– Adam Waterous on Specilization in Oil and Gas

To specialize in oil and gas (which most of us do) you need to find people trained in your niche field. This allows you to provide the best-of-the-best goods and services, all while focusing on what matters. But to specialize, you need to concentrate your efforts into what you do best.

So how can you specialize when you have a million other things to do?

By outsourcing.

You shouldn’t be getting grey over how to engineer and design your rigs on your own. Nor should you be pulling your hair over managing every aspect of your large projects. Instead, as a drilling contractor, you should focus your energy on delivering safe and efficient solutions.

Sub-sectors in Oil Gas encourage specilization and outsourcing
Oil and Gas Sub-sectors

In effect, this is what the Oil and Gas industry has become. It has turned the huge process of getting oil and gas out into thousands of efficient specializations.

Outsourcing Speeds Business

This throws back to Adam Smith’s (Father of Modern Day Capitalism) theory of division of labor. Meaning, to really be efficient and target your niche, you need to take large jobs (building a drilling rig) and subdivide it into small, specialized tasks.

That’s where outsourcing comes into play.

Time = $$

Outsourcing, or collaborative partnering, allows you to focus on what you’re good at while meeting budgets and timelines. Outsourcing firms specialize in orchestrating the entire project. From concept and design to completed rig, collaborative partners have their strategic niche in oil and gas.

Flexibility and Market Share

Small project or large project?

Different project scopes require different personnel, team members and planning.  But in challenging economic environments, you often need to be flexible in the type and scope of work you take on. If you aren’t able to adapt, you’re going to fall behind competitors who can.

So what’s the best way to stay competitive?

We’re beginning to sound like a broken record here, but the answer is: Outsourcing.

Because outsourcing firms specialize in managing projects, they have the talented and qualified experts on hand for any size or scope of project. More, they have a deep breadth of industry experience and knowledge. This gives them insight into different market entries and opportunities.

So while competitors may be lying low, waiting for the perfect project to come along, you can jump on more projects. This will grow your market share, experience, and scope of expertise. All while securing and strengthening your niche spot in the oil and gas industry.

Wrapping it All Up

Everyone is capable of performing tasks themselves. Whether that be engineering, project management or fabrication, most of us can pull the resources together to get the job done. But getting the job done and doing a job well are two entirely different things. Take a look at outsourcing your engineering, design, project management or manufacturing needs with us at DrillGear.