Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Another oil crisis: Petroleum engineer shortage

During the oil boom a few decades ago, petroleum engineers were a dime a dozen, and because the oil industry back then was so lucrative, they were in a very good position financially. However, with the decline of oil prices back in the ‘90s, the demand for petroleum engineers suffered a sharp decline, and the number of students who took up a petroleum engineering course in college decreased as a result.

Image Source: time.com

However, because of the rising prices of oil—the result of the world’s increasing demand for oil, the demand for petroleum engineers are again on the rise. Robert Chase, chair of the Department of Petroleum Engineering at Marietta College, said that enrollment in petroleum engineering programs at universities is increasing at a fast rate for many reasons but mostly because of the rising oil prices.

Image Source: why.knovel.com

But this still isn’t enough, mostly because two-thirds of petroleum engineers are over 40 and will be retiring in the near future, creating more job openings that will be very difficult to fill. In addition, there are still not enough people interested in becoming petroleum engineers, with more people pursuing common careers, such as in medicine and law. As reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are currently only 30,880 petroleum engineers, whereas there are 305,590 doctors and 570,950 lawyers in the US.

Image Source: cipeg.leeds.ac.uk

The more demand there is for oil, the more demand there will be for petroleum engineers, like Drs. Ali Ghalambor and Boyun Guo, as these are the people who make the extraction and production of oil efficient.

Visiting this Twitter page will give you tons of information about the petroleum and natural gas industry.

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