Oil and Gas have been used throughout the world for over 5,000 years. Oil was used in ancient times to bind materials and to waterproof surfaces. The Sumerians were the first to make asphalt and used it to inlay mosaics on their walls and floors. There were others that used it to line the inside of boats to prevent leaking, and eventually, it was used to build longer-lasting roads. The forerunners of today’s kerosene lamps were first used around 1500BC.
China was the first country to realize the potential of oil and gas in about 500BC. They found natural gas along the Tibetan border and very soon were digging wells 100 ft. deep to harvest it. They built many bamboo pipelines to transport oil and gas, which they mainly used for lighting. By 1500AD, they were sinking wells 2,000 ft. deep.
The growth of the gas and oil industry continued, but it was 1650 before Europe’s first commercial oil reservoir was opened in Romania, which was also the site of the world’s first oil refinery. The oil and gas industry as we know it today did not start to develop until the late 19th century.
Evidently, there are many ways in which you can take advantage of this growth. We will discuss the different sectors the industry is growing into. Offshore and onshore operations make this an ideal career path.
The Progression of Today’s Oil And Gas Industry
In the late 1800’s, the US started to refine oil in a big way, and by 1950 they accounted for more than half the world’s oil production. Then other oilfields and natural gas started to emerge in Europe, Asia, and Russia. Some of the large companies that were started way back are still around today, although some of them have had their names changed.
- Standard Oil of New Jersey founded in 1870 later became ESSO
- Standard Oil of New York became Mobil
- Standard Oil of California became Chevron
- Anglo-Persian founded in 1909 became British Petroleum (BP)
These four, along with Texaco (founded 1901), Royal Dutch Shell (founded 1907), and Gulf Oil (founded 1890) became known as the seven sisters and the dominated the oil and gas industry until the discovery of oil in the Middle East.
Learning the Trade
Even today, the oil and gas industry is one of the fastest growing in the world and the demand for qualified people to work in it is high. This demand relates to engineers, operations managers, professional support staff, and many other areas of the industry. Oil and gas are perfectly safe to work with, as long as you understand what you should be doing. This is exactly why there are so many oil and gas training courses available, to ensure there are enough qualified workers to fulfill all the roles. This is the perfect way to take advantage of the growth in the industry.
Once you have completed the necessary training, the world is your oyster, with jobs in the oil and gas industries available globally. You could find yourself working onshore or offshore, in upstream exploration and production of both conventional and unconventional energy resources, in midstream transporting, downstream refining, or even in marketing.
Upstream Exploration and Production
Basically, this is the exploration and production sector, which is often referred to as upstream oil and gas. The oil and gas training courses we mentioned cover everything from discovery to drilling and extraction. The knowledge and expertise learned are crucial, as there are various international agencies that follow the product from the start to the end customer.
This mainly deals with the transportation of crude products, the refining of and the marketing of those various products. Having qualifications from oil and gas training courses is vital in this area of work, with many being specialists in some specific parts of the operations. Environmental protection agencies and quality assurance agencies from across the world monitor the refining of products amid growing concern that this phase will reach the 0-carbon emission goal in the shortest possible time, without affecting the quality of the end products.
Professionals involved in offshore drilling operation have to undertake mandatory oil and gas training courses to prepare them for the quality standards of the oil and gas industry abroad. They have to be able to work with any local managing partners and operators, as well as making sure the products are delivered safely. The safety and quality standards can differ from one country to another, and the workers have to be able to adapt to each set of rules.
Onshore Support Operations
All of these huge companies could not operate with their onshore support teams. They provide the general administration of the products through from exploration to marketing and sales. To do this effectively, they need to have a sound knowledge of energy resources administration, quality and environmental standards, and customer demands. This is why there are oil and gas training courses for support staff, as well as those working on the rigs.
Financial administration is a crucial aspect of the onshore support, and often when people move into the finance sector of this industry, they need to complete oil and gas training courses to give them a basic knowledge of the products they are dealing with.
The legal side of the oil and gas industry can be very complex as there are often several countries involved in a contract. When this is the case, international standards and the laws of specific countries have to be taken into account. This results in knowledge of multinational legalities being essential for any lawyers working in the oil and gas industry.
There are three main accrediting bodies that can give the accreditation you need to work in the industry, although there are others as well.
- IMCA – International Marine Contractors Association
- FPAL – First Point Assessment
- The Nautical Institute
It is not enough just to say you have completed a gas and oil training courses, and any employer would be failing in their legal duty if they just accepted your word. You need to prove you have taken the courses and have accreditation from one of the recognized professional bodies.
Health and Safety in the Oil and Gas Industry
As you can probably imagine, when you are working with two very volatile materials, there are many dangers if the health and safety protocols are not followed. Regular health and safety training is mandatory for many of the production workers. The operators and the refining staff are expected to keep up to date with all safety procedures and to practice them without exception.
NEBOSH, which is recognized and accredited abroad as well as in the UK, provides the standard of health and safety training required while ensuring it complies with all the safety standards for workers as laid down by the Health and Safety Executive.
Sometimes, difficult situations can arise, such as a medical emergency on an offshore operation where there is no instant hospital access. As the health of a worker could be at risk, on each rig, there needs to be someone with a good knowledge of intervention skills to assist them. Could that someone be you?
With more than 830 oil and gas training courses available, there is bound to be the one that you need to be able to work in the area of the industry you have opted for.
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