Experienced geologist AMA - oil industry help Watch

geolowiser
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Experienced geologist in the oil industry, happy to answer questions on day to day life, working environments in various countries, how to get started and how to progress etc. Ask away.
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nikolateslacles
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Do you feel bad about the negative impact the oil industry has on the environment? About 1/3 of my insurance choice's course is petroleum geology and obviously it's an incredibly well paid field for geologists to go into and there must be so many travel perks etc but I'm not sure if I'd feel comfortable going into it
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geolowiser
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(Original post by nikolateslacles)
Do you feel bad about the negative impact the oil industry has on the environment? About 1/3 of my insurance choice's course is petroleum geology and obviously it's an incredibly well paid field for geologists to go into and there must be so many travel perks etc but I'm not sure if I'd feel comfortable going into it
Hi, I must admit I did have a few worries when I started. What I realised is that the work would continue whether or not I declined the job offer, and that my personal carbon footprint would be significantly higher if I had a car, for example. If you choose to bycott jobs in environmnetally damaging industries, you must also consider doing the same for any petroleum fuelled transport and non-recycled anything. Your potential impact on the environment by engaging in this job is nothing compared to the impact of owning your own car, or living in a one bedroom apartment by yourself compared to living in shared accommodation etc.

One major point to consider, is whether it would be better to have someone who was very much pro-environment working in that job role, who could actively promote awareness and protection engagement, rather than someone who was apathetic to the clear negative that hydrocarbon exploration and development has on the environment. In the various roles I have held I have been able to make a significant impact on the reduction of the environmental impact of my work in the field as well as my office. I don't hesitate to suggest that I think oil companies and service companies operating in developed countries (not Saudi, but the UK and Canada etc) do more to protect the environment on the small scale than most other businesses.

After considering these two main points, it's still a decision which is largely personal and subjective. Just remember that the environmental impact of your chosen industry goes far beyond what we see; specialist machinery may use very harmful chemicals, the construction industry makes largely irreversible marks on the earth with little consideration for remediation, and the stones used to build our homes have come from blasting rock-faces.

We have to choose the lesser evil in our mind and the place we could have the most positive impact.

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geolowiser
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(Original post by nikolateslacles)
Do you feel bad about the negative impact the oil industry has on the environment? About 1/3 of my insurance choice's course is petroleum geology and obviously it's an incredibly well paid field for geologists to go into and there must be so many travel perks etc but I'm not sure if I'd feel comfortable going into it
FYI the whole industry is in downturn and I would seriously advise against attempting to join the industry now. There are thousands of geologists out of work, each of whom have years of experiences and postgraduate degrees and cannot get a job, salaries have been cut by 20-60% and some countries have seen 80% of the oilfield work force made redundant. If it isn't with a grad scheme with a major operator I'd avoid it mate.

Worth looking into reservoir engineering and enhanced oil recovery (EOR), artificial lift etc.
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