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    Hey guys,
    Just wondering could anyone answer a few questions for me. I'd love to hear peoples opinions.

    1.Do you think it's a bad idea to go into oil and gas in this day and age? Is there opportunity to have a long career in this sector?

    2.How hard is it to get a job offshore as a mechanical engineer working as a field engineer(e.g with Schlumberger)?

    3.Will the money stay good?

    4.Would the experience from being a field engineer/oil sector experience be valued by any other sectors if I decided to try and enter a new sector with a brighter future? (e.g. try and enter renewable energy, medical companies, automation companies)

    I'd love to work in the north sea for a couple of years and maybe move onto something else less extreme. Thank you for reading.
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    Smack should be able to help you on this matter given his experience/knowledge of the industry.
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    (Original post by trapking)
    Smack should be able to help you on this matter given his experience/knowledge of the industry.
    Thank you, I'd love to hear from him/her!
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    (Original post by MatthewRooney)
    Thank you, I'd love to hear from him/her!
    I think @bloobloobloo has covered things nicely. If you want to become a field engineer in oil & gas, go for it, if you're sure it's what you want to do. I'm assuming you've looked into the offshore life and are okay with travel or spending long periods away from home. What kind of stuff do you want to work with in the field? You've mentioned Schlumberger who do wells/reservoir/subsurface stuff, but other companies in other areas hire field engineers too, but don't always use the term "field engineer".

    Have a backup plan too, though. What stage of your education are you at? What the industry will be like in the future is anyone's guess.
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    @smack Hey there!

    I'm only finishing first year engineering at the moment, so I haven't really found what I like as of yet. I like the idea of sub sea cement testing, negative pressure testing (yes I may have watch deep water horizon , and i understand it's not 100% accurate), drilling also fascinates me. I'd like a challenge and the money wouldn't hurt either.

    I like the idea of 2 weeks on/ 2 weeks off. I hear most graduate field engineers work there way up to more comfortable jobs as well?
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    Sorry, my original post has disappeared!
    here is a repeat
    1. The oil and gas industry is obviously not doing so well at the moment, so finding a job in it will be far more challenging that what it was pre-2013. To put this in perspective, thousands of people lost their jobs in Aberdeen during the downturn so there is a huge excess of experienced people unable to find work – I am at Aberdeen uni and many of the master’s students are people who’ve worked in the industry their whole lives who, sadly, now cannot find work. Having said that, it is not all doom and gloom because the industry is definitely picking up and will continue to be essential for a long time (fossil fuels will support 85% of the global energy requirements in 2035). Therefore, there are still opportunities to have a long career in it
    1. Coming in as a graduate may work to an advantage because companies (like Schlumberger) will still need them to support the company in the future. At the moment companies are still taking on graduates, just fewer than a few years ago. It is likely that if youre successful, the company will support and look after you. My recommendation is to get as much experience as early on as possible – this does not have to technical experience, instead of something like volunteering to show you have a good work ethic. Technical experience will put you at an advantage - research smaller companies for potential summer work in something energy-related, e.g. technical assistant, rather than big ones that are far more competitive and every other student will be applying to.
    1. Money will stay good, generally, oil and gas jobs will always pay higher than other industries.
    1. In order to move into other sectors you need to be able to relate what you’ve done in your current sector to the new one. So for example moving from offshore oil and gas to offshore renewables would (probably) not be too difficult because a lot of the same principles apply, its just different products being considered. I have heard of other professionals moving from oil and gas into nuclear or defence, so I don’t think it would be unreasonable to not be able to switch between industries.

    I hope this helps in some way
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    (Original post by MatthewRooney)
    @smack Hey there!

    I'm only finishing first year engineering at the moment, so I haven't really found what I like as of yet. I like the idea of sub sea cement testing, negative pressure testing (yes I may have watch deep water horizon , and i understand it's not 100% accurate), drilling also fascinates me. I'd like a challenge and the money wouldn't hurt either.

    I like the idea of 2 weeks on/ 2 weeks off. I hear most graduate field engineers work there way up to more comfortable jobs as well?
    Stick in at your degree and see how things are when you are closer to graduating, although it's never too early to begin looking at internships/placements etc. Also look at roles like project engineer, etc. too, and look at all the companies and not just wells and subsurface services ones.

    Also, 2 on 2 off has generally been replaced by 3 on 3 off now, and lots of people who are field engineers go offshore on an ad-hoc basis rather than on a rota. I think most graduate field engineers would likely expect to work their way up into another role, although I'm not really sure what the career structure is like as I don't know many.
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    1.Hard question. It's a volatile industry. If you joined a decent company and they trained you and you got 5-10 good years of experience under your belt, then you should be fairly safe and be experienced enough to survive a downturn like was seen in 2014 and get another job elsewhere if the worst were to happen- but will you get 5-10 good years, who knows. In terms of will the industry being around in the long term, don't worry about that, the oil industry will outlive your kids lol.

    2. I worked for Schlumberger as a field engineer- drilling. When the oil industry is booming, service companies like Schlumberger hire a lot of people. I worked offshore in the North Sea and somebody at the age of 30 had a degree in sports science and he was a drilling fluids engineer with Schlumberger, basically, they were taking on anyone with a degree.

    3. Yeah, money will always be good tbh. But is money all you care about?

    4. Hmm, probably not. Depends, really. But typically when you work on the rig you are a technician, trained solely to do your specific task. The work is monotonous. Really, if you worked 5 years in oil I would say you would be stuck in oil as getting another grad career or a cool design career somewhere else is slim to none. Probably your best bet would be a project manager, but even then you weren't really a project manager and have none of the qualifications a project manager of 2 years would have.


    I'll give you my experience of working for Schlumberger for 2 years. It was my grad job and the company is very corporate. Training seemed formal and the wages were very good. My degree was in mechanical engineering. As I was a student literally months before the job the initial training course I did for my role was interesting. But when I got on the rig it was just boring and uninspiring. Initially it was cool seeing everything but when you work 12 hour nightshifts for 14 or 21 days straight on a small space of just corridors the initial romance of the rig wears off real fast. Then the work was monotonous, i did not need a degree for this. The 10 week training course that I did in France upon joining the company was enough. Your degree is just a ticket to get in the door of the company and that's where you leave it. On the rig you just 'do your job' and that's it, day after day after day. Weather's crap too and there is a lot of downtime since drilling stops in bad weather. So when you're not working you are sitting bored wasting your time. The money is good, I was getting £40k when I started and about £50k when I was made redundant. In the first few months, I bought a lot of stuff and didn't really need anything more, money was kind of pointless. On one occasion I was doing nothing as you frequently do on the rig, I thought to myself, I could have went into design (or similar), got enough money (grad jobs usually 25k start), done fulfilling work, used my good degree I worked hard for, had a better work-life balance and been around people more like me. Yeah, i forgot to mention the majority of people who work on the rigs are guy that don't have degrees and have worked in the industry their whole lives, so you feel a bit out of place. I did like the buffet breakfast and dinners, but you just put on weight lol.

    So, honestly, it's all trade-offs. And the way I saw it was: Money VS all those downsides described above. And the kicker is that you don't even need all that money, you would be able to get everything you wanted with less. If I was a school leaver and I got a job on the rigs making that money I would feel like I won a watch but honestly, I felt like I wasted my time at uni and my brain working in that job.

    After I was made redundant I couldn't get back into oil as it was a downturn and experience matters more than anything else in that industry- do your job, that's all they want from you. After many interviews, I finally got a new job in a grad scheme for an aerospace company, and I'm buzzing to be using my degree and have a varied work life and a normal 9-5 weekday job and be around other grads like me.

    So all in all, I'd advise against the rigs. If you want to work in oil try and get a role like a reservoir engineer or petroleum engineer onshore. Still great cash. Company wise, avoid services companies and go for the operators like Shell, BP, Nexen, etc.

    Cheers
 
 
 
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