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So Oil and Gas is booming now.

So Oil and Gas is booming now.

So Oil and Gas is booming now.

(OP)
I have been applying for a lot of jobs in Texas in the oil and gas industry. Living in the rust belt is getting old.

I wanted to see if there is any doubt about the future of Oil and Gas. Especially in Texas or is there another area of the USA that is up and coming?

What are some new or future technologies in O&G that would be good to get into?

Is it better to be in tool design, production, or drilling? Which skills have the best future?

RE: So Oil and Gas is booming now.

When a well is drilled (days or weeks) it must be operated (decades or centuries). The driller moves on to the next well and usually there is a place to go. The producer keeps the well flowing to recover the costs and return a profit.

It was very clear to me early in my career which time scale I wanted to be on.

The Oil & Gas boom (in the US) is happening the most in West Texas, North Dakota, and Pennsylvania. Production activity is brisk in Colorado, Arkansas, Ohio, Wyoming, Utah, and Louisiana. California started to develop the next generation of resource, but the greenies have dampened enthusiasm there like in New York and (to a lesser extent) in Colorado.

In other words there are a lot of geographic options to take advantage of the boom. The real key is enthusiasm. If you walk into an interview and say "I think Oil & Gas is basically evil, they are destroying the planet, and if I get this job I plan to lie to family and friends about who I work for" then you probably won't get the job. If your attitude is more like "I didn't know much about this industry, but as I've done my research it looks like a great fit for where I want to spend my career" (or less smarmy words to that effect) then your chances improve dramatically.

David Simpson, PE
MuleShoe Engineering

Law is the common force organized to act as an obstacle of injustice Frédéric Bastiat

RE: So Oil and Gas is booming now.

Oil and gas has always been boom and bust. Oil has had a protracted good run for over a decade. Gas has been up and down, between conventional gas and unconventional (shale gas). But the bust always comes, and when it does, it's the fresh entrants to the field who end up on the street- so it has always been. When the boom comes back, the industry screams about the shortage of skilled workers. Again, so it has always been.

The people that drill holes in the ground that stuff you can sell comes out of are the ones making the money. The refiners make much less. As to what part of the "upstream" field to pursue, your interests and aptitudes will determine your success. What are you good at? What do you like to do? Whatever you choose, focus on developing transferrable skills that won't leave you completely without a meal ticket when the bust comes. And good luck to you.

RE: So Oil and Gas is booming now.

There are many downstream mega projects in the petrochemical industry as well, most of which will be completed by 2020. There are excellent job oportunities at present and for the next 5 or so years.

RE: So Oil and Gas is booming now.

It's best to get on for an international company, if you want long term stability, in my opinion. Schlumberger, Halliburton, and such global leaders with many subsidiaries are the safest bet. I used to be with a civil/structural consulting design company in Louisiana where I ended up moving into 100% M-I Swaco (Schlumberger owned) 'mud plant' (drilling fluid production facility) designer. We did a lot of Texas and Louisiana work at first. When that started to slow up, we started designing more "modular" and "easily transported" plants that could be packed up and moved. Then we started getting work in Australia, Guyana, Kenya, Kazakhstan, quoted some North Face Alaska but the project fell through, and some Canadian work. We hadn't even tapped into their South American market, yet, as of the time I left last December.

Even in a feast-or-famine industry like oil/gas, they're going to be drilling and pumping SOMEWHERE, so you can hedge your bets with the proper allegiances.

RE: So Oil and Gas is booming now.

The first US LNG exports should be shipping by the end of 2015. There are literally tens of billions of dollars being invested in LNG export facilities in the US.

Contrariwise, today there is very little drilling specifically for natural gas. The prices won't support it today. Prices have gone up a bit recently - but I expect NG drilling to take off again fairly soon to support the LNG facilities coming online. If NG drilling doesn't start soon to fill export demand - expect even higher pressure to drill once prices spike due to exports.

In particular, I think Texas and Louisiana will be prime locations - specifically because of the regulatory and pipeline infrastructure already in place (and more pipeline being built every day) to get the NG from the wellhead to the Gulf.

RE: So Oil and Gas is booming now.

(OP)
Thanks!

I have gotten two phone interview for jobs in Texas and Oklahoma. From what I read Houston seems a pretty good place to start.

zdas04, I take a pretty positive spin on it, the money is there for developing technology to improve things. I have made a couple decisions to improve efficacy that saved my employer money and far out way many hybrid cars... more then most hippi's do sitting around smoking.

molten, One phone interview was for drilling stuff, and the other was for specialized pumps (which I know a little more about). Mostly I would like to get in with a larger company so I can move around if I dont like what I am doing.

Weldstan, Know any off hand? Who does the engineering for the projects?

JNieman, I am hoping for a larger company like "Schlumberger, Halliburton, and such global leaders". At least till I get my feet wet.

Tom, Who does LNG that is big? I had a lunch time interview for an LNG consultant position. It was going well till my temporary (flipper) tooth got stuck on a carrot and I almost choked. It makes me laugh now, but it was super embarrassing and I didnt get the job.

Cheers!

RE: So Oil and Gas is booming now.

Gymmeh,
All of the Big Boy Engineering firms and Chemical and Petrochemical companies; Bechtel, Fluor, Jacobs, CBI, Technip, XOM, CPChem, Dow, BASF, etc. And I'm not listing the "construction only" contractors.

In the production end, Baker-Hughes, Shlumberger, Halliburton, Cameron International, etc. And these are only the Big Boy firms.

RE: So Oil and Gas is booming now.

Cheniere is spending about $8 Billion (US Billion) on their LNG export facility in Sabine Pass, they seem to be the front runner for exports.

http://www.cheniere.com/lng_industry/sabine_pass_l...

You can find more. It also depends what you qualify as "Big" - to me anyone with pockets deep enough to build their own LNG export facility is "Big" (or buying their way into being "Big") in LNG - and it is pretty easy to Google up the various projects.

RE: So Oil and Gas is booming now.

Hm, looks like Cheniere also plans to upgrade their Corpus Christi LNG terminal for liquefaction instead of just re-gasification. There's a few more billion dollars in capital expenditure.

http://www.cheniere.com/corpus_christi/corpus_proj...

RE: So Oil and Gas is booming now.

So what is happening with NG cars? I've seen a few stations pop up, but not much marketing.

RE: So Oil and Gas is booming now.

There are some NG cars, but refueling is slow and a PITA. They use compressed NG, not LNG. I don't see it really getting much traction for cars.

Commercial vehicles are a LOT more likely. UPS has already made a big commitment, lots of interest among the 18-wheeler crowd.

RE: So Oil and Gas is booming now.

In town, fleet vehicles make a lot of sense for CNG if you can afford the space the tank takes up. Dual fuel (to allow longer trips) has been a disaster since the timing and air supply is different for NG or petrol. You set up for one and the other runs like crap.

I don't see it as a consumer fuel except as the output of a gas-to-liquids plant.

David Simpson, PE
MuleShoe Engineering

Law is the common force organized to act as an obstacle of injustice Frédéric Bastiat

RE: So Oil and Gas is booming now.

UPS seems to mostly be going LNG with a small diesel tank.

RE: So Oil and Gas is booming now.

There is also a lot of activity in SE New Mexico, historically a big petro area. None of the big city problems but pay is pretty comparable. Similarly far NW New Mexico, Farmington/Four Corners area. Much better weather than Houston!! Schlumberger and others are in both places, plus some fair-sized second-tier companies.

RE: So Oil and Gas is booming now.

I live in Farmington, and and there are two problems with that: (1) all of the jobs I've seen have been hourly field jobs, and not all that many of them; and (2) all of the big companies in Farmington keep their Engineering staff safely tucked away in Houston. The Mancos Shale may turn into something, but so far it is "promising" which means "wait for an uptick in gas prices". As the LNG plants come on line next year, the price forcing that new markets always creates may very well lead to a fourth San Juan Basin boom, but it is far from booming now.

SE NM is another kettle of fish. Midland is the fastest growing city in the country because of new developments in the Permian Basin (which extends well into NM). The Cline shale oil is really going ganbusters and a friend who just transferred there says that there is a months-long waiting list for a place to park a trailer in Midland.

David Simpson, PE
MuleShoe Engineering

Law is the common force organized to act as an obstacle of injustice Frédéric Bastiat

RE: So Oil and Gas is booming now.

Dominion Resources is proposing to add liquifaction of NG to its existing LNG receiving/gasification terminal in Maryland, as a result of the Marcellus shale gas developments.

RE: So Oil and Gas is booming now.

weldstan: There are at least a couple of dozen places on the US coasts which are at the "proposing" stage or better for liquefaction. Cheniere has had FERC authorization for 2 years, and has been in construction phase for 18 months or so - at Sabine Pass.

RE: So Oil and Gas is booming now.

I also see the rail-roads testing NG, but I am not sure if it is CNG or LNG. At least we are seeing a dersification of transprotation fuels, but very little of personal transport vehicles (unless you count the people with hugh egos that require a massive diesel pickup).

So what are the big users of the byproducts of Natural Gas production? I know a few of them like Propane are used for heating, and Helium is used for cyrogenic applications. But what about the others? Should there be a decrease in price of these as the over production of Natural Gas continues? I did not see that this Winter as Propane prices were very high.

RE: So Oil and Gas is booming now.

TomDOT,
The Sabine Pass LNG plant has been in various stages of feasibility/permitting for a couple of decades and it is the only facility with a permit to export natural gas. There are dozens of other facilities in various stages of permitting, but it will be quite shocking if any actually receive export permits under the current administration.

Cranky,
Railroads are a perfect candidate for natural gas, and due to capital requirements the projects I've seen in feasibility have been CNG.

As to byproducts of natural gas, they are quite valuable. Propane is exported (a loophole in the laws passed in knee jerk reaction ot the Arab Oil Embargo) in addition to being used as an off-grid fuel, recreation fuel, and cooking fuel. Many of the heavier hydrocarbons are used as chemical feedstock. Price is very much subject to supply and demand. Some of the shales are very liquids rich and those liquids are having an impact on prices.

David Simpson, PE
MuleShoe Engineering

Law is the common force organized to act as an obstacle of injustice Frédéric Bastiat

RE: So Oil and Gas is booming now.

FERC did approve a new 48" CNG export pipeline to Mexico late last year, 2.1Bcf/d. It will tie into the hub near Corpus Christi.

RE: So Oil and Gas is booming now.

Yeah, and there are a couple of big lines into Canada as well. The NAFTA agreement allows an exception to the no-export law for NAFTA countries. I've heard unsubstantiated rumors that there were LNG facilities under construction on both coasts to take US gas to Europe and Asia using the NAFTA loopholes, but I've been unable to verify their veracity. If true, it would be good for the industry, but not nearly as good for the US economy (very few new US jobs, but with upward pressure on natural gas prices, I don't mind the price pressure, but the no jobs isn't so good).

It looks like Sasol's big Gas to Liquids plant in Louisiana has started letting bids for manufactured components. That will convert US natural gas into diesel to be consumed on the US highways. Good for the economy, good for the industry, good for the consumer, and (in spite of the e-NGO claims to the contrary) good for the environment. This diesel will be zero sulfur so the SOx issues go away. Enviro-wackos are claiming that the CO emissions from the plant are too high. In fact, the EPA has very strict CO emissions limits and the proposed plant has scrubbers and catalysts to get the number below the threshold. This plant has been in the permitting phase for nearly a decade, and it is good to see that they finally have enough confidence that a permit will eventually be granted to start spending money on steel.

David Simpson, PE
MuleShoe Engineering

Law is the common force organized to act as an obstacle of injustice Frédéric Bastiat

RE: So Oil and Gas is booming now.

F-T is very energy inefficient but generates beautiful, zero sulphur fuel and base oil stock. It also makes a lot of relatively useless NGLs though. CO2 emissions from the fuel well to wheels are higher than that for liquid fuels produced from light sweet crude but probably not too much worse than for fuels generated from bitumen or shale oil.

LNG isn't going to be a highway vehicle transportation fuel, ever. Yes the railways are experimenting with LNG fueling, but one accident with one of those huge LNG tanks will kill the idea for ever- the BLEVE from one of those giant dewar tankers when it derails and catches fire would be unbelievably devastating.

CNG definitely has a future as a road transport fuel if nat gas prices stay low for protracted periods. But I do worry about the compressors, and what happens when they aren't properly maintained...

RE: So Oil and Gas is booming now.

Do you mean like the accidents with the oil tankers? Or with NH4?
As was stated above, those may well be CNG tankers.

So with fracking there may be use in those narrow coal seems.

RE: So Oil and Gas is booming now.

Moltenmetal,
We don't often agree, but I do agree with almost all of your post. Shale Oil is the point where we diverge. Mostly what we're getting from Shale oil is barely oil at (API Gravity around 35 and it looks like water in a glass). When you blend it with the tar sands (mostly Bitumen, API Gravity closer to 10 than 30), then you get a mix with a good fit for the Gulf Coast refineries. Either one by itself creates problems in refineries designed for normal crude. The hydrocarbons we are getting from the shale has been fairly amazing stuff (and the stock I have in NGL processors/transporters has been doing pretty well for NGL being worthless, especially since we can export NGL but not natural gas or oil)

David Simpson, PE
MuleShoe Engineering

Law is the common force organized to act as an obstacle of injustice Frédéric Bastiat

RE: So Oil and Gas is booming now.

TomDOT: well, I stand corrected! Wow...I'm dumbfounded. Cryo LNG as a road fuel scares the hell out of me. There was a large propane tank failure in north Toronto about five years ago, and it was devastating- and propane is way, way safer and easier to handle than LNG. Then there's the bulk transport of the LNG itself- most of which will be by road or rail...If your handle means you work for DOT, I trust you guys to do your job of protecting the public, as your rules become Canadian rules too. Make sure it's safe...

RE: So Oil and Gas is booming now.

LNG has been transported by truck in the USA for decades. It was, and I believe still is being, transported through the most populous areas in California for decades.

RE: So Oil and Gas is booming now.

I work for DOT, but don't have anything to do with load permitting.

RE: So Oil and Gas is booming now.

zdas04: the NGLs are "worthless" relative to the real F-T target products, not in the broader sense, especially when they come out of the ground more or less "for free". In an F-T context, you try to minimize your yield to NGLs, balancing against making waxes you need to spend more energy and money to crack into useable molecules.

I've seen NGL tankers on the road and I've seen pictures of the massive rail tankers that are intended for locomotive fueling too. My point is simply that when you start using it as a transport fuel, you're going to see a hell of lot more of them, and if and when any of them make an earth-shattering kaboom in a densely populated area, the sparks will fly a lot further than you might expect. Frankly I'm less worried about the big tankers than I am about thousands of transport trucks on the road, each with a big LNG tanker of a capacity to replace say 100 gallons of diesel that these trucks usually carry- unless these are all for short-hop routes. Hell, you can't even keep wheels on those suckers here- it's tough to imagine how good a job they'd do of maintaining a cryogenic fuel system...

RE: So Oil and Gas is booming now.

Where the first F-T plant has been permitted there is excellent access to NGL pipelines. Unlikely that any of it will be on the road.

I read an article yesterday that said that the railroads were evaluating LNG fuel not CNG. Initial trials were looking excellent. The LNG fuel tank will be a lot smaller than a tanker car which can carry things a lot worse than LNG.

David Simpson, PE
MuleShoe Engineering

Law is the common force organized to act as an obstacle of injustice Frédéric Bastiat

RE: So Oil and Gas is booming now.

Sorry: mis-spoke- I've seen LNG tankers on the road- seen plenty of NGL tankers too. The rail tanker I saw a picture of was a prototype LNG tanker for fueling the locomotive. Can't recall where I saw the pic, but the rail tanker pictured was larger than the one in the image below, which appears to be a full-sized rail tanker.

http://www.cowcatchermagazine.com/wp-content/uploa...

RE: So Oil and Gas is booming now.

One obstacle to railroads using LNG fuel is that each locomotive requires a fuel tender. There is the problem of having a mismatch of locomotives and tenders. Have an engine failure on the road and you have a spare tender with nothing to do. Have a mechanical problem with a tender and you have a locomotive that can't be utilized.

RE: So Oil and Gas is booming now.

Gymmeh--sounds like this scheme is one where diesel fuel starts the ignition cycle and NG gets metered in for the rest of the burn?

RE: So Oil and Gas is booming now.

Gee railroal locomotive with a tender. Where have I heard that before (There was once one in the middle of town). It should not be a show stopper. Empty train cars travel the rail all the time (and empty seats in Amtrack).

Just because a tender is broken, if teathered to a locomotive it should recieve the same priorty as the locomotive does.

RE: So Oil and Gas is booming now.

(OP)
Swall,

I was trying to find more good info on how they work. Seems they are trying to figure out what works best.

"It is expected that the first trains will use a combined fuel of 80% LNG and 20% diesel, which would require few engine modifications, and allow for the motor to be reverted to full diesel if any problems arose with the LNG supply. The share of LNG could be boosted to 95% mixed with just 5% diesel, but this would require much heavier modification to the engine, and prove much more difficult and expensive to switch back to pure diesel."
(http://oilprice.com/Latest-Energy-News/World-News/...)

RE: So Oil and Gas is booming now.

Besides LNG production facilities, the major chemical and petrochemical companies are spending billions on olefins production for plastics manufacture and export due to the high volume of NGLs in the Eagle Ford and other shale formations.

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