Click here for a full list of our disciplines



Volume 12 • Issue 2 • March 2012

Printer Friendly Version

Our Perspective

The incredible successes in the North American natural gas industry created a lot of buzz and very optimistic expectations concerning the US' energy independence.  There are many voices who now believe that it may not be long before the nation can become a substantial exporter of natural gas.  This is certainly very positive and will have a great impact on the individuals deciding on their careers.  But anytime when there is a lot of excitement, there is also a need for careful career planning and preparation.  So, for every person considering a career in the shale gas industry, we have prepared a primer of factors to consider before joining the industry.  

There is one subject that comes up over and over in our conversations with candidates in our practice.  A healthy work-life balance, for multitudes of personal reasons, is mentioned so frequently that it clearly tops the list.  Easily said, but not so easy to achieve in an industry like ours where production never stops and everybody has to be on line 24/7.  We have taken another look of what it means in this industry and whether a balance can truly be achieved.  

We look forward to hearing from you.

Your friends at Collarini 

Upcoming Events Back to Top



AAPG Annual Convention & Exhibition    

Long Beach Convention & Entertainment Center

Long Beach, CA

 (April 22-25, 2012)



Offshore Technology Conference 2012

Reliant Center

Houston, TX

(April 30-May 3, 2012)

Employer Tips

Back to Top

A Second Look At Work/Life Balance

Work/life balance is a much discussed topic and has moved to the forefront of concerns for the baby boom generation and even more so for Gen-X and Gen-Y employees. It is vastly recognized that while the oil and gas industry brings with it a lot of rewards, good paying jobs, decent life styles, it also comes with stresses such as long work hours and the historically cyclical nature of our industry.  Boom and bust periods trade hands frequently. Increased hiring activities currently experienced based on strong demand for oil and gas will most likely be followed by workforce reductions in down-times.  Thus, long term career planning, balancing work and family life, rapidly rising health insurance costs, having to care for elderly parents to name a few, have become more prominent in recent years as employees struggle to find the right balance between work and life.

The issue of work/life balance presents challenges for employers as well as employees. As there is no one-size-fits-all set of benefits that would satisfy all employees, the smart companies -- and the ones that are successful -- are the ones that put in place a smorgasbord of benefits that support employees in their quest to juggle home and work responsibilities. Within Fortune Magazine's 100 Best Companies list, many companies have created cultures and offered benefits that afford their employees a better work/life balance. Interestingly, The Great Places to Work Institute in San Francisco, which assembles the annual Best Companies List for Fortune, notes a strong correlation between a high-quality work environment and business success. It is no wonder then that companies seem to be working harder than ever to lure and keep some of the top and rising talent. Depending on the size of the company, some of the items implemented to achieve successful work/life balance environments are:

  • Shortened or flexible workweeks, such as 9/80, 1/2 day Fridays, etc.

  • Telecommuting

  • Job sharing

  • Stretch, growth and cross business career opportunities

  •  Job training courses

  •  Managers working their way up from field positions

  •  Generous sabbaticals starting at four (4) paid weeks after 15 years of service

  •  Paid paternity leave

  • Graduate school, continued education tuition reimbursement

  • On-site or child-care reimbursement when employees travel

  • On-site fitness or gym membership reimbursement

Many companies have begun to realize how important the work-life balance is to the productivity and creativity of their employees. Research has shown that employees who are more positive toward their organization's efforts to support work-life balance also indicated a much lower intent to leave the organization, greater pride in their organization, a willingness to recommend it as a place to work and higher overall job satisfaction.  Work-life balance is not stagnant and varies over time, often daily. The right balance today will probably be different tomorrow. The right balance for singles will differ from employees who are married, have children, the beginning of the career versus nearing retirement.

Supporting work-life options in an organization may involve some up-front costs, but these will pay off in many measurable ways, from making it easier to retain valuable employees to building great word of mouth about the company.

Simply put, better balance means better business.

Talent Pool Back to Top

The following biographies are just a small sampling of the kind of talent available in our talent pool of over 20,000 experts.  Please call our placement managers if you are interested in learning more about these professionals, or check out our website for more candidates.

Project Manager with a bachelor's degree in chemical engineering, project management certification, and 10 years of experience in the refining and petrochemical industries working for major operating companies.  Expert in pressure relief and flare analysis. Experience with engineering and operations management, process safety management, and business development. Additionally experienced in managing the financial performance of major pressure relief projects and team lead functions related to domestic and international project execution. Geographic areas worked include Singapore and Southeast Asia.  See PM 401.

Health, Safety and Environmental Manager with masters' degrees in business administration and public health, environmental and occupational health science, with a diversified portfolio of global upstream and offshore experience.  Expert in EHS management systems and regulatory oversight, training and communication, benchmarking, strategic analysis, cost benefit analysis, toxicological studies, and human health and ecological risk assessment. Specialist in ISO 14001 and OSHAS 18001.  Experienced in regulatory management and compliance, program development, training and implementation, financial analysis, and data management. Additionally experienced liaising with regulators, legal counsel, senior management, and line personnel with the interpretation of technical information for industrial and business concerns.  See HS460.

Project Procurement Manager with a bachelor's degree in business administration and 30 years of experience with major exploration and production and service companies in the oil and gas industry.  Experienced in purchasing, budget control, contract management and administration, materials management, SAP implementation, systems auditing, logistics, fleet maintenance operations, and marketing. Geographic areas of work include Sakhalin Island, Russia and Uzbekistan.  Proficient in the Russian language.  See PU449.

Facilities Engineer with a bachelor's degree in chemical engineering and 16 years of experience in the oil and gas industry.  Expert in the design of onshore and offshore production facilities.  Experienced in brownfield project management and operations engineering, cost estimating, construction management, hook-up and commissioning, and fabrication oversight. Geographic areas worked include Texas, Louisiana, Trinidad, Singapore, Angola and Israel.  Licensed Professional Engineer in the State of Texas.  See F1742.

Geologist/Geophysicist with an MBA, a bachelor's degree in Physics and over 20 years of experience working for mid-sized independent operators as an employee and consultant. Experienced in exploration, exploitation, acquisitions, divestitures, and operations including new field discoveries and field extensions in conventional and unconventional plays. Geographic areas worked include California, the Gulf coast, and offshore Gulf of Mexico. Software proficiency in Petra, GeoGraphix, SMT, Landmark Suite, and GOCAD.  Ask for G408.

Geologist with a master's degree in geological sciences and 30 years of experience working for small and mid-sized  E&P companies.  Expert prospect generator.  Experienced in regional geologic studies, seismic interpretations, subsurface mapping, electric log analysis, log correlations, structural geology, mapping complexly faulted areas, deal screening, depositional environment interpretations, reserve estimation, and basic drilling and logging operations. Geographic areas worked include Texas and Louisiana Gulf coast, Gulf of Mexico, Permian Basin, and Appalachian basin.  Software proficiency in SMT.  Ask for G820.

Processing Geophysicist with a bachelor's degree in geology and 13 years of experience working for a large service company.  Expert in time and depth imaging and processing.  Experienced in 2D and 3D marine and land data, KPSDM and WEM migrations, tomography, post processing, and velocity processing.   Geographic areas worked include west Africa and deep water Gulf of Mexico.  Software proficiency includes Petrel, Omega SPS, and Omegavu and UNIX, Windows, Linux and Cluster systems.  Ask for GP1202.

Landman with a JD and 25 years of experience working for large and small oil and gas companies.  Expert in negotiations and contracts.  Experienced in management, lease acquisition, due diligence, division of interest,  land administration, multi-state title examination, title curative, lease extensions, file review, contract review, research projects, briefs, and regulatory experience with state and federal agencies. Geographic areas worked include south and central Louisiana, central, south, and east Texas, Montana, Ohio, Arkansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Kentucky, Wyoming, Pennsylvania, Kansas, and Arizona. Software proficiency in Excalibur, Tobin, GIS, SAP, File Net, CITRIX, Quorum, and KSYS systems.  Ask for L840.

Reservoir Engineer with a bachelor's degree in chemical engineering, an MBA, and 10 years of experience working for majors and small independent operators. Experienced in reservoir studies, acquisition and divestiture analysis, production forecasting, economic modeling, and reserve estimating and reporting. Also experienced in decline curve analysis, material balance, volumetrics, pressure transient analysis, nodal analysis, and well log interpretation. Geographic areas worked include Texas, New Mexico, and the Gulf of Mexico. Software proficiency in PROSPER, MBAL, GAP, VIP, ARIES, PHDWin, Peep, and HYSIM.  Ask for R654.

Drilling and Completion Superintendent with a bachelor's degree in petroleum engineering and 21 years of experience working for small to mid-sized independents and as a consultant. Experienced in drilling, completions, production, workovers, fracturing operations, open-hole and cased-hole fishing, field supervision, coiled tubing operations, horizontal and multi-lateral drilling, artificial lift systems, and high pressure stimulation treatments. Geographic areas worked include Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Arkansas, Louisiana, Utah, California, Wyoming, Montana, Alaska, and the Gulf of Mexico. Software proficiency in DIMS, OpenWells, HalLog, ARIES, Peep, and Petra.  Ask for D510.

Drilling and Completions Superintendent with 35 years of experience working for small and major operators. Experienced in drilling and completions operations including multi-stage fracturing, coiled tubing, wireline, well intervention, well testing, workovers, and horizontal drilling. Additionally experienced in HSE oversight, permit renewals, inspections, and crew training. Geographic areas worked include Texas, Louisiana, Michigan, Colorado, Wyoming, Pennsylvania, and Colorado. Software proficiency in OpenWells, WellView, and DIMS.  Ask for PO165.

Reservoir Engineer with a bachelor's degree in civil engineering and 31 years of experience working for majors, large independents, and as a consultant. Experienced in field development, reservoir modeling, acquisitions, well completions, and stimulation. Geographic areas worked include the Gulf of Mexico, south Texas, Wyoming, Oman, Malaysia, Syria, Nigeria, and Brazil. Software proficiency in Petrel, CMG, PROSPER, and ECLIPSE.  Ask for R1030.

Engineering Technician with a master's degree in business administration and 15 years of experience working for major operators and small to mid-sized independents. Experienced in assisting engineers with economic and reserve reports, creating, monitoring, and maintaining drilling completion and workover reports, assisting with reserves documentation and presentations, capital cost surveillance, and project controls. Software proficiency in ARIES, PHDWin, and WellView.  See TE537.

Technical Assistant with a bachelor's degree in business administration and four years of experience working for an E&P company. Experienced in production spreadsheets, revising, editing, and finalizing joint operating agreements, creating monthly production graphs for onshore wells and maintaining well files and well history. Software experience in ARIES and DrillingInfo.  See TE531.

Geoscience Technician with an associate's degree in biology and 20 years of experience working for major and mid-size oil and gas companies and service companies.  Experienced  in log correlations, seismic maps, digital files, maintaining databases, cross-sections, 2-D and 3-D navigation, generating computerized structure maps, creating databases for in-house geophysical base map and seismic inventories, and creating montages.  Additionally experienced in preparing Landmark OpenWorks and SeisWorks projects to migrate from R2002 to R5000.  Software proficiencies include Velocity Data Bank, Energy Graphics, MicroStation SE/J, Zeh Montage, GMA, UNIX, GeoGraphix, P/I Dwights, and OpenWorks, and Geolog.  See TG490.

Engineering Technician with 15 years of experience working for small operators.  Experienced in supporting operated and non-operated departments, drilling and production reporting, production accounting, regulatory reporting and filings for drilling and completion operations, AFE tracking, running cost reports, and creating and maintaining well files.  Geographic areas worked include Texas and Oklahoma.  Software proficiency in WellView, AS400, Field Direct, and IHS.  See TE556.


Review thousands of talented people in more than 30 upstream disciplines at

Career Advice

Back to Top

Preparing yourself for a career in the shale gas industry

The successes in the North American natural gas industry in developing shale resources have been formidable.  Hardly a day goes by without reports appearing about new finds and developmental successes in this area.  Now the public discourse has been shifting dramatically and is citing the gas production capabilities as a major reason for the US' newly found path to energy independence.  Some say that for the US to become a substantial exporter of natural gas is only a matter of time.  The construction and development of LNG facilities and the US' possession of a qualified workforce and infrastructure makes exporting gas on a larger scale no longer a pipe dream.

But, of course, there are challenges.  The critical atmosphere and the fears, substantiated or not, which exist in the general population of the environmental risks in producing the shale gas could slow down progress.  It is amazing to see that a term like "fracking" has become a household word and is now used just like "googling" and "tweeting."  (We feel and hope that these fears will eventually be eliminated, and shale natural gas resources will be produced nationwide safely and efficiently by many companies in the coming years and decades.)  The future appears promising for career seekers n this particular area.

But as professionals plan and develop their particular paths to success in their work life, there are risks that should be observed and measured.  Not every company involved in the natural gas production business will be successful.  Here are some of the areas where we advise our candidates to investigate and get to know the organization they want to join.

  • Is the company currently successful in the natural gas industry?

While there can be financial challenges for companies starting out in shale gas production, it is a sign of good strength if the company is currently profitable.

  • How long has the company been in the shale gas plays?

The longer the good track record is, the better, of course.  Note that shale gas production on this scale is a relatively new area, so there are probably a lot of good companies who have not been in this industry sector for very long.  Nevertheless, awareness of a company's track record helps.

  • How well is the company respected in the communities where they are active?

To get a good picture, read local newspapers and follow what people are saying about the company's relations and responsiveness to the communities in which they operate.  Do the companies you are interested in give back to the communities?  Are they considered to be good neighbors?

  • Are the companies well-financed?

Do your homework to see what the financial experts say about whether a production company is in solid shape or stretched thin.

  • Does the company have the technologies and human resources to be successful in the long run?

Again, this is homework for you.  Ask around to find out what people think about the company in which you are interested.  Have their employees written technical papers that speak for the company?  What do the suppliers say about working with the company?  All of the information will speak to the technical and professional substance behind the published information.

  • How balanced is the company's portfolio?

This is interesting as many companies are now moving a big portion of their asset base into the shales and away from conventional areas of production.  This can become problematic if too many eggs have been moved into one basket.

And last but not least, and always the best indicator:

  • What do people say who work in the company?

Employees are the absolute best source for personal observations and valuable inside views.  Your friends will tell what they see every day, and it will help you make up your mind.

The future is very bright and all should be well if you make your personal career move well-informed.

About Us Back to Top

Connecting the Industry's Experts...

Collarini Energy Staffing Inc. is a full-service agency specializing in the placement of energy and EPC personnel and including the disciplines listed below (other supporting personnel are managed upon request):

Accounting and finance personnel
Administrative and clerical personnel
Business analysts
Civil and architectural engineers
Drilling engineers
Drilling operations supervisors
Energy trading professionals
Facilities engineers

Geologists, geophysicists, and petrophysicists
Health, safety, and environmental personnel
Human resources personnel
Instrument and electrical engineers
IT professionals
Land, legal, and supporting personnel
Marine engineers and naval architects

Materials and corrosion engineers
Mechanical engineers
Operations supervisors
Pipeline, riser, and subsea engineers
Process engineers
Procurement personnel
Production engineers
Production operations supervisors
Project managers and support personnel
Quality control and inspection personnel
Reservoir engineers
Sales and marketing professionals
Technical writers
Technicians, drafting and graphic
Technicians, engineering and geoscience

Guiding Careers to the Next Level...

Collarini Career Management applies its deep understanding of the career paths of technical professionals in the E&P and EPC communities to help companies and professionals build successful organizations and careers. We leverage Collarini's unique combination of industry knowledge and technical expertise to guide companies and individuals during transition, training existing employees for high performance, and designing customized technical training plans for companies and individuals.

Contact Us
10497 Town and Country Way,
Suite 950
Houston, Texas 77024

This newsletter is produced six times per year for employees and friends of Collarini. If you would like to add a friend or colleague to our mailing list, please send us his or her email address.
If this page did not display correctly, or if you would like to be removed from our mailing list, please email:

Visit us on the web!