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Volume 16 • Issue 2 • March 2016
Our Perspective

It is not easy to find good news about the state of employment in our industry. But on the other hand, there is still hope for those who prefer their glasses half-full.

We gathered some reflections for those who are currently engaged with the unenviable task of reducing, rationalizing and reorganizing staff. Though not easy, it helps to keep perspective and not to forget that eventually prices will come up - and with it the need to "retool" employment levels. In the meantime, we need to take care of the people we still work with every day. Hope our team ideas help you lead your teams to be as effective and positive as possible.

If you are a professional who has been around the block, you remember the last few downturns and you will also remember that you did survive, didn't you? For those younger people who were not there for the last bust cycle, we have interviewed a few professionals and asked them to share how they did it. This newsletter includes the first installment of our conversations.

Your friends at Collarini

Upcoming Events^ Back to Top

Offshore Technology Conference 2016

Reliant Center
Houston, TX

May 2 - 5, 2016
LEAP HR: Oil & Gas USA

George R. Brown Convention Center
Houston, TX

April 25 - 28, 2016

Employer Tips^ Back to Top

The Best Teams in Life are Free

A company is its people. We need all of our skills, creativity, and knowledge to achieve success in good times. In the current market, it is even harder. We have reduced the number of staff significantly to reduce overhead; however, the amount of work to be done has not decreased proportionally, at least not right away. Managers and supervisors are understandably under a great deal of stress in deciding who will be kept and who will be laid off. And then, it is never easy to tell someone they no longer have a job, which is stressful in itself. Everyone who remains with the company absorbs not only more responsibility but also new duties, which will take time to learn. Add that to the natural worry about the uncertainty of further personnel cuts in the near future, and you have a recipe for implosion. In this environment, it is easy for management to overlook the impact that financial and operational stress has on employees. Now more than ever, you need to let them know they are valued.

Studies show that appreciated employees can create magic - collaboration is high, innovation peaks, and creativity stirs. It's this environment that produces the efficiency and effectiveness the company needs to remain viable. So what can be done to build teams when each overhead dollar is precious?

  • Make a habit of pulling your team together and solicit ideas and advice. On the popular TV show NCIS it is called a "campfire." Involving the entire team will make everybody feel needed, which will boost performance. Cost: $0.
  • Have a periodic team social. Get away from the office. Have a picnic or an inexpensive lunch or happy hour. Boss pays. Play a game. Winner gets to leave two hours early on Friday. Don't talk business. Rotate who plans the event. Cost: $small.
  • When you are gone, someone must be delegated to be in charge. Rotate that responsibility, if you can, to train more people and to make everyone feel important and responsible. Cost: $0.
  • Find creative ways to retain employees. Their knowledge and experience will be needed when the next upswing comes. Talk to your HR and legal department about ways to keep your employees while reducing payroll. How about:
    • Contacting a contracting or consulting firm who may be able to utilize your employees on projects outside of your company?
    • Loaning out the employee to a partner who may have projects underway in the execution phase?
    • Asking the employees if they are willing to go on unpaid education leave with a promise to pay for tuition and a hiring back offer when times get better?
    • Researching job sharing opportunities within your organization? Perhaps employees could engage in this research themselves to find places where two individuals can share one position while giving both some potentially welcome time off.
    • All cost $0

Remember the lessons learned during previous cycles of industry downturns. Your employees will remember how they were treated and how people at other companies were, too. When our industry comes back, you will need people again. Former employees share their experiences, and those companies and managers who performed well under fire will be in a better position to hire. Good luck!

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 22,000 experts. Please call our placement managers if you are interested in learning more about these professionals, or check out our website for more candidates.

Senior Accounting Professional with a bachelor's degree in accounting and more than 30 years of experience working in various industries including 18 years in oil and gas. Experienced in preparing financial statements, budgeting and forecasting, managing joint venture audits, developing corporate tax strategies and filing returns, negotiating and securing operating loans, revising and improving budget processes, and developing key metrics reports. Software proficiency in Enertia. Certified Public Accountant in the State of Louisiana. Ask for A1501

Senior Accountant with a BBA in accounting and 20 years of experience working for major oil and gas companies. Experienced in revenue accounting, JIB accounting, U.S. GAAP accounting, regulatory reporting, commodity settlements, and royalties. Additionally experienced in tax reporting, financial year-end reporting, cost accounting, and auditing. Software proficiency in JD Edwards, SAP, PeopleSoft, Oracle, TOW, AS400, and JIB Link. Ask for A685

Revenue Accountant with a bachelor's degree and more than 20 years experience working at two NYSE listed energy companies. Management of $50 million in annual oil and gas revenues and tax projects. Specialties include revenue and production accounting, tax preparation, gas plant accounting, and mergers and acquisitions. Areas of expertise include: SOX, MMS, and royalty tax findings, as well as, compliance, policies/procedures, account reconciliation, auditing, tax reporting and reconciliation, and monthly/year end reporting. Computer skills in Excel, Artesia and Excalibur. Flexible to US relocation. Ask for A581

Senior Accounting Professional with a master's degree in professional accountancy and over 25 years of experience working for independent oil and gas companies and with a major public accounting firm. Expertise in all financial aspects of reporting, budgeting, forecasting, and general accounting. Experienced in accounting specific to E&P companies, including commodity derivative, joint interest billings, revenue accounting, property accounting, royalties, and joint interest audits. Additionally experienced in managing 401(k) plans, negotiating credit facilities, interfacing with bank personnel, managing audits, serving as audit committee vice chair, and managing the bonding process to maintain financial capability. Licensed CPA. Ask for A1599

Business Development Professional with a bachelor's degree in business administration and over 35 years of experience with oil and gas service companies. Experienced in direct customer-facing selling of drilling and completion fluids and well service additives product lines to drilling fluids service companies and chemical manufacturing companies, as well as to operators and other end users. Coordinated efforts between operations, sales, marketing, manufacturing, and sourcing to optimize product line strategy, and worked with the technical groups to steer the activities of new product development based on market research and product applications. Experienced in performing profitability analyses on products to make pricing and other recommendations accordingly and integrating sales and operational plans of international regions into plans for global business. Especially experienced in Latin America. Fluent in Spanish. Ask for SM515

Production and drilling engineer with a master's degree in drilling and well engineering and seven years of experience with two large independents. Experienced managing field production, projects, budgets, and operations. Proficient in surveillance of wells, data evaluation, IPR well and well modeling, decline curve analysis, recompletions, and workovers, especially wireline operations, plunger lift, gas lift, pumping units, velocity string, capillary string, and plug and abandonment operations. Further recently experienced in HPHT drilling and completion operations and rig supervision. Geographic areas worked include east Texas and Iraq. Ask For P673

Executive and Registered Petroleum Engineer with a bachelor's degree in petroleum engineering, an MBA, and over 25 years of broad, in-depth experience with two major service companies. Expert in completion engineering, drilling and workover operations, strategy execution, establishing effective organizations, and change management. Proven ability to assess situations, defines clear strategies, plan resources, and execute to achieve operational and strategic objectives. Experienced in research and development, technical support, technical training, and customer service functions for production product lines including packers, flow control, safety systems, intelligent production systems, liner hangers, artificial lift, ESP systems, wellbore intervention, and flow assurance. Implemented patents and publications awareness program resulting in 11 patent applications and 14 technical papers during a two-year span. Geographic areas worked include lower Wilcox and Miocene completion designs for deepwater subsea completion projects. Ask For P726

Senior Engineering Professional with a bachelor's degree in petroleum engineering and over 40 years of diverse experience with independents and a government agency. Accomplished in managing drilling, completion, and well intervention activities, including nodal analysis, performance modeling, and design and execution of multi-stage fractures in shale and hard rock environments. Experienced in the startup and commissioning of both FPSO and subsea wells, and in HP/HT environments; very expert at development of utility charts and life-of-well planning. Negotiated major production sharing agreements and gas sales agreements. Also experienced managing P&L responsibilities in various engineering and operations management capacities in west Texas, south Texas, California, Mid-Continent, GOM shelf and deep water, Norwegian North Sea, Egypt, and Nigeria. Ask For DP22

Senior Executive with a PhD in chemical engineering and over 25 years of experience with a major oil company and in the service sector. A profit-driven leader within the global market with extensive experience in P&L, operations, sales and marketing, and troubleshooting performance. Skilled in developing and executing growth strategies, supply chain management, and leading cultural change to improve competitive advantage. Track record of developing executive teams, growing a start-up technology company, and aligning employees around organizational goals. Experienced in pipelines, downhole tools, expandable tubulars, and geomechanics testing and analysis. Experienced in technical management, new product development, and global business development in locations worldwide. Ask For M715

Geologist with a master's degree in geology and 30 years of experience in the oil and gas industry working for large E&P companies. Experienced in exploration, development, and operations geology in conventional fields. Additionally experienced in carbonate stratigraphy, facies analysis, and reservoir characterization. Geographic areas worked include the Rocky Mountains, Mid-Continent, Permian Basin, and Canada. Software proficiency in Petra. Ask For G2444

Reservoir Engineer with a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering, an MBA, and 30 years of experience in the oil and gas industry working for small and large E&P companies as well as an international consulting firm. Experienced in working with technical and operational teams to explore, develop, and operate oil and gas fields. Additionally experienced in evaluating acquisitions, budgeting expenditures, and forecasting oil and gas production for financial performance projections. Geographic areas worked include east Texas, the U.S. Gulf coast, Mississippi, the Michigan basin, and the Gulf of Mexico deepwater. Software proficiency in ARIES, PHDWin, PEEP, Dwight's/PI, MBAL, Fekete RTA, and ECLIPSE. Licensed Professional Engineer in the State of Texas. Ask For R115

Geologist with a master's degree in petroleum geology and 30 years of domestic experience in the oil and gas industry working for public and privately held E&P companies. Experienced in exploration, strategy development, exploitation, and property acquisition. Additionally experienced in evaluating reserves and revaluating wells for recompletions in uphole zones on existing acreage. Geographic areas worked include the mid-continent, Rocky Mountains, Permian Basin, Michigan basin, east Texas, Kansas, and Arkansas. Software proficiency in Petra and Geographix. Ask For G2448

Reservoir Engineer with a bachelor's degree in petroleum engineering and 18 years of experience in the oil and gas industry working for small and large E&P companies. Experienced in field development, SEC reserve evaluations, reserve estimations, and economic evaluations. Additionally experienced in mentoring junior engineers and technicians. Geographic areas worked include Oklahoma, Texas, Illinois, and Wyoming. Software proficiency in Peep and ARIES. Ask For R1311

Reservoir Engineer with a master's degree in petroleum engineering and 30 years of experience in the oil and gas industry working for a large E&P company. Expert in production forecasting, rate transient analysis, pressure transient analysis, and reservoir simulation. Additionally experienced in presenting short courses for well performance analysis, rate transient analysis, waterflooding, PVT analysis, fracture stimulation, pressure transient analysis, horizontal wells, reservoir simulation, risk analysis, uncertainty analysis, and rock mechanics. Geographic experience includes offshore Africa, Gulf of Mexico, Indonesia, UK, offshore Vietnam, and Venezuela. Software proficiency in Topaz, Harmony, OFM, Saphir, PSIM, Eclipse, and Prosper. Ask For R1318

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Career Advice ^ Back to Top

How I Did It … When I Did It

It's happened before. A price-induced, frenzied drilling boom, with lots of hiring, followed by a rapid decline in the price of oil and gas. In response, we first cut capital projects, then operating expenses, then lastly, we cut people. This cycle resembles what happened in 1984-1986; those layoffs continued through the early 1990s. Very little hiring was done through those years, and college recruiting was virtually suspended. In fact, half of the petroleum engineering departments in the US were closed by the early 1990s. Hundreds of thousands of people were laid off then, too. How did they manage? We thought it would be helpful to share some of their stories, so we interviewed some people who survived the bust.

Mr. D earned a bachelor's degree in petroleum engineering in 1975 and started in the field with a major oil company in Denver. He got great all around training and worked in a broad range of jobs, including drilling, production, and reservoir. He was promoted several times and, in 1986, was a division manager in Denver when the market hit bottom and a major consolidation occurred. He was transferred to Houston to lead one of the two remaining divisions until 1988, when his company's assets were sold. By then, he had bought "all the house he could afford" and had a pretty hefty mortgage payment. Although he received a decent severance package, he was unemployed for nine months, and was just about to sell the house in a down market when he found a job. Whew! At only a 33% cut in pay, too. He was thrilled!

Mr. D persevered during that entire time of unemployment. His former company provided outplacement services, and he spent as much time there as he could, every day. He stayed in touch with everyone he knew and even looked in Dallas for opportunities. He actually found the job at the smaller company he eventually stayed with through the recommendation and referral of a former boss. He worked his way back up to a production manager position and eventually moved to an independent to be executive vice president and then president of an exploration and producing company. He is currently semi-retired and consulting after a very successful career.

What advice would Mr. D give to others caught in this situation today? Persevere and be persistent. Save your money and always be prepared for the possibility of not having a job. If you are laid off and have the ability, enjoy a little of the time; you will probably have to work hard at the new position when you do find it. Keep your network of contacts alive, and don't burn any bridges. His job came from staying in touch with people he used to work with. For young people, or when you have extra time, learn a foreign language that is spoken in an oil producing country, such as Spanish or Arabic. Find a job you love, and work hard at it.

Would he do it again? Yes! Yes! Being a petroleum engineer is "the best job in the world!" It is a blessing to have a job you love and that pays well. And, if you have a sense of adventure, you have the chance to learn about different international cultures.

Thanks for your help, Mr. D! We are continuing to interview other people who went through difficult times in the last oil crash and will feature them on biweekly postings on LinkedIn. See our company page!

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
Data Management
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.

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1500 S. Dairy Ashford Road, Suite 350
Houston, Texas 77077

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