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Volume 14 • Issue 5 • September 2014

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Our Perspective

European companies have known for over 500 years that one of the most effective ways to secure a future workforce is through a nationwide apprenticeship program. However, the U.S. has historically been very hesitant to adopt such a process. Time for a change? There are glimmers of hope that U.S. employers working with state agencies and community colleges are doing something about the shortage of professional labor in the oil and gas industry. Here is a quick look at what is happening on the vocational training front and what a hiring organization can do about developing its future workforce.

If after interviewing you think everything went well, is it not unsettling to have to wait for the offer when you know it should be coming? The University of Chicago has issued its latest survey of how many days it takes for an employer to hire an applicant. The number has increased, and there are fairly good reasons for it. But what do you do in the meantime? Here is some advice on how to stay positive and focused while waiting for your proverbial ship to come in.

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SPE Artificial Lift Conference and Exhibition


Omni Houston Hotel
Houston, TX

 October 6-8, 2014

SEG International Exhibition and Annual Meeting


Colorado Convention Center

Denver, CO

October 26-31, 2014

Employer Tips

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Apprenticeships - a very old solution to a modern problem

The oil and gas industry is hurting for people to fill a large number of open positions. And yet too often, we keep pushing a solution down the road. Rather than growing the workforce by strategic and informed means, companies tend to steal the talent from each other. This results in a number of problems:

  • An employer's organization remains in constant turmoil and in a struggle to backfill and train the new employees
  • Salaries are being inflated with the likelihood of a bubble burst in the future
  • And in a nutshell, it does not solve the problem of creating an expanded workforce for the future.

What to do?

It may be hard to believe, but the solution can be found in the medieval trade, industry, and crafts of the European economies. During the later Middle Ages, artisans and craftsmen began to train their workforces by providing room and board and training in their trades for a number of years until the trainees were ready to pass tests and prove their capabilities of continuing the crafts of their masters. (Leonardo da Vinci was an apprentice living with the great Renaissance artist Andrea di Veroccio for nine years before he became the artistic icon as we know him today!)

Fast forwarding to today, European economies are exclusively based on the apprenticeship system throughout all the industries. Germany provides a perfect example of the dual education system. There, well over 50% of all young people under the age of 22 in a total workforce of approximately 42 million, have completed an apprenticeship for two or three years in professions from baker to IT technician by learning the profession on-site under the guidance of trained mentors coupled with vocational and technical schooling geared towards their crafts. Let me repeat that - over 50%! Together with universities, the apprenticeship programs of Germany are seen as the bedrock reason for the economic success of Germany after World War II.

If you care to, guess how many young people or more senior workers were re-trained in a new profession and obtained a vocational degree in the U.S. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, 52,000 participants graduated in 2013 from a structured apprenticeship program. That is a miniscule number (less than .0004%) for a workforce in the U.S. which totals approximately 158 million.

It is not from a lack of need for skilled labor that vocational training programs have not found wider usage in the U.S. There is a huge demand for trained individuals everywhere including the oil and gas industry. The reason why Germany is so far ahead in training its workforce lies in the fact that in this country the concept of structured learning is far more accepted and a natural part of its society. Apprenticeships are just one readily available element within the concept of a lifetime of learning. However, this is no place for a philosophical comparison, but rather an encouragement for industry to take the lead in the absence of a nationwide institution. The good news is that there are plenty or resources and examples of how it can get done.

  • The Employment and Training Administration of the Department of Labor (DOLETA) provides ample resources for interested companies to start the process of introducing apprenticeship programs in their companies.
  • According to a recent article in Rigzone, apprenticeships in oil and gas have been on the rise. Most of the effort and successes have come from Canada and the UK, so there is room for the U.S. upstream industry to follow suit.
  • There have been focused efforts by some oil and gas companies in parts of the country to set up a program in cooperation with local community colleges. It can be done!

In summary, rather than continuing to steal from the left pocket to fill the right, the proposition is to build the workforce through less conventional means. It would be better for the individual, industry, and the community.

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 21,000 experts.  Please call our placement managers if you are interested in learning more about these professionals, or check out our website for more candidates.

Reservoir Engineer with a PhD in petroleum engineering and 12 years of experience in the oil and gas industry. Experienced in reservoir simulation, reserves analysis, risk analysis, acquisition evaluation, reservoir modeling including EOR schemes for shale reservoirs and CO2 and WAG injection, depletion planning, economic evaluation, and feasibility studies. Geographic areas worked include the Gulf of Mexico, west Texas, north Africa, Russia, the Middle East, and Eastern Europe. Software proficiency in ECLIPSE, Nexus, VIP, OFM, Petrel, Crystal Ball, PVTSim, and CMG.  Ask for R1060.

Petroleum Engineer with a master's degree in petroleum engineering and 33 years of experience working for small- to mid-sized independents, a law firm, and a financial services company. Experienced in acquisition evaluation, production forecasting, reserve estimating, budget planning, economic evaluations, and reserve reporting. Geographic areas worked include Arkansas, Colorado, the Gulf coast, Louisiana, Kansas, Mississippi, Montana, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Texas, and Wyoming. Software proficiency in RODSTAR, PowerTools, Fekete RTA, Rose, HPDI, Drilling Info, and PHDWin. Licensed professional engineer in the state of Texas.   Ask for R202.

Production Engineer with a bachelor's degree in petroleum engineering and 31 years of experience working for small-to-large independents, a major operator, and service companies. Experienced in nodal analysis, well log analysis, regulatory compliance, production optimization, workovers, completions, wireline operations, production operations management, and facilities design and construction. Geographic areas worked include Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi.  Ask for P461.

Production Operations Engineer with a master's degree in petroleum engineering and 26 years of experience working for large and mid-sized independent E&P companies. Expert in well control operations, production optimization, recompletion, workover and coiled tubing operations. Experienced in production operations management, project development, strategic planning and acquisition strategies. Additionally experienced in field operations, facility design and enhancement, reservoir stimulation and field studies. Geographic areas worked include Gulf of Mexico, Texas Panhandle, South Texas, East Texas, New Mexico, Arkansas, Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana. Ask for PO180.

Technical Writer with a bachelor's degree in biomedical science and six years of experience in the oil and gas industry. Experienced in editing technical documents, departmental newsletters, professional journals, memos, and reports; providing metrics and metric reporting for design and drafting groups, providing writing and editing support for the development of work flow tracking software including writing help text, editing training materials, and reviewing and debugging training videos. Software proficiency in MS Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and Publisher; SharePoint, InfoPath, Visio, Teamcenter, and various Adobe products. Completed the Texas A&M University Writing Specialization Program. Ask for TW168.

Accountant with a bachelor's degree in accounting and 15 years of experience working for small independents. Experienced in joint interest billing, accounts payable, accruals and capital expenditures, billing decks, customer service, vendor negotiations, cash reconciliation, and audits. Software proficiency in Excalibur, OGSYS, WellView, BOLO, and Excel. Additionally experienced in a team lead role supervising the work of five accounts payable clerks.  Ask for A1379.

Landman with a juris doctorate degree and 25 years of experience working for major and independent oil and gas companies and private law firms. Experienced in oil and gas abstracting, title work, lease negotiation, division orders, take-or-pay litigation, joint operating agreement litigation, pipeline litigation, construction and engineering, and maritime defense litigation involving oil and gas vessels, and production platforms. Geographic areas worked include the Gulf of Mexico shelf, Texas, Louisiana and Alabama Gulf coast, south Louisiana, and south and east Texas. Software proficiency in Tobin Land System. Licensed to practice law in the State of Texas and the State of Louisiana. Ask for L644.

Petroleum Engineer with a bachelor's degree in petroleum engineering and approximately one year of experience working for an independent energy company. Experienced in reserves analysis, offset studies, completions, polymer floods, AFE writing, rod design, water floods, recompletions, decline curve analysis, cross section creation, and economic analysis. Geographic areas worked include Texas, Kansas, and Oklahoma. Software experience in ARIES, SROD, SMT Kingdom, CMG, IHS, Enerdeq, and GeoGraphix  Ask for TE606.

Engineering Technician with six years of experience working for a large operator. Experienced in data management, quality control, spreadsheet creation and maintenance, database maintenance, production plotting, scorecard creation, presentation creation, data upload, graph creation, data research, and file maintenance. Geographic areas worked include Texas. Software experience in Peep, OFM, Spotfire, MS Frontpage, and Access. Ask for TE609.

Geoscience Technician with 11 years of oil and gas industry experience working for small independents. Experienced in providing technical support for geology, geophysics, land, and engineering across all discipline levels including generating maps and cross sections, loading seismic data, printing and scanning geological data, well logs, maps, cross sections, reports, and studies; searching and locating wells, ordering core samples, and maintaining databases. Software proficiency in SMT Kingdom, DrillingInfo, NeuraScanner, NeuraLaser/Viewer, MAS2000, Geoatlas, XSection, IHS Enerdeq, WellBase, DI Desktop, Global Mapper, ScanWorks/Colortrac, Query Builder, Lexco, and AFE Navigator. Geographic areas worked include the Permian Basin. Ask for TG884.


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

Career Advice

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Employers take longer to hire

It seems like it takes a long, long here are some thoughts on how to handle the wait to be hired.

A recent study released by the University of Chicago's Steven Davis shows that employers are increasingly taking more time to decide on making an offer for permanent hire. Whereas that number used to be under 20 days in 2001, it now resides at over 24 days on average and even higher for large companies. There are many reasons for this increased delay by the employer. The survey's results depict general economic concerns and companies becoming extremely "picky" about their choices. It makes for an interesting read, but it posed the question of what exactly is a candidate to do while waiting for the offer?

While the candidate has limited influence over the precise decision timing within the hiring organization, there are some things a professional can do and steps to avoid, and potentially sway the decision process in a positive direction.

Here are some key aspects to consider when the offer just doesn't seem to come in.

  • Make yourself aware about any open questions that may exist from the interview process and try to address them with your main contact. Review your notes from the various interviews (and you took them, right?) and consider gaps or impressions you could still revise.
  • Research the company and their track record on timeliness in making offers. Is there a pattern, i.e., is the company simply being cautious or are they routinely slow in making a decision?
  • Reflect on any additional information regarding the company that has come to light since the interview. Has there been a change of direction or a rebalancing of the asset portfolio?
  • Do not panic or overreact! Sending frustrated emails to hiring managers or the interview team does not help your cause. Be confident in yourself if you know in your heart and mind you have done everything right.
  • Do not put your job search on hold. Waiting for the perfect offer is a natural reaction, but there may be factors outside of your sphere of influence that have nothing to do with you or your performance during the interview.
  • Remain active and involved in your current employment or in your private life. An idle mind will brood too much over what might be happening at the company where you interviewed.

Finally, sometimes it just was not meant to be. There may be very good reasons why the job was not offered to you and that may be OK. Who knows? Maybe the job was not a "shoe-in" for you, and there may be a better offer just around the corner.


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

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