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A news reporter called me several weeks ago to ask my opinion of the “crisis” in personnel for the oil and gas industry. Two things struck me about the question. First, the fact that he used the term “crisis” reminded me of the sensationalistic nature of much of the media. (We in the business-to-business press tend to avoid hyperbole, knowing that we write for an audience with extensive knowledge and which is, therefore, less susceptible to hype). Second, it occurred to me that this reporter really had very little knowledge of the oil and gas industry, much less what the industry is doing to meet all of the challenges it faces, whether regulatory, technical or staffing, for that matter.
I informed the reporter that the industry is doing quite a bit to develop new personnel and adapt to the challenges it faces in staffing. I cited large-scale company training programs, in which workers from other industries are taught practical courses in oilfield topics such as mud engineering and fracing. These programs help fill the immediate need of putting workers into the oil patch.
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