Oil Drilling Jobs Q&A

The following Q&A section provides background information for those with little or no prior knowledge of offshore oil exploration and production (E&P), including types of jobs that require no college education, the industry’s search for younger people to replace its aging work force, and more. Many aspects of onshore and offshore drilling operations are similar. Where there are major differences, these are flagged under each answer, or as needed, in separate questions. Periodically, breakout sections on special topics of interest are noted by underlined links.

How do companies know where to look for oil and gas?

How does the exploratory drilling process work?

Once oil and/or gas are found, how are they produced?

How does drilling equipment work?

What kinds of jobs exist on rigs exist for people without college degrees?

What are working conditions like on an onshore rig?

What are working conditions like on an offshore rig?

How good are opportunities for younger, inexperienced workers?

What’s the best way to get started searching for an E&P position?

What is being done to protect the safety of rigs and rig workers?

What is being done to protect the environment from oil spills from offshore rigs and other pollution associated with oil and gas production?

In addition to going through the questions you should check out this publicly available government document from the Department of Labor. It is a graphical oil rig description or glossary. You will need the free Adobe Acrobat Reader in order to open the link. Get Acrobat at http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readstep2.html.

Question 1 – How Companies Know Where to Drill