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Oil and gas industry reflections from Petroplan’s founder


My name is John Reeder I’m one of the two co-founders of Petroplan which started in July 1976 almost 40 years ago. The transition from being
a contractor to being a business owner, was interesting. Many of the preconceptions
I had as a contractor about agencies, I learned that it wasn’t
quite as simple as I, perhaps, thought it was Conversely, becoming a
recruitment agency gave me some, having been a contractor, did give me some insight
as to what it was like on the other side of the fence and how you are a service,
to not only the end clients but to the engineers
who were working in the field and you need to anticipate
and look after their needs not just assume
they are a cash machine When we started the company,
the most important thing to contractors was that they got paid the
right amount and on time and expenses were
properly worked out and any other administrative
things like organising travel was done efficiently I don’t think that has changed. Second to that comes finding good jobs,
being honest with people being honest with clients
about candidates being honest with candidates
about the job, not trying to to be so desperate to
make a placement that you fetch it one way or another
because you always get found out Your professional reputation
depends on doing it right. Regarding the long term impact
on workers in the industry or the state that the
industry is in today, it’s clearly a very
challenging time but not without hope Two things,
I don’t think hydrocarbon fuels have an end in sight
in the short term but economics and
the world of politics keep changing, I see them moving the goal posts. At the same time, there
is increasing pressure to look at alternatives especially renewable ones That the environmental pressure,
plus the cost pressure may make other forms of
renewable much more attractive. As far as the UK is concerned tidal energy is something
that’s not been given anything like enough attention It has the advantage
over wind power you know that the tide is going
to come in and go out every day You also know that it comes in
and goes out every day at a different time
all around the coastline which we’ve got
thousands of miles of so with a bit of wit you can
organise a constant supply of energy that wouldn’t
fluctuate and wouldn’t be dependent on whether
the wind blew My advice to contractors to increase their
opportunities of staying in work and increasing their income would be to stay abreast
of what’s going on in the industry Look for the niche
opportunities to hone their skills
and acquire skills they don’t necessarily have
or maybe need a bit of adaptation For example, the North
Sea has suffered drastically in the downturn of the
oil price collapse and yet there are hundreds
of platforms that must be decommissioned,
abandoned, and the work involved in this won’t
apply equally to all disciplines but many disciplines
could have an application within abandonment
and decommissioning work Stay abreast of that and see
what’s going on in the press follow the websites talk to the clients that
you’re working with Find out what their plans are and what
sorts of skills are going to be needed Much the same would
apply to renewables and eventually all of the skills
that we use in oil and gas will apply to many
aspects of renewables so stay abreast of
what’s happening I would definitely recommend
a career in oil and gas. Even though the industry
is changing, and it’s probably going to be smaller there has been a long period of
insufficient training within the industry so there are skill gaps already The world is going to carry on wanting
fossil fuels for quite a lot of years and as we’ve touched on earlier the demand for
other forms of energy may provide career opportunities for people who’ve entered
through oil and gas. Right, or wrong it still commands
some of the best pay opportunities very often opportunities
for travel and… not a bad life.

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