The Great Crew Change Series

As the "Baby Boom" generation retires, it's creating a big demographic shift in the oil and natural gas industry. What are the hiring trends and opportunities? How are younger, less experienced workers being brought up-to-speed? What are other primary concerns and how are they being addressed?

Rigzone invites reader comments on this timely issue and regularly read them for ideas and input on future articles. Please, let us know your thoughts!

The Great Crew Change Archive

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Generated by readers, the comments included herein do not reflect the views and opinions of Rigzone. All comments are subject to editorial review. Off-topic, inappropriate or insulting comments will be removed.
Tomm Martin | Apr. 20, 2012
One of the biggest challenges I have seen is "Mentoring" or more precisely the lack of it. There are, as yet, no rewards for training your replacement. How does it benefit a "baby boomer" to give away the valuable experience that keeps him employed? Due to personal circumstances, some individuals need to keep working either as they have no pension provision (private or state) or a divorce has erased it (or they just dont want to stop!) What is interesting is that companies who could have the most to lose from using these less experienced/less safe individuals (poorer SQ/production, costly mistakes, reputation loss) do not seem to be either tackling the issue on a significant scale or wanting to acknowledge there is a solution. Mentoring solutions I proposed have been seen positively (off the record) by middle managers, and then stalled - mostly due to job security worries. There are "win-win" answers, but (and heres the crunch) it needs a confident vision and investment that is rare in the current global economic situation. Change is inevitable, better it is done on own terms, that that of market forces. Those that start the change now will have the commercial advantage over those that dont.

Alan | Mar. 28, 2012
Young Engineers are being thrown into responsible positions without the necessary experience, we have seen serious incidents in our field recently & I'm sure other events not publicized are on the increase. New engineers think all the necessary information comes from a Laptop instead of actual exposure to live events. When they run into scenarios that don't come from a manual or literature is where they become stuck. "If they listen" is key to the successful new Engineers coming through.

Pup Joint | Mar. 27, 2012
One of the nicest places I had ever visited and the people are awesome and very friendly is Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. My family and I visited there in 2010 while I was taking the roughneck course at Maritime Drilling Schools. After I finished my program in June we stayed and traveled around the Cabot Trail and it was breath taking it reminded me of the French Alps with the narrow roads through beautiful mountains. We headed back to the US and dropped into Williston, North Dakota to spread some resumes around and got a job with Halliburton. This was amazing and unexpected as I still had my family and we live in Chicago so I had to drive them to Denver and fly them home as I had to get back to Williston in three days. My life has changed for the better and love the oil industry. People looking for work in North Dakota shouldn't have to much problem as the crews in the service and drilling are always looking for good hands. Having the course at Maritime Drilling School and all the certificates certainly got me this job with out waiting or hoping to get a call from somebody. I must say that if you are going to Williston you better check out the housing as its getting harder to find accommodations there. The roads from Williston to Bismarck can be really busy at times and accidents happening all the time. I didnt find the people there that friendly either as they dont like to much of the oilfield action as one person mentioned to me it has changed their quiet town. One of my favorite places to eat there when I am in town is Peirces Steak house so check it out!!!

Big AL | Mar. 21, 2012
I’ve 24 years O&G experience and currently an expat manager . Prior to accepting this role I managed a significant service company back in my homeland where we went through a recruitment campaign. The majority of applicants these days expect a spunky secretary, company car, their own office and a mobile phone –all on day one. Yet if I wanted them to work more than 2 weeks straight, or asked for something beyond the norm, I would be landed with either 1) Union Issues 2) HR Issues or 3) I’d loose the hand (my preference!). Kids these days are generally lazy, over educated, over fed and have no idea of what a hard days work is all about. That’s the 1st issue. The second issue is, compare O&G income trends against revenue and oil company profits for the last 40 years. The hand is losing out BIG TIME! The share holder wins at the expense of the hands, then the industry suffers as a result. If I were 20 YO and looking for work, why would I consider the O&G industry when there are safer jobs with just as of big income to be made and I can be home with my lady each night…. in my own bed and not that of ya smelly B2Bs. Will employing engineers fix this all this, you’ve got to be bloody kidding! Actually the industry is kidding and that’s the other reason why its losing all the experienced and or quality hands! Talking of engineers, bloody text book wizzes… don’t get me started!!!!

Shaun Arsenault | Mar. 4, 2012
This School is the answer for Baby Boomer replacement!!! “So you want to be a roughneck…eh” I went to Maritime Drilling Schools Limited in Canada and my experience with this school was excellent. I did this course in 2005 and went to work immediately afterwards because of the tickets I had from this school. The drilling school provides hands- on rig experience and covers all operations in drilling and safety training. Once you finish you receive 12 certificates that meet government and industry accreditations and there were 28 students in my class from all over the world. On the walls of the school are letters from employers looking for MDS students once they complete the program and they also give you a list of Drilling Contractors and contacts from all over the world. The school also prepares you physically and mentally and pushes the limits adding life skills and job readiness to the program. We had an opportunity to start a physical training program at the state of the art gym across the street as the school promotes a physical fitness program at a reduced cost to prepare you for the physical aspect of conditioning for the job. On a continuous basis they talk about working in remote areas and financial responsibility so that you save your money and have a fat bank account for when you’re done. This was the best move for me and my family as it has benefited me in many ways. I worked my way up the ladder on land rigs and now working as Rig Manager for Transocean in the Persian Gulf. Well that being said, I would never have gotten this far if I didnt have the knowledge and expertise given to me by Reggie MacDonald and his brother Colin. Throughout my career I have never run into two knowledgeable instructors like those guys and they were the best trainers I ever had and I been to a lot of schools over the past several years. I am ...also saddened to hear about Colin as he was an excellent teacher and very funny at times. People the course they deliver is well worth the investment and if youre serious you can do very well in this field. I know a lot of students who went to this school some stayed with it and some didnt. The ones that did are doing very well but you got to go out to Alberta, North Dakota or Texas when you finish the course. If you laze around waiting for the employer to call you well itll most likely never happen and like Reggie always says in class be physically ready and drug free. Most of the rigs I have worked with over the years are Cyber Rigs and makes drilling a breeze in comparison to the older conventional rigs. We had 4 years of being accident free and a lot of this was due to the advanced equipment and safety programs on the rig. On my rig we have on the job training for employees looking to further their training in this field. When I was in Aberdeen last year I ran into the Zone manager for Rowan & Companies and he was the chairman of IADC and gave us our rig award. He talked very highly of Reggie and said he had worked with him in the earlier years. Anyway people review your options, but I do know you cant go wrong with taking training at MDS. Keep up the great work Reggie as youre making the industry personnel more knowledgeable and safer for us all!!!! Maritime Drilling Schools limited is located in Canada and the website is and they have a toll free number 1-866-807-3960 I think the program cost is $5000.00 and that includes your accommodations for the month. You should also think at the same time about enrolling in the Drilling Technology Program as well as, that too helped me advance further in my career. Good luck everyone and hope this helps!!! Cheers all

Jim Blackwood | Feb. 27, 2012
I joined the oilfield in 1978, with Otis and then Flopetrol and Expro. It took about 2-4 years to break out as a supervisor, something that they are allowing to happen in six months or so. It does not take a genius to figure out the safety and professional ramifications of this. Inexperience is rife throughout the oilfield, with varying effects, like jobs taking longer, more job failures and many many near misses.

G. Henry Pennings | Feb. 25, 2012
I have been working on and around rigs since 1977, I am now 53, and have a high school education. I started as a roughneck right out of school and learned everything as a hands on, go hard go home set up. You were run off if you were slow, stupid, mouthy or got hurt. That is the way it was, I learned more from the old driller, toolpush, directional driller, cement hand and fishing by buying them a beer in the bar, packing their bags and just generally being helpful and courteous. You just do not see that sort of thing in most operations any more... all you get is a trainee who doesn't want to leave his bed or laptop or TV room to go actually learn something..... I give up.... I have had ONE trainee in the last 10 years that actually showed initiative enough to make a hand... every one else became a shop hand or went back to pumping gas.... granted working as field service hand is not for everyone... but..

Mark C | Feb. 24, 2012
The reality is that no matter what certification and education you have, experience and working with experienced talented people will get you to where you need to be in the oil and gas and all other industries. I have been working for 33 years in this industry and now more than ever the politically correct "engineers" who have no idea how to approach problems are making the decisions then trying to blame someone else when it doesn't work out like they thought it should. This is a industry systemic poor management approach to what is happening. Every engineer on this planet should have to perform at a minimum, 5 years of on the job "get your hands dirty" work in the real world before being allowed a JUNIOR management position full stop. So in short, management is really the source of the problem, thinking they need college graduates for any position of supervision.

big sigh | Feb. 24, 2012
I feel an area that needs looking at is the provision of healthcare to the offshore workforce. An ageing workforce means more chronic conditions coming offshore increasing the risk of life threatening incidents. Diabetes,hypertension these are just a few condition that will need medics to be better trained and sickbay equipment upgraded to that of a small remote clinic,I would like to see the use of telemedicine and dedicated commucations linked to Topside medical facilities.

GP Driller | Feb. 24, 2012
Technology and manpower are probably the two key elements in today's upstream oil business. Technology is improving,however is still on the catching up mode. There are things we would like to do as an industry which are limited by technology. The money we invest in technology is clearly not enough! As every company tries to make their balance sheet look better, research and development takes a back seat!! Manpower needs a completely different approach.Everyone is fishing from the same pool and the number of fish is limited! We will need a smart approach to keep the elders and also attract the youngsters. Even though companies have declared retirement age, most people are healthy and capable of working well above 60. With smart medical programs and interesting offers and jobs, we can keep the elderly generation with us along as they would like to stay!! Attracting younger generation needs a long term approach. High salaries - investing for the future is probably the key. This is also where development of technology and retention of young people can go hand in hand!

Barbara Saunders | Feb. 21, 2012
A. Denuzzio, TBed, MH and Jack, Thank you all for your helpful and insightful comments. Trust me, they are the impetus for much new research and the continuing success of this series! Barbara

Jack Nelson | Feb. 17, 2012
I spent almost 46 years in the industry, with drilling contractors. Mostly with only 2, but the name changed as they were bought by someone else. Experience and knowledge started to be overtaken by "need a college degree" some years ago. If the industry is going to have a shortage of people it is mainly their own fault. I was pretty well forced to take early retirement in 2003 due to a downturn in the industry, which there always are. I managed to get a job again in 2004, but messed things up myself and was let go in 2008. I applied everywhere I could think of, but it was (no college?, how old?) no job. I was 69 at the time with much experience in many places in the world. That didn't count. One company even had an age limit on their website. So, have fun people, you brought part of it on yourselves. More Deepwater Horizons will be in your future.

MH | Feb. 17, 2012
I am 26 years old and have been working in the oil and gas industry since I was 16. Experience still counts! I did not know what I wanted to do after high school and did not want to go to college right away. I knew my career was going to be related to oil and gas. I worked my way up from the end of a shovel to my current position. HS&E Superintendent for a very well known drilling contractor. Bottom line with the right work ethic you can achieve anything. I have an excellent full time career and I am still taking post secondary education so that I can achieve my CRSP designation.

TBed | Feb. 17, 2012
I think the generation gap is a large concern for the future of the industry. The issues I see that standout are both generations are having to learn the quickly advancing technologies that are introducing themselves, while at the same time dealing with enhanced pressure from external sources like govt agencies. The main challenge I've experienced is trying to get a grasp on the big picture because its ever-changing. So finding that balance of learning the solid basics and approaching the more efficient future is the key which I'm still trying to find. I'm a new hire Res. Engr with my MBA at 23, and very excited to pick the brains of the experienced and also help them and myself discover what lies ahead. It will no doubt be a challenge for us all.

A. Denuzzio | Feb. 16, 2012
I have been trying to gain employment in the gas and oil industry in my area (Marcellus/Utrica Shale). I am 40 years old and have learned some great things from baby boomers and senior people with whom I have been employed with in the past. I am more than able bodied, willing to travel, and available 24/7/365. I even put in my resume objective that I am looking for an entry-level opportunity to make sure I was NOT labeled overqualified for entry level. If and when I do get an opportunity to work in this industry you can bet I will surround myself with senior employees and absorb their knowledge like a sponge. What I won't do is upset them by ignoring them and texting on a 4-S phone while there is work to be done. From what I am told when you start in this industry it is either sink or swim. I hope to be a bridge that can help enlighten the younger 20-somethings with the wealth of knowledge that can only be taught by the "older" "wiser" and should always be recognized as an "advisor" employees. I guess all I need to do now is find someone who will hire me. Thank you for the opportunity to blog about this subject.

RJ | Feb. 15, 2012
Looks like I am one of those youngsters that needs to be brought up to speed quick. I am 21 and graduating this May with a BS in Petroleum Engineering. I have a job lined up already as a Drilling Engineer. They are going to have me in the field for 8-12 months then will be in the office designing and implementing my own well plans for multiple drilling operations. I am excited about the amount of responsibility and work I am given so quickly, it will be fast paced and exciting. The drilling manager who hired me said that he was jealous because in the first 3 years that I will be working I will have gained as much experience as he did in his first 10 years.

Barbara Saunders | Feb. 8, 2012
Wow, Rick! $5,000 for basic roughneck training? Word is you do at least stand a very high probability of getting a job, particularly if you finish the course before Canadas winter high season, now underway. But $5,000??? Holy Moly! Now, were I you, its virtually free to try it, Id just show up in North Dakota myself first. And should that fail, if you have the $5K and can hold out till next fall/winter when Canadian hiring happens, from what my sources tell me, you will almost definitely have a j-o-b! Best of luck and keep us posted, please!

rick monette | Feb. 5, 2012
ive been researching this industry as my last career, im looking at 20 more years before retirement, and ive found the only 2 roughneck schools around in canada. but my question is wether they are worth it or not,will a 3 week course at 5000.00 actually get me hired as an entry level roughneck???? or would i do better to just head to places like north dakota and make the rounds in person , nocking on doors???

Leon Robinson | Feb. 3, 2012
Guess Im one of those old schmucks - started with Humble in 1953 in research. Been active in lots of projects but had no oil field experience before joining Humble. What has been missing from the discussion below is the fact that drilling is not yet a pure engineering/scientific endeavor. In my view it is about 60% science and 40% art. One of my greatest mentors (AB Lewis( started working as a hall boy at the age of 14. He retired as a senior drilling supt. after fifty years. He had no college training but had six PhDs in drilling experience and provided great guidance to me as I tried to learn the wonders of the drilling operation. I was fortunate enough to work on some interesting research projects and, without his guidance, might have been surprised at some of our results. With our wireline telemetry and other measurements, we NEVER measured what we calculated from prevalent theory at that time.. After measuring various entities, we could see where and how it should be properly evaluated. We are still finding new stuff: PDC bits drill differently than roller cone bits; shales fail malleably under pressure; vibration of BHA have a great effect on ROP, and many other exciting developments. We need the new people to enter this profession; we may be old - and using computers (although maybe not as effectively as my great grandchildren) - but we can also learn. The good drillers are the ones who will tell you what is going to happen not tell you after the event that they knew a project or procedure was not going to work. - just my pennys worth.

Chris Reid | Feb. 3, 2012
I must say that the guy talking about the older generation must have had a bad experience with older hands. I am 26 yrs old and Ill been in the oilfield since I was 18. I was lucky enough to have the older hands take me under their wing and teach me the right way and for that Im grateful. However, I have worked with some older (for lack of better terms) pricks that were set in their ways and didnt want to listen to new ideas. Both generations can learn from one another. I firmly agree that experience wins everytime, but sometimes if you take a step back and listen to consider what a younger hand has to say it could possibly be a learning experience. If it is wrong, explain to them why it wont work that way it keeps you on your toes and teaches the younger or less-experienced something! Just my 2 cents.

Jack Satterfield | Feb. 3, 2012
After a 25+ year career in oilfield health, safety, environment, medicine and security I had an old injury which required the company I was with to "terminate" me since I was unable to return to full duty in a timely manner. There is so much I have to offer to up and coming oilfield workers but no place to provide what I have to offer. I'm sure there are others like me who cannot find work due to various reasons the least of which is age, physical capabilities and inability to pass a rigorous physical. I do not see where the industry is either best using or employing persons of my talent to help train those up and coming oilfield employees. This is such and unfortunate and misjustice to both those in my situation as well as those who are considering oilfield employment. It seems to be the same mentality as when I began my career, in that employees are "thrown to the dogs" and left to their own devices to not only train themselves in the position, but avoid having incidents along the way. I truly feel this is an injustice to both older workers but new ones as well. By the way, I am neither illiterate, rude, computer literate, abrasive or abusive or uneducated. I've worked the world overbutt there seems to be no one seeking my valuable experience to help train up and coming offshore employees. Employment of persons such as myself doing practical as well as didactic lessons to those up and coming oilfield employees would (I feel) would do wonders in reducing incident rates, increase drilling footage rates and in general be a valuable tool in bringing along new employees in the industry.

Barbara Saunders | Jan. 31, 2012
Thank you, Jaylan!

Jaylan | Jan. 31, 2012
A little rationality lifts the qualtiy of the debate here. Thanks for contributing!

Barbara Saunders | Jan. 23, 2012
Go John. Go Nev. Go Kamin. I would not have even printed the word "schumks." What is it, anyway? Jewish Yiddish here? LOL

Barbara Saunders | Jan. 22, 2012
Careful young-en. I'm getting to be an older schmuch-ess myself, LOL.

Nev Maw | Jan. 21, 2012
Can I suggest that you look at the wording in the job ads we see on this website & others in the Oil & Gas section & count how many ads you can find that ask for no exprience required, trainees encouraged. I have spoken to a handful of young guys who would like to get into the industry but are put off by the wording used in job ads. Cheers PS. Im 61 yrs old & been in the industry since I was 25.

Kamin Lambertson | Jan. 20, 2012
The mostly young guys on the Deepwater Horizon were trying to "figure it out" too. Why don't some of your generation take over while we old schmucks are still around and then have us validate your new better way of doing things by getting everything we know written down. You make up the audit: 1,000 questions should be a good start. Leave plenty of room for our answers though because if the questions dont make sense, well let you know. Once we are gone and you really need to "figure it out" you can go back and read our audit answers. By that time you'll be the "old schmucks" to the next generation!

John Truitt | Jan. 20, 2012
Hate to have to say it, but you sound like a fool who will undoubtedly get someone killed on a rig one day because you won't listen to those older guys who've "been there & done that". I've been recruiting good hands and execs in the oil patch since 1977 and can tell you first hand that nothing, I repeat "nothing" replaces experience. There are a lot of sharp young people working in the patch now who will achieve great success in this business because they're smart enough to listen instead of mouthing off to show their stupidity as you did.

Jack | Jan. 20, 2012
Take a chance! For instance, I have been trying to get into an offshore position for nearly 3 years. I HAD all the required tickets, including a combined Sup. IWCF. With 20 years experience, 10 of which as a driller, two as a Rig Mgr. HPHT, cyber and various other safety courses, I still couldnt buy a position off shore, because I had no previous off shore experience. I quickly realized at the time of taking my IWCF that drilling off shore would be a lot different that on land, but it would be a welcome change. There are lots of good guys out there with a positive outlook that are very capable. In the past, it seemed a land rig guy had to have an in. I think the industry will have to start taking chances with people that have the experience, or are willing to take the training and take on a lesser role on the rig.

Barbara Saunders | Jan. 19, 2012
Love it, Mike. Good job!

Mike Parker | Jan. 18, 2012
A fellow commentator obviously has not been taught very well by us old schumks as he calls us. Everyone can learn from each other be they old hands or new breeds coming in to the industry. On the 6th generation drilling rigs now the industry needs the Nintendo generation but what is happening down hole only comes from experience. He would be wise to listen to the guys who have been there and done it as he wont last long in this industry. There is a big shift to technology but that is nothing new its been happening all through my time from 1974. The drilling industry will get by and hopefully a new breed will pass on what they have learnt.

Barbara Saunders | Jan. 14, 2012
Dear "Big Sigh" - Maybe the geriatrically adapted rig? Wise old sage advisory medics? LOL. Seriously, am contemplating a whole story on offshore medics. Cool tip, thanks. - Barbara

Pipelinner | Jan. 13, 2012
After being in the pipeline industry for 40 years and still working in it I see the ability to pass on our knowledge is now greatly diminished by our current information technology and instant contact decisions previously being made in the field (and still should be ) are being made by people sitting in an office half a world away ... most generally never go to site but are in positions and with instant communication ability to to make decisions on live work and when it goes wrong let the guy in the field carry the can. Our industry now has to much money and no accountability the pride in our industry is near gone as is the pride and job satisfaction of getting one more metre of pipe in the ground than the day before the new generation attitude is keep taking the money its there weather you produce or not.

GP Driller | Jan. 13, 2012
Drilling Industry has changed and it has infused more engineering and technology into operations and design. Those days of "decibel drillers" are gone!! Having said that" behind the screen drillers" alone cannot make it into the future either. We need a combination for the upcoming years. Precise planning with a foresight on safety,environment and efficiency with excellent execution of the plans are needed. Errors have huge impact these days. Impact could be across companies and hence there should be more efforts to comply with standards. It may look as if work is getting more complicated in Drilling Engineering, but for the people involved, it is lot more fun and we have more in-depth knowledge and analysis on issues. Exciting times coming up....

William P. Butler | Jan. 13, 2012
Thanks for the opportunity to comment on the serious issue of "Bridging the Generation Gap". As a senior Business Development Manager, Program/Project Manager and Pipeline Construction Company Partner with more than 20 years in Saudi Arabia, I have experienced being perceived by US employers as unemployable? US employers, Human Relaions "experts", hiring managers and computer generated selection processes have virtually and randomly eliminated a generation of specialists and professionals; most with cross cultural and problem solving experience. Everything from "non-cubical" conformance to over qualification is a rampant response from corporate administrators that can hardly relate to a Starbucs latte. A massive disconnect and fear of superior experience by management has created the generational gap that is now becoming apparent across corporate America. Its even too late for "cross training"; shameful!

Big Sigh | Jan. 13, 2012
As the work force gets older and serious injury rates drop. The role of the offshore medic will become more important, training and equipment levels for rigs need to reflect the aging workforce appropriately.

Barbara Saunders | Jan. 13, 2012
PRECIOUS gems, Thomas and Ian. I'm not getting any younger myself, which is one reason I'm so committed to this series.

Steve Garvin | Jan. 13, 2012
Ryan Dunn | Dec. 23, 2011 Its not even worthwhile talking to the old schmucks offshore who are nearing retirement. Most of them are uneducated, overweight, smoke, rude, and computer illiterate. Why bother? Our generation can figure out solutions that are more efficient, safer and environmentally friendly. The sooner we get rid of the last generation, the better it will be. You are a foolish young man Ryan Dunn. I truly hope the company I work for never hires you, except maybe to sweep the floors behind us "old schmucks".

Bill Cooper | Jan. 13, 2012
I work in the Specialties part of the industry and have noticed a trend with most companies, the boom and bust mentality. Because of my work, I move frequently from rig to rig and have noticed that the Drilling Companies will Lay-Off all but key personnel during a downtime. If they stack a Rig they Lay-Off all but key personnel, then when a Boom comes along, the experienced people have found work elsewhere and don't care to return to an unstable work environment. This is especially true in the Offshore element. If a young man is forced to find work on land that enables him to support his family and enables him to be home daily with weekends off, they will more than likely stay there. A lot has changed in the past 20 years such as verbal abuse and better training, but the industry needs to find incentives to keep trained and experienced hands employed or at least attracted to return when the business picks up, as it always seems to do. This would increase job safety and reduce rig downtime. The Drilling Companies I've seen go all out to hold good hands during slow periods, always seem to have fewer LTAs and more productive days drilling. This wont affect me as I've said, I'm in a specialty service. Its just what I've noticed through the years. As a side to Ryan, I've no idea who you are, but I've been training hands for over 15 years. I hope you can figure a way to solve the problems that arise for you in the future. About half the people we get from your generation don't wish to work and will quit after the first pay check, if they last that long, or cant pass a random drug test, after the Companies spend a fortune training and educating them. For those guys, a good days work and a cold beer would kill them. I

Thomas | Jan. 13, 2012
There is nothing I mean nothing that can compare with the older generation teaching the younger generation. In the oilfield everything doesn't go right by the book. Experience is the best teacher. Time after time I have seen first these fast track hands get into trouble because they don't know what to do, or when to do it. Many of the knowledgeable hands have quit due to being passed over for promotions. This old earth hasn't changed much over the past 50 years but the crews sure have.

Ian Ross | Jan. 13, 2012
I currently are working in Kazakhstan on a gas pipeline project. I am one of the Baby Boomers to which you refer. I have worked in South Africa,Angola,Congo,Gabon,Nigeria,Algeria,Egypt,Oman,Singapore and Vietnam in the Oil and Gas Industry and have no intent to retire. The reason being is that I have a wealth of experience and knowledge, which I have tried to pass on in each of the countries that I have worked in. As some-one once said "An older person dying is like a library burning down." especially if they do not, or cannot pass on their knowledge.

Donald millar | Jan. 10, 2012
In the past the industries solution to plugging the skills gap is to bring graduates and fast trackers into the industry, this for sure has a place but when you promote these individuals above 20 year plus veterans then the problems begin. The best approach (in my opinion) is for the industry to aggressively start training individuals that can be promoted. Unfortunately with the drive for the biggest return and the need for a head count reduction on most offshore installations this approach is seldom taken.

Ryan Dunn | Dec. 23, 2011
Its not even worthwhile talking to the old schmucks offshore who are nearing retirement. Most of them are uneducated, overweight, smoke, rude, and computer illiterate. Why bother? Our generation can figure out solutions that are more efficient, safer and environmentally friendly. The sooner we get rid of the last generation, the better it will be.

Josh Bullard | Dec. 1, 2011
I have been in the coil tubing business for 5 years. I have learned quite a bit from the older generation that are hitting retirement age. But I think the reason I was taught is because I was so curious about what I was doing and wanted to immerse myself in this industry. That is why I think the new generation of workers are having a hard time. All they see is the amazing money that can be made and not willing to learn. Also the oilfield is a way of life to me so therefore eating sleeping and breathing it makes me a better asset to my company and my job. I had to learn to crawl before I walked the same principle as being the low man before the boss

Yohanan | Nov. 30, 2011
I don't feel like its that big of a deal. I remember a few years after I started working in the oilfield, the men that had been there 30 and 35 years and taught me a lot of what I'm teaching younger Mariners today, retired. I believe we continue to pass on the knowledge of older Mariners, along with the newer technology we have learned also to the younger Mariners.


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