Bucking the Trend: O&G Firms Continue to Recruit

At the end of the fourth quarter 2008, Schlumberger took a revenue hit from the oil market downturn and, as a result, trimmed its employment by more than 1,000 workers this month, with plans for a worldwide cut of 5,000 jobs. Oil major ConocoPhillips also announced that it intends to decrease its workforce by 4%, or by 1,300 jobs, in an attempt to reign in its costs during these uncertain economic times. Despite these massive lay-offs, particularly in the oilfield services sector, smaller, independent oil companies report they are still on the look-out to collect more workers for future exploration and production endeavors.

While investing conservatively in their own oil projects, companies like Devon Energy Corp. seem optimistic enough to continue their search for skilled petroleum engineers and oil field workers. "We have over 150 jobs to fill," Devon spokesman Chip Minty told Reuters. "We are hiring, but we are watching our budgets."

Moreover, with the baby-boomer generation heading into retirement and the petroleum industry's long-term need to acquire more skilled laborers, companies with smaller staffs are more reluctant to get rid of hard-to-come-by highly trained and skilled laborers.

According to Reuters, representatives for Williams Companies Inc and Chesapeake said their companies were hiring, while a spokesman for Apache Corp said it would be premature to comment on the possibility of job cuts. Additionally, a spokesman for Anadarko Petroleum Corp told Reuters that the company's staffing was at levels that enable it to "manage through volatile price environments rather than react to them."

With more than 3,000 job openings listed on its career board, Rigzone can attest to the availability of opportunities on all levels within the oil and gas industry, strongly contesting the recent employment cuts.

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