BLOG: Industry Debates I'm Tired of Already

BLOG: Industry Debates I'm Tired of Already
Differing opinions have been the cause for many industry debates.

Having worked as a journalist in the oil and gas industry for some years now, I’ve been privy to my fair share of debates. Hardly ever as a participant though, mostly an observer because let’s face it – debates within oil and gas can become quite heated and I like to keep my objectivity.

However, I feel like some debates have run their course. It’s not that they’re no longer important – they definitely are – but maybe the narrative needs to change … maybe sides can better articulate their point … or maybe my patience is just wearing thin.

Anywho, here are five industry debates I’m ready to retire, in no particular order:

  • OPEC vs. U.S. – Ok, this tug-of-war of control probably isn’t going anywhere due to the supply-demand model of the industry. There may always be finger-pointing – whether there’s a shale boom or a ramp-up in OPEC oil production – of who controls oil prices. Who am I kidding? This debate can stay.   
  • Baby Boomers vs. Millennials – Seriously, can’t we all get along? If boomers want to work around the clock and do things manually, let them. If millennials want to work from home on Wednesdays and have weekly one-on-ones with their manager, let them. Some mutual respect and a little understanding would go a long way. Besides, Gen Xers are probably tired of hearing them bicker.   
  • Industry vs. Environmentalists – These two groups are probably responsible for the majority of heated debates I mentioned earlier and that’s partially because there are many layers to this. Think climate change, fossil fuels vs. renewables and climate regulations. They’re understandably touchy subjects but being more “evenhanded” in approaching the conversation could help in eliminating bias from both sides.     
  • Automation vs. Workers – At one point, there were news headlines suggesting that robots would be taking over the oilfield, essentially replacing the need for workers. Numerous oil and gas employers have stated that’s not the case. Though robots would replace some repetitive work done by employees, it would free those employees up for other roles and duties, according to employers.  
  • Oil and Gas vs. Tech Industry – There’s not a comparison here, really. Tech companies like Apple and Google or green-tech companies like Tesla are not the same as oil and gas supermajors such as Shell or ExxonMobil. The comparison usually comes into play when oil and gas employers discuss how the aforementioned tech companies are vying for the attention of the same young talent needed to work in oil and gas. Honestly, I think there’s enough young tech talent to go around.  

What are your thoughts? Any other debates you think can be laid to rest? Let us know in the comments.


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