HUU STUN – Sabrina Burns, a senior at the University of Texas at Austin, thought she would start a lucrative career in the oil and gas industry when she graduated in a few months.
But the collapse in demand for oil and gas during the coronavirus epidemic has disrupted her good plans and forced her to think of a new path.
Ms. studying petroleum engineering. “We got a slap in the face, a completely unexpected situation that shook our whole mind,” Burns said. “I have applied for every oil and gas condition I have seen, like my classmates, and nothing really has changed. I’m disappointed. “
With fewer people traveling and traveling, the oil and gas industry has been penalized. Oil companies have laid off more than 100,000 workers. Many businesses have closed refineries, and some have sought bankruptcy protection.
The industry has attracted thousands of young people in recent years with the promise of a safe career as shale drilling began and made the United States the world’s largest oil producer. But many students and recent graduates say they are no longer convinced there is a place for them in the industry. Even after the epidemic is over, some of them fear that growing concerns about climate change will lead to an inevitable reduction in oil and gas.
These students are looking for elite positions in the oil and gas industry that employ about 20 million people. Even after the recent layoffs, petroleum companies still employ more people than the fast-growing wind and solar businesses, which, according to trade groups, have a combined workforce of at least 37 370,000.
22 year old Ms. Burns said his choices have been significantly narrower over the past nine months. With limited opportunities in oil and gas, she recently accepted an internship with an engineering consulting firm specializing in energy conservation, and she could eventually apply to a graduate school in environmental science. She is also considering moving in with her sister after graduation to save money.
“I think companies have to be very careful about getting out of this, about hiring new ones.”
Ms. Burns was lured into his oil and gas career by stories from his father, a helicopter pilot, who told him about successful female engineers serving offshore rigs in the Gulf of Mexico. But while its professors have spoken of the future for oil and gas companies, it is concerned.
Just before the epidemic, Ms. Burns said he had little doubts about his chosen industry. Other students and an Uber driver also raised questions about the future of oil and gas and why renewable energy could be a better condition for taking him and others to the petroleum industry banquet.
“Have you ever heard of solar panels?” She remembers the Uber driver asking her and her friends.
“Silent judgment and passing comments carry a lot of weight on me,” he added. Her parents persuaded her to stick with her program, and Ms. Burns said she is committed to the industry and is working to improve its environmental impact.
“I hope I can finally put all my skills and knowledge to work.”
‘Demand is coming back.’
Stephen Zagarski, a graduate student in geology at Rice University, said the time for his graduation next week was “not perfect, it’s far away.”
“You lack the positions available and you have a huge talent pool and plenty of graduates dropping out of school,” he added. “It will make opportunities to enter the industry more difficult.”
But Mr. Zagurski, 23, said the oil and gas industry would boom in the same way in the past century as it would permanently reduce the habit of epidemic energy consumption, despite popular notions. “Demand is coming back,” he said. “Let’s be honest here, how many things in our daily lives have a petroleum based product.”
Mr. Zagurski has an internship with Roxanna Oil, his second cousin with managers, and has been consistently assigned more responsibilities.
He may join Roxanna full-time after graduation, and is confident that the market for young geologists and engineers will eventually pick up. If the oil industry does not return, it is also considering working in geospatial energy or environmental sciences or getting a doctorate. “Everyone is advising their time to see what happens.”
Some industries have rotated.
Miles Hampton Arvi, a senior at the University of Houston who studies finance and accounting, wanted to follow his father in the oil and gas industry.
“Energy and gas are something I’m passionate about,” he said. “Oil and gas aren’t going anywhere for the next 20 or 30 years, so when we’re converting to cleaner energy, why not be a part of it?”
Her father was a project manager in the Fashore fields in the Gulf of Mexico. Mr. Arvi is interested in the office fee job and has twice been associated with EY, also known as Earnest & Young for many American and Canadian oil companies to do financial milling, auditing and fine-tuning balance sheets. He became vice chairman of the Energy Reza Alliance, a student group that provides students with decent academic and job opportunities.
Mr. Arvi drew enough attention to land visits with many oil and gas companies, but the job offer proved to be attractive. “It’s very competitive, and the recession has made it difficult to get a position,” he said.
Ready to graduate in May, Mr. Arvi, 22, has turned his career around and accepted a job at JPMorgan Chase, where he is expected to be involved in derivatives and marketing in the technology industry. Someday, however, he said, he would find a place in the hedge industry.
He said, ‘I’m a little disappointed.’ “But you have to move it forward.”
‘Just the timing.’
Clayton Brown, who studied petroleum geology at the University of Houston, recalls finding an article online four years ago that emphasized that the future did not look bright for geologists investigating underground oil and gas reserves.
“I saw the salaries of petroleum geologists and I was immediately interested,” Mr. Brown said.
Mr. Brown from Cape Fear Community College Ledge in Wilmington, NC, went to study geology at the University of Western Colorado. He was fascinated by seismic testing and the science behind rock and sand formation.
With confidence in his career choices, he borrowed thousands of dollars to continue his education.
Now 23, Mr. Brown has a student debt of 55 55,000. By the time he graduates next fall, he will have to pay about 70,000. To make matters worse, the small oil company where he was doing the internship recently stopped paying him because of the reduction in costs for managing the recession.
He returned to North Carolina to stay with his parents while attending classes and sending resumes. “Covid was a very curb ball,” he said. “No one expects any virus to destroy the oil industry.”
Still, he said, he has no regrets and calls the recession a “bad time.”
There are jobs now but worries about the future.
Tosa Nehikhuere, the son of Nigerian immigrants, was relatively lucky. Shortly after graduating from the University of Texas at Austin in 2018, he joined a large European oil company, doing various internships and jobs in the field and on the trading floor.
But she has been riding so erratically that there are already misconceptions about the direction she took in the direction ledge.
Mr. Nehiquere’s parents were vulnerable back in Nigeria. They went to New York, where Mr. Nehikhuer’s father drove a cab. Eventually she moved to Houston, where life was cheaper and her parents pursued a career in nursing.
He embraced the oil business, which dominates Texas and his country, and he encouraged his son to pursue a career in petroleum engineering. It’s a common route for immigrants and first- and second-generation Americans in Texas.
In the middle of Mr. Nehiquier’s New Year, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, led by Saudi Arabia, filled the world market with oil in an attempt to curb the booming American shale oil drilling industry, and lowered prices.
“It was very nerve-racking,” he recalled. “I saw seniors with three internships stabilized in the same company; Junior, Sophomores have trouble getting an internship. All around, it was pretty bad from a job standpoint. “
Mr. Nehikhuer thought about changing the major companies, but he felt that oil prices would improve, as they have increased many times, and they did most of that in 2018 and 2019.
But Mr Nehikuer’s career caught the coronavirus epidemic in the same way traction is gaining traction, and now he’s worried again.
Mr Nehikhuer, 24, did not want to identify his employer, but said he was dismissing workers and discussing how aggressively he should move from oil and gas to renewable energy.
If the company moves quickly towards cleaner energy, he said, they are not sure if there will be a place for it. “How much will my skills transfer?”
“There will be significant amounts of layoffs, conversions and outsourcing.” “To be honest, I don’t know if it affects me. It’s really in the air. ”
Mr. Nehikhuer is already thinking about change, possibly looking for a job in a consulting firm or business providing technology to oil and gas companies.
“The more I think about my career, the more volatile the work in the oil and gas company can be,” he said. “I prefer to be something more stable.”