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Anyone out of work or considering a career change?:hmmm:

by Vicki Vaughan San Antonio Express-News Thursday, March 09, 2006


South Texas exploration companies are thrilled with surging demand for oil and gas, and contract drilling companies have watched excitedly as prices for their services zoom upward.

But things aren't perfect in the oil patch. There's a shortage of qualified field workers, and those hired are too often wooed away.

"The labor market is extremely tight for all energy personnel. It is extremely challenging," said Stacy Locke, CEO of Pioneer Drilling, a San Antonio-based contract land drilling company.

Will Wallace, operations vice president at Abraxas Petroleum in San Antonio, agreed. "It's very competitive. The biggest problem we're seeing today is that companies are having to consider hiring workers with less experience," he said.

The problem is rooted in the cyclical nature of the oil and gas business. When oil prices collapsed in the mid-1980s, many workers left the field, never to return. And the backbreaking and dangerous work on an oil rig requires that most workers have years of experience.

"You can't just hire a truck driver and make him a tool pusher," Pioneer's Locke said.

A tool pusher, the top hand on a drilling rig who supervises the crew, is the worker most in demand. In the past, it could take a rig worker 10 years to rise to the tool pusher's job. Working up from floor hand to derrickman to driller could take five years. .

Today, the route to the top job on a rig doesn't take as long, yet the tool pusher has more responsibilities.

"Today, a tool pusher may have two to three crews to supervise," Wallace said. "He may have 15 guys working for him and he may supervise three drillers." The work is grueling. Rig workers usually work 12-hour shifts for seven days straight, then have seven days off. The work goes on 24 hours a day through bone-chilling Texas northers and 102-degree summer days.

But for skilled workers there are tremendous opportunities. Locke, of Pioneer Drilling, said salaries of top hands are a closely guarded secret. But Wallace guessed that a tool pusher supervising several rigs could take home $100,000 a year.

"The challenge today is keeping your tool pushers," Locke said, "because your customer becomes your worst enemy," hiring away top hands. If Pioneer is providing five rigs to a client and the customer decides to double that number, the client will need a "company man," a supervisor on site to protect its interests.

Those clients most often hire a tool pusher from its drilling company as the company man.

A company may find some relief from the tight labor situation if it's exploring in an isolated area. San Antonio-based Exploration Co. hasn't had to fight to keep employees on board, perhaps because "we're in an area that has fairly limited employment opportunities," spokesman Paul Hart said. The company drills for oil and gas in the Maverick Basin near Eagle Pass in southwest Texas.

But all too often regional drilling companies are competing for workers with some of the nation's biggest drillers, including Grey Wolf Inc., which has 1,370 working rigs in the United States, and Patterson-UTI Energy based in Snyder, with 403 rigs.

Officials with Grey Wolf and Patterson-UTI did not return calls seeking comment.

But Pioneer's Locke said today's tight labor market is something that the energy industry has had to learn to live with.

"It's no different than any other prior cycle like this," Locke said, when demand for oil and gas and for oil field services has been high.

SOURCE
 

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That's my background. My Dad was a toolpusher and I did some work on rigs when I was in college. The story is right about "dangerous and backbreaking work. I couldn't believe how many of the guys were missing fingers. It might be different now. I'm sure they have improved the tools, but you're still working with steel and heavy equipment. I'll stick with my computer, thanks.
 

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That story describes what the top paid worker makes. I bet if the truth were know the shortage is in wages to the average worker. I'd be surprised if many people retire out of that industry. Sounds to me like they are laying ground work to hire illegals for substandard wages and working conditions. What was I thinking surely the oil industry wouldn't do anything un ethical.
 

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The_Snowman said:
Anyone out of work or considering a career change?:hmmm:

by Vicki Vaughan San Antonio Express-News Thursday, March 09, 2006


South Texas exploration companies are thrilled with surging demand for oil and gas, and contract drilling companies have watched excitedly as prices for their services zoom upward.

But things aren't perfect in the oil patch. There's a shortage of qualified field workers, and those hired are too often wooed away.

"The labor market is extremely tight for all energy personnel. It is extremely challenging," said Stacy Locke, CEO of Pioneer Drilling, a San Antonio-based contract land drilling company.

Will Wallace, operations vice president at Abraxas Petroleum in San Antonio, agreed. "It's very competitive. The biggest problem we're seeing today is that companies are having to consider hiring workers with less experience," he said.

The problem is rooted in the cyclical nature of the oil and gas business. When oil prices collapsed in the mid-1980s, many workers left the field, never to return. And the backbreaking and dangerous work on an oil rig requires that most workers have years of experience.

"You can't just hire a truck driver and make him a tool pusher," Pioneer's Locke said.

A tool pusher, the top hand on a drilling rig who supervises the crew, is the worker most in demand. In the past, it could take a rig worker 10 years to rise to the tool pusher's job. Working up from floor hand to derrickman to driller could take five years. .

Today, the route to the top job on a rig doesn't take as long, yet the tool pusher has more responsibilities.

"Today, a tool pusher may have two to three crews to supervise," Wallace said. "He may have 15 guys working for him and he may supervise three drillers." The work is grueling. Rig workers usually work 12-hour shifts for seven days straight, then have seven days off. The work goes on 24 hours a day through bone-chilling Texas northers and 102-degree summer days.

But for skilled workers there are tremendous opportunities. Locke, of Pioneer Drilling, said salaries of top hands are a closely guarded secret. But Wallace guessed that a tool pusher supervising several rigs could take home $100,000 a year.

"The challenge today is keeping your tool pushers," Locke said, "because your customer becomes your worst enemy," hiring away top hands. If Pioneer is providing five rigs to a client and the customer decides to double that number, the client will need a "company man," a supervisor on site to protect its interests.

Those clients most often hire a tool pusher from its drilling company as the company man.

A company may find some relief from the tight labor situation if it's exploring in an isolated area. San Antonio-based Exploration Co. hasn't had to fight to keep employees on board, perhaps because "we're in an area that has fairly limited employment opportunities," spokesman Paul Hart said. The company drills for oil and gas in the Maverick Basin near Eagle Pass in southwest Texas.

But all too often regional drilling companies are competing for workers with some of the nation's biggest drillers, including Grey Wolf Inc., which has 1,370 working rigs in the United States, and Patterson-UTI Energy based in Snyder, with 403 rigs.

Officials with Grey Wolf and Patterson-UTI did not return calls seeking comment.

But Pioneer's Locke said today's tight labor market is something that the energy industry has had to learn to live with.

"It's no different than any other prior cycle like this," Locke said, when demand for oil and gas and for oil field services has been high.

SOURCE
hey john....there's more oil patch petes in alberta buying new harleys than you can shake a stick at....it's a friggin boomin out there....(helps to be the worlds largest supplier of oil to the states tho!) Makes me want to kick my self in the ass AGAIN for not moving out there years ago...
 

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marvin4239 said:
That story describes what the top paid worker makes. I bet if the truth were know the shortage is in wages to the average worker. I'd be surprised if many people retire out of that industry. Sounds to me like they are laying ground work to hire illegals for substandard wages and working conditions. What was I thinking surely the oil industry wouldn't do anything un ethical.
Actually the jobs pay pretty well for the level of education required. These are not the type of jobs that illegals are hired for. These drilling companies are mostly locally owned companys and run by "good ole boys" that aint havin' none of that.
 

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I spent a little time myself as a floorhand down in East Texas and Louisiana in the early 80s and If memory serves we were making 10 bucks an hour which was pretty good money then. I attended a drilling school in Lafayette for a couple months but decided not to stay in the business. Hardest work I've ever done and pretty much non-stop.
 

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Working in refineries as a process operator and working my way up to First Class Power Engineer, was also great finacially, this is more than a boom for experienced workers with "good" work ethic. Heavy industry requires people who know how to get the "big" job accomplished on time, on budget and efficiently. To many new hires have no idea as to what is expected of them, schools have turned "PC" for the last 30 years and turned out basically uneductated workers for today's old industries. Not everything can be done from a computer terminal.
After working in refineries for so long, I am now in great demand building hospitals and surgery centers, seems nobody can hire anybody that can plan and execute starting up heavy equipment. This is an area where you young fellas need to check out, these jobs take some time to learn, but the rewards are magnificent. As for illegals doing this work, I see more and more Mexican electricans all the time, but not when it comes to the big switch gear, where knowledge and know how is required to wire and energize a 13,800 volt main panel.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
you ain't kidding...............

sonoffatboy said:
hey john....there's more oil patch petes in alberta buying new harleys than you can shake a stick at....it's a friggin boomin out there....(helps to be the worlds largest supplier of oil to the states tho!) Makes me want to kick my self in the ass AGAIN for not moving out there years ago...
Hey, bend over and I'll kick it for ya!!! That's about the same situation over here, I know 3 guys just bought new Ultras and 1 guy a Heritage. Wonder if Dirty Jim allowed overseas sales into his gloomy picture?

And on another note, see if you can spot yourself in this scenario :rolleyes:


"How to put the right person in the right job"

Put about 100 bricks in no particular order in a closed room with an open window. Then send 2 or 3 candidates in the room and close the door. Leave them alone and come back after 6 hours and then analyse the situation.

If they are counting the bricks. Put them in the accounts department.

If they are recounting them. Put them in auditing.

If they have messed up the whole place with the bricks. Put them in engineering.

If they are arranging the bricks in some strange order. Put them in planning.

If they are throwing the bricks at each other. Put them in operations.

If they are sleeping. Put them in reception.

If they have broken the bricks into pieces. Put them in information technology.

If they are sitting idle. Put them in human resources.

If they say they have tried different combinations, yet not a brick has been moved. Put them in sales.

If they have already left for the day. Put them in marketing.

If they are staring out of the window. Put them on strategic planning.

And then last but not least...

If they are talking to each other and not a single brick has been moved.

Congratulate them and put them in top management!
 

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highrider said:
Working in refineries as a process operator and working my way up to First Class Power Engineer, was also great finacially, this is more than a boom for experienced workers with "good" work ethic. Heavy industry requires people who know how to get the "big" job accomplished on time, on budget and efficiently. To many new hires have no idea as to what is expected of them, schools have turned "PC" for the last 30 years and turned out basically uneductated workers for today's old industries. Not everything can be done from a computer terminal.
After working in refineries for so long, I am now in great demand building hospitals and surgery centers, seems nobody can hire anybody that can plan and execute starting up heavy equipment. This is an area where you young fellas need to check out, these jobs take some time to learn, but the rewards are magnificent. As for illegals doing this work, I see more and more Mexican electricans all the time, but not when it comes to the big switch gear, where knowledge and know how is required to wire and energize a 13,800 volt main panel.
Start up techs have been in high demand for a long time. Of the successful ones I've known they have all worked their way up through the ranks and learned all areas of industry. These menial jobs that they got their start in are being manned more and more by the illegals for substandard wages making it harder and harder for a young guy to break into the industry. Instrumentation Techs is another industry in pretty high demand that generally pays well.
 

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highrider said:
Working in refineries as a process operator and working my way up to First Class Power Engineer, was also great finacially, this is more than a boom for experienced workers with "good" work ethic. Heavy industry requires people who know how to get the "big" job accomplished on time, on budget and efficiently. To many new hires have no idea as to what is expected of them, schools have turned "PC" for the last 30 years and turned out basically uneductated workers for today's old industries. Not everything can be done from a computer terminal.
After working in refineries for so long, I am now in great demand building hospitals and surgery centers, seems nobody can hire anybody that can plan and execute starting up heavy equipment. This is an area where you young fellas need to check out, these jobs take some time to learn, but the rewards are magnificent. As for illegals doing this work, I see more and more Mexican electricans all the time, but not when it comes to the big switch gear, where knowledge and know how is required to wire and energize a 13,800 volt main panel.

I'm not really trying to %[email protected] here, but what exactly are you saying? All Mexicans are illegal? Mexicans are the only ones working here illegally? Mexicans are too ignorant to learn how to work around extremely high voltage?

That doesn't seem to be a very tolerant attitude from a motorcyclist, a group which generally complains about tolerance not being shown to them by cagers, The Man, etc.

I don't think race or ethnicity plays a part in how good of an electrician you can be. Electricity is an international language, much like music. I've worked with some pretty talented Turks and Iraqis over here. Sure, they can't speak English, but they sure know what happens when they accidentaly become the piece that completes a circuit.
 

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The guys that I talk to who own their own oilfield service company or are the big sticks at these drilling companies tell me the biggest problem in hiring folks is the high fail rate on the drug tests. These bigger companies need a drug policy for their insurance requirements and I am told you would not believe the high percentage of applicants that can not pass a drug test. I think that is really sad. I am told one of the biggest problems is meth.
 

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"I'm not really trying to here, but what exactly are you saying? All Mexicans are illegal? Mexicans are the only ones working here illegally? Mexicans are too ignorant to learn how to work around extremely high voltage?

That doesn't seem to be a very tolerant attitude from a motorcyclist, a group which generally complains about tolerance not being shown to them by cagers, The Man, etc.

I don't think race or ethnicity plays a part in how good of an electrician you can be. Electricity is an international language, much like music. I've worked with some pretty talented Turks and Iraqis over here. Sure, they can't speak English, but they sure know what happens when they accidentaly become the piece that completes a circuit."

Sorry Zogoron if I offended ya , but facts are facts here in the great Southwest of America, Can't paint it any other way, nor do I care to engage you on this topic. I'll just go back and wire some more panels!! Better check your wiring!
 

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highrider said:
Sorry Zogoron if I offended ya , but facts are facts here in the great Southwest of America, Can't paint it any other way, nor do I care to engage you on this topic. I'll just go back and wire some more panels!! Better check your wiring!
I think you've offended many people with a narrow minded statement like that. I've worked South Texas with some very tallented Mexican Electricians and Instrument techs, and I've worked with some "Americans" that weren't worth killing. Race has nothing to do with a mans capabilities and you would do good to keep racist comments to yourself and not post them here. Strike one, be warned.
 

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highrider said:
Sorry Zogoron if I offended ya , but facts are facts here in the great Southwest of America, Can't paint it any other way, nor do I care to engage you on this topic. I'll just go back and wire some more panels!! Better check your wiring!
WTF does "better check your wiring!" mean? Are you implying that there must be something wrong with me because I don't share your narrow minded opinion that solely because of your race, you are a much better electrician than people of a different race or ethnicity?

You are more than welcome to be a racist, bigot, etc. in the US, that's one of the freedoms I have put my life on the line the last 5 years to protect, and I wouldn't have it any other way....However, when you imply that there is something wrong with ME because I don't share your views, that is when I fly off the handle.

Once, JUST ONCE, I wish someone had the balls to say some shyt like this to me in person. But that will never happen. People like highrider would never make statements like that without having a computer/hood/gang of friends to hide behind.

highrider, dude, you have no idea about the meaning of the word engage. If I were to ever engage you, you'd have plenty more to worry about than an internet forum, or your precious electrical panels for that matter. Sadly, that too would never happen, because you aren't man enough to make it in my world.

I aplogize to the mods if my above comments cause this thread to be locked. I feel insulted and disrespected by highrider, and felt his comments warranted retaliation in the same forum.
 

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What goes boom -- goes bust!

http://www.billingsgazette.net/articles/2006/03/11/news/state/20-oil-prices.txt

This is a pretty interesting story from yesterdays local paper.
The Tar Sands of Alberta is having an interesting affect on the entire Rocky Mountain region.

I know one thing the propane supplies has been really screwed up this winter mostly from using propane to increase BTU's in Natural gas from all the coal bed methane wells being developed.
 

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are you guys reading the same posts... :dunno:

I read highrider's responses twice... unless I am wrong here... I am seeing question marks at the end of his "racist comments"
as well as, "That doesn't seem to be a very tolerant attitude from a motorcyclist"


and

"I don't think race or ethnicity plays a part in how good of an electrician you can be"



"Racist" is about one of the worst things you can call a person... I think, or at least hope you are just misunderstanding his comments...


-2$en#e-
 

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damn... re-read the entire thread again... was thinking that zogorion's comments belonged to highrider since I did not see the "quote... originally posted by ____________"




still hope you guys are wrong... but it's highrider's business to defend his comments now and not mine...




sorry fellas...
 

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hey john....there's more oil patch petes in alberta buying new harleys than you can shake a stick at....it's a friggin boomin out there....(helps to be the worlds largest supplier of oil to the states tho!) Makes me want to kick my self in the ass AGAIN for not moving out there years ago...






Out here in Alberta the oil industry is freakin nuts. That write up said the Push is making up to $100,000 a year? My little brother makes almost that much as a Rough Neck. A Toolpush up here makes up around $200,000+ up here. A Consultant makes 250,000+ and thats only working maybe 8 months of the year. They have just discovered there is just as much oil in Alberta then in the middle east. We are in the same boat though, no workers to fill the positions. Any Americans thinking about hopping over the line....most our work is in the winter, -40c so bring your woolies!:brows:
 

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Velcro said:
They have just discovered there is just as much oil in Alberta then in the middle east. We are in the same boat though, no workers to fill the positions. Any Americans thinking about hopping over the line....most our work is in the winter, -40c so bring your woolies!:brows:
Two of my sons work for --> http://www.calfrac.com/ and last year had to convoy to Alberta from Colorado twice to help out because they were so short handed.
 

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Jams said:
Two of my sons work for --> http://www.calfrac.com/ and last year had to convoy to Alberta from Colorado twice to help out because they were so short handed.

That is a good example Jams, of the various jobs in the patch. it is not just drilling rigs that need people. there is service rigs, rat holers, heavy equipment operators, survyors, lease operators, pipeliners, well service hands, wireliners, etc...... there is so much that goes on out in the field. I myself work out in the patch in the winter months. I am a constrution consutant. build leases, for those that dont know what that is...its a big flat pad of dirt the rig sits on to drill. I work directly for a oil company called winstar and i look after their best intrest out in the field. i hire a contractor to come in and log all the lumber off site, the another contractor to come in with heavy equipment to build the lease. (long story short) after that a rig consultant takes over. then after the the well is drilled, i come back. if it is a good well, i clean up the mess (Fence off the lease if there is livestock, seed the property if its a farmers field, clean up the ditches..etc) if its a duster (dry well) then i need to reclaim it.(put everthing back to the way it was before i got there) i could go on all day of the prosess of the oil patch but i dont want to bore all you...:unsure:
 
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