IOGCC Report: U.S. Petroleum Industry Sees Increase in Qualified Professionals

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Contact:  Erica Carr  405-525-3556 x106erica.carr@iogcc.state.ok.us

IOGCC Report: U.S. Petroleum Industry Sees Increase in Qualified Professionals

North Dakota Gov. John Hoeven reported an encouraging increase in the number of qualified petroleum professionals in a recent report published by the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission (IOGCC).

“Blue Ribbon Task Force: A Follow Up Report” updates the results of a task force created by Hoeven in 2001 to investigate the shrinking numbers of domestic petroleum professionals (geologists, engineers and geophysicists). Following their analysis, the task force provided recommendations for the federal government, state governments, academia, industry and non-governmental organizations to collaborate on an unprecedented scale to combat the problem.

“This report seeks to shine a light on the current state of the recommendations toward a more robust public and private partnership, and the work that must still be addressed to sustain and strengthen the domestic industry,” said Hoeven, IOGCC’s current chairman. “The progress is encouraging.”

Enrollments in petroleum-related majors at America’s colleges and universities that had been shrinking for many years have increased. According to the updated report, the number of bachelor’s degrees awarded in petroleum engineering has grown from 260 in 2000 to 322 in 2005, while the number of geology degrees awarded has fallen slightly from nearly 3,500 in 2000 to 3,300 in 2004.

In addition, the task force recommendations for establishing internships, scholarships and other programs designed to attract young people to petroleum careers have taken root in all sectors.

“Oil and gas resources found domestically continue to be the key to the nation’s energy and national security,” said Christine Hansen, IOGCC executive director. “Without qualified petroleum professionals to fill open positions, these valuable resources may not be fully maximized.”

Blue Ribbon Task Force: A Follow Up Report can be found in its entirety on-line at http://www.iogcc.state.ok.us/news_pubs.aspx.