years ago, industry, professional organizations and government
questioned whether there were adequate numbers of petroleum
professionals for the domestic oil and natural gas industry.
present, the average age of employees working for major operators and
service companies is in the range of 46 to 49 years old. With the
average retirement age for the industry being 55 years, it is obvious
that the industry faces a crisis in the next 7 to 10 years as more than
half of the employee base leaves the work force. At the same time, a
reduction in global spending by the industry, coupled with many
mergers, has resulted in significant reductions in hiring of
geoscientists, engineers, field personnel and other technical and
Through the Interstate
Oil and Gas Compact Commission, North Dakota Gov. John Hoeven assembled
a Petroleum Professionals Blue Ribbon Task Force to address the issue,
charging them with developing proposals both proactive and practical.
The task force made recommendations that have impacted the way the
nation is looking to fill vacancies in the industry, and the Commission
continues to assist member states with finding creative methods to
alleviate the problem.