Do most petroleum geologists enjoy their work?
Considering you work 24 hr (paid by the day) days, how tough/stressfull is an average day? Do you have time to take frequent breaks, or do you work hard all day every day?
- carbonatesLv 71 decade agoFavorite Answer
Most petroleum geologists do not work 24 hr days nor are they paid by the day. Most petroleum geologists work in an office environment and do their job sitting behind work stations, often some of the best computers available due to the large amounts of digital data that geologist work with in the petroleum industry. For example I used to have a $90,000 Unix workstation under my desk, in the days before they began having me work directly on computer servers. Many geologists are attracted to the career by the idea that it will involve working outdoors in rugged environments. I have done this, but it is very rare and unusual. I do work like this today on my own time, but only in order to publish research that I do for the benefit of my career, not for my employer. Most geologists spend their time in the office. As for work hours, it is more common to be paid a salary with the expectation that the geologist will be available whenever he or she is needed.
Petroleum geologists fall into various categories, and some are more likely to have to work odd hours than others. Exploration geologists do just that- they explore for undiscovered oil and gas reserves. Their primary tools are on a computer, and sometimes on an outcrop, but not often. Exploration geologists may work data for only one basin, or may explore anywhere on one continent, one ocean basin, or the entire world. Specialization in one area is more typical. Development geologists work in known oil and gas fields and help direct drilling programs in existing fields, and search for undrilled reservoirs within the area they work. Well site geologists often work shifts at the well site. In most places they do not work 24 hour shifts, but 12 hour shifts are not uncommon. All petroleum geologists at some time or another get assigned to attend to the wells that are being drilled, either as the on-site geologist, or as an on-call resource for the drillers. It is not unusual to get called in the middle of the night and have to go to the office or to the computer and look at well logs to help the drilling crew make decisions. Other geologists work doing geo-steering which may mean they work night shifts or day shifts in the office using remote computer access to the drilling rig to help the drillers steer the drill bit. Another group of geologists work in the service industry and may work with well cores or other samples doing specific types of analysis. Again this is done in an office and a laboratory. Other geologists work as consultants and may work at home or at their client's office, performing whatever special skill they have acquired.
Of the various categories development geologists tend to have the most stable careers, but must deal with the lack of variety that working in a small region or one area can bring. Exploration geologists are often the first ones to get laid off because their work is considered the highest risk part of the business and when times get tough oil companies often decide to stick with their existing producing assets rather than looking for more. Well-site geologists often have the most erratic work pattern since their work depends on demand for drilling rigs, and they have to follow the work. They also work in the highest risk part of the industry around drilling rigs.
Stressful? A petroleum geologist is involved in making decisions that involve many millions of dollars, can involve safety of many other workers, and even may involve the public in indirect ways. Most of these decisions are shared by a team as well as management, but a geologist has specialized knowledge that the rest of the team depends upon and does not always respect, so at times the geologist must be assertive enough to push the right choices. The stress is a personal thing, and really depends on one's personality.
Here is the most recent salary survey by the American Association of Petroleum Geologists:Source(s): Mid-career Petroleum Geologist who has worked in many other jobs, even as a commercial oilfield diver, and wouldn't trade my job for almost any other job.
- 5 years ago
Hi, I am a petroleum engineer, not at all to be confused with a petroleum geologist, but I do work very closely with many petroleum geologists and I think I can give you some insight. First off, I do not know of a petroleum geologist who does not hold at least a masters degree. It is the industry standard for petroleum geologists to hold at least a masters of science, and to be competitive in the job market you will most likely need a M.S. degree. Petroleum geologists DO NOT work on the drill site while the well is being drilled, the job of a petroleum geologist is to decide WHERE to drill. Drilling engineers (like me :D) are the ones who are actually at the drilling site while the well is being drilled. I have since moved up a bit and now work in an office in Oklahoma City, but I do miss field work (I worked in the permian AKA middle of nowhere). Petroleum geologists do work in the field tho, but more frequently work in an office and travel to the field. Where I work petroleum geologists work in an office (Oklahoma City) and travel to the Anadarko Basin in the Texas panhandle a few times a month. Most of their job is intesly detailed work that involves looking at past well performance, cuttings from drill bits and core samples from other wells to help them determine where to oil is, and thus where to drill. If you want to work on a platform, or you only want/can afford to go to school for 4 years then look at petroleum engineering. Its very math intensive but then again, petroleum geology is as well. As far as working with others, both professions will be very very team oriented. You will never work alone in the oil and gas industry.
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