Geologists, the first group of professionals to be hired during good
times in the oilpatch and the first to be let go in hard times, are
seeing a slight increased demand for their services in comparison to
the same period in 1986.
"We are seeing much more demand for geologists than this time
last year," said Larry Nation, Tulsa-based director of
communications for the American Association of Petroleum Geologists.
"Anything is an improvement.
"There are geologists out there, but whether they have the
specific background or experience the company needs is questionable.
The companies are being choosy.
"We're going to see a great demand for geologists, probably
sooner than we all think. The oil industry has gone through this
cycle many times. We haven't learned our lessons from history."
However, for the most part, Oklahoma exploration and production
companies are simply maintaining their staffs, hiring only when
someone leaves the company, according officials of Oklahoma City
firms such as Alexander Energy Corp., Kerr-McGee Corp., Beard Oil
Co., Bogert Oil Co., Devon Energy Corp. and Tulsa-based
Kaiser-Francis Oil Co.
Some older geologists with several years of experience, are
finding more work as the year progresses, said Robert Northcutt, a
consulting geologist in Oklahoma City, but there is no shortage as
there is for some firms in skilled workers with the rise of oil
prices and the rig count.
Younger geologists are trying to work for the older geologists
to gain experience or are leaving the industry, said Kathy Gentry,
also a consulting geologist.
"I've been out of school for two years," Gentry said. "The big
decision we have to make is whether to stick in out or find another
Some of her compatriots, with less than five years of
experience, are leaving the industry, Gentry said, and are returning
to school for teaching certificates, graduate work, additional
computer skills. Some are are opting for the armed service or other
diverse interests, she said.
"I've been one of the fortunate ones to pick up work," Gentry
said. The younger geologists that do stick with the oil industry
are trying to generate prospects, locate permanent jobs or work for
The younger geologists that have decided to stay in the field
are applying for the same jobs that geologists with master's degrees
and 10 years experience are applying for, she said. …