Service Leavers are a Great Fit for the Oil and Gas Industry

There are many paths to take in the oil and gas industry and it’s important to figure out the one you want to follow. Whichever you decide on though, it’s clear that ex-forces personnel are very well suited to this sector.

The oil and gas industry has remained buoyant throughout the recession, thanks in part to growing demand from rapidly developing economies, for example, China and India.

Therefore, it remains an attractive prospect when leaving the Services but it’s important to get clear on the part you want to work in. The industry can be divided into three huge areas – upstream, midstream and downstream.

· Upstream – Exploration and Production: geological surveys, seismic exploration, exploratory drilling and extraction. The risks are high as enormous sums are invested – but so are the potential returns if oil is discovered.

· Midstream – Transport: moving the crude oil by pipeline, rail, barge, ship or truck.

· Downstream – Refining and marketing: turning crude into petrol, diesel and residual fuel oil.

Motivation for Joining

With such a wide scope to choose from there are many different motivating factors that attract Service leavers to the industry. In our webinar poll 42% of you said that opportunities for career progression attracted you the most with travel at 10% and interesting engineering at 12%. Harry backed this result up, commenting he often sees Service leavers going in at an elementary level and making rapid progress.

Transferable Skills

He says: “Ex-forces personnel can work unsupervised, take responsibility and learn very quickly, they’re also accustomed to working abroad in difficult environments for long periods.” He adds: “Clients constantly say to me it’s the ability to ‘get stuff done’ that they value.”

OA career consultant Fiona Jackson, who also took part in the discussion, noted that many of her clients’ logistical skills are transferable too – from facilities management, health and safety, risk management and compliance, a point backed up by Harry: “Service leavers are competent operators used to high risk environments and situations.”

Qualifications and Experience

The critical passport is qualifications and experience. For those with a logistics or engineering background the key will be working out which role to go for and in which part of the industry. Harry says: “Translate your qualifications and experience to make them relevant to the position you’re applying for.”

For more information see or read “Oil 101” by Morgan Downey.

To catch up with the webinar in its entirety please visit our events page.