There are two major components to the oil and gas industry: 'upstream' and 'downstream'. 'Upstream' in used to describe the processes involved in obtaining crude oil and gas from natural resources. This is likely to involve the exploration of potential gas and oil sites, using seismic and geophysical surveys alongside prospective drilling to determine whether or not a reserve has any promise. If a reserve is found, then the 'upstream' category also includes the development of oil or gas fields by doing things such as constructing well-heads and implementing production facilities.
The 'downstream' category covers processing the crude oil into a marketable product. This may include the transportation of oil and gas, using pipelines and pumping systems, as well as the procedure involved in resource liquefaction and gas processing, using oil refineries and petrochemical plants.
The oil and gas industry are driven by a series of demands, most notably the increasing demand for these resources, the increasing demand or products derived from these resources, new discoveries of oil and gas in complex natural structures, environmental concerns which have lead to specialist technological advances and new regulations which have driven the expansion and development of these industries.
The largest producers of oil and natural gas are Saudi Arabia, Russia, the United States, Iran, China, Mexico, Norway, Venezuela, the UK, Canada, Algeria, the Netherlands, Indonesia and Uzbekistan. However, there is an increase in production from offshore areas such as the Gulf of Mexico, the North Sea, Angola, Vietnam and Australia.
There are many oil and gas jobs available and they can offer successful candidates a truly international career. Oil rig jobs can take a UK engineer to offshore areas across the globe, whilst drilling jobs are available in new and emerging hotspots, such as Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan. These will all require 'upstream' teams to assess the area's prospects in the initial stages, as well as 'downstream' engineers, planners, sales and marketing staff, accounts advisors and construction engineers - to name but a few involved in these mammoth processes.
Those seeking oil and gas jobs overseas would be ell-advised to utilize the services of an appropriate recruitment organization. These groups not only have advanced notice of jobs 'in the pipeline', but they also have the contacts in the industry that ordinary people do not have access to and the capabilities to ensure that the right CV is seen by the right people.
Working abroad in this industry is a chance to begin a new life and enjoy a global career with good work prospects. The demand for gas and oil is relentless, opening up job opportunities within every sector of the processes involved in finding and harnessing these natural resources.