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Oil industry digs deep for future drillers

The oil exploration sector is adopting the catch them young mantra to ease its shortage of manpower for drilling and exploration, reports Suman Layak.

business Updated: Jan 11, 2008 22:36 IST
Suman Layak

The oil exploration sector is adopting the catch them young mantra to ease its shortage of manpower for drilling and exploration. Facing a shortage of almost 50 per cent, the industry has decided to go to schools to popularise the profession.



The global oil exploration industry has seen a huge demand for manpower as well for exploration rigs as price of crude oil has touched $100 a barrel. India will need around 6,000 new engineers and geophysicists in the next five years, but the institutions will train only around 3000. On the other hand all global oil companies are eager to get a piece of the Indian action.



Chairman of the Society of Petroleum Engineers, NK Mitra (he is also the director for offshore at ONGC Ltd) said: "We are now going into schools where we will talk to students about how oil is produced and about the science of finding oil underground." He feels that this activity will help create awareness among students about the profession of a geophysicist and drilling engineer and lead more of them to choose it as a profession.



He pointed out that there are already around 700 foreign engineers who are working in India in the sector and more and more foreigners are coming in to make the best use of the opportunities.



Mitra said that only the Indian Institutes of Technology at Roorkee and Kharagpur offer geophysics as a course along with Indian School of Mines, Dhanbad, MIT Pune and the Dibrugarh University. The Society is in talks with many other Indian universities to start the course.



S Krishna Prakash, managing partner for EMA Partners, that hires for leadership roles for global oil majors said: "We have a mandate from more than one company to look at any senior oil industry guy who may be available. We are often looking at west Asia for Indians and trying to bring them back. Salaries are not a problem."