Jobs in the Oil Patch

By December 17, 2007Education and Training, Energy

Promoters of massive government intervention, subsidies and direction of the country’s energy sector promise all sorts of positive economic results — millions, why, MILLIONS, of jobs in the renewable energy sector.

Thing is, there are already energy jobs aplenty being created by the free market. And just because they’re in the oil patch doesn’t mean they’re dirty, difficult* jobs, either. From KXMC-TV Minot, N.D., reporting on an energy summit held last week in Williston:

(Jim Olson, KX News) Not all the jobs in oil country look like this. Some involve new technology that has helped fuel the current rush of oil exploration in Montana and North Dakota.

(Robert Harms, Northern Alliance) “Think of being able to run a multi-million dollar drilling rig with a toggle switch and sit in front of a computer screen with three or four of your buddies who also sit in front of computer screens and drill out four miles with a toggle switch and a computer screen on a drilling site is amazing.”

(Jim Olson, KX News) Robert Harms represents a group of independent oil producers. He says all kinds of oil-related jobs need to be filled. And he thinks many of the 33-hundred new jobs can be filled with people already living in North Dakota.

Harms — a friend, by the way — says an important part of filling these jobs is making clear to people how good so many of these jobs are. That’s a challenge faced by U.S. manufacturing in general.

UPDATE (9:35 a.m.): More on Automated Drilling Rigs.

The ADR 500 helps take people away from danger, minimizing risk and eliminating the need for crews to work in difficult circumstances. Almost everything on a conventional drilling rig is heavy and hard to move; but with the next generation ADR 500, Ensign personnel can leverage automation to reduce the interface with heavy and dangerous drilling rig components including rill pipe. This technology is really all about increasing efficiency and reducing elements of danger.

* After some consideration, thought we shouldn’t portray any job as easy. Obviously, adequate skills and knowledge are essential. The jobs surely will be difficult — not impossible — but not necessarily backbreaking work.

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