What's it like to work in the UK gas industry?
So many things that require power are dependent on gas: heating our homes, generating electricity, producing fertilisers and assisting in the creation of petrol, to name a few! Gas is a key ingredient that the whole world craves.
The UK gas industry is booming, with production in the North Sea both extensive and labour-heavy. The UK Continental Shelf, in particular, is rife with pockets of gas. This means that many career opportunities are available in this industry.
However, working in this environment presents a great amount of challenges to the workers that inhabit the various rigs.
Gas is an extremely important resource for anything that needs to be ‘powered’. Without gas, a lot of things simply wouldn’t work. Unfortunately though, it doesn’t simply arrive in our cookers via a magic pipe. An extensive series of operations have to be carried out before the gas starts heating up your tin of baked beans.
Upstream vs. Downstream gas roles
The gas industry can be split largely into what is known as ‘upstream’ and ‘downstream’. Upstream is all about finding the gas, extracting it and sending it to be processed. Downstream relates to the processing and delivery of gas to the end user.
Geologists are required to hunt gas down, drilling engineers are responsible for extracting it and pipeline operatives are required to deliver the resources to the nearest processing plant. Once at the plant, energy managers, petroleum engineers, scientists and plant operatives are required to turn natural gas into a product fit for general consumption.
Are there opportunities for advacement in the UK gas industry?
Almost all of UK gas production occurs in the seas surrounding the UK, with over 14,000 kilometres of pipelines connecting 181 gas platforms to a number of subsea installations. In short, a huge amount of offshore infrastructure requires a lot of assistance in extracting the gas that our energy industry provides.
According to Oil & Gas UK, the gas industry receives a lot of investment. In 2012 alone, £11.4 billion was invested in the UK’s oil and gas reserves, and the industry supported at least 440,000 jobs across the UK. Consequently, there is a lot of scope for career progression.
When it comes to the gas industry, the majority of its employees are based in the farthest reaches of the UK. Unless you are involved in the buying and selling side of the gas industry, it is more than likely that you will be working in a processing plant, out on the rigs or working on the pipelines.
With so many opportunities available to you, why not consider applying to a position in the gas industry?!