Well, this past month it finally happened. Owen came a calling. About 2 weeks ago, I received an email from Owen asking for my story of how I got into the Oil & Gas Industry. In my foolishness, I thought I could brush Owen off with a quick note: Why, almost 25 years ago, did I go into this industry? I didn’t have the job in what, I thought, I really wanted to do. But I forgot about Owen’s tenacity. So I sent him another note with a very dry recitation of my experience and called it done.
A couple of days later, I told my wife about Owen’s invitation, and how I handled it. She gave me that look that only a wife can give. The same look she gave me when I exploded a hardboiled egg in the microwave earlier that morning. She told me that I had copped out and convinced me to submit a real write-up. The thing is, what I told Owen was the truth. I got into the oil industry because I didn’t have what I thought was my dream job. It seems a 1985 BS in Physics from Colorado School of Mines was not enough to get me a job at a national lab or a leading semi-conductor company (oh! the arrogance of youth). My fallback plan, one to two years as a ski bum, collided with financial realities before it got off the ground. So Amoco it was!
The question that seems more relevant to my story is not how I got into the industry, but why I stayed. Accordingly, below are the top ten reasons I continue to stay and love being in the Oil & Gas Industry.
Reason 10 – 1980’s style training camps, where more brain cells were lost to beer than were built on the lessons of reflection and refraction.
Reason 9 – Designing and implementing multi-million dollar technologies with the encouragement and finances of a major.
Reason 8 – Not getting laid off in ’87, ’88, ’89, ’91, ’93, ’94, and ’97.
Reason 7 – Riding seismic boats with my future wife.
Reason 6 – Bringing in and still paying out a well even after sticking and losing a $2 MM LWD tool.
Reason 5 – Continually contradicting the talking heads who yearly claim there is no more new oil to be found.
Reason 4 – Laying out seismic lines, only to realize later they go through someone’s front porch.
Reason 3 – 1 ohm of resistivity flowing at 5 MMCF per day unstimulated
Reason 2 – The people, the places, and the technology.
Reason 1 – It is a treasure hunt!
Eric Gardner — Geologist