Oil and Gas Skill Complexity, Specializations, and Modernizations

Oil and Gas Skill Complexity, Specializations, and Modernizations

DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-8464-3.ch002
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This chapter highlights and shares personal interviews describing what individuals and companies are doing to retain and hire employees during challenging times in the Permian Basin. Personal experiences are described and shared including positive and negative experiences by seasoned oilfield employees and new oilfield employees with no prior experience. They share their knowledge regarding the current thriving economy in the Permian Basin. A diverse discussion is presented in order for the reader to get a full picture of the perspectives from oil and gas company administrators, individual workers, private sector businesses, and individuals living within the community.
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Ask anyone in the Permian Basin, whether their profession is oil field-based or another industry, their responses all coincide. The entire Permian Basin is basically oilfield related. The effect of this anomaly on other industries - such as restaurants, service stations, retails stores, etc. is extreme. Oil companies are hiring workers with little to no experience in some cases, resulting in other industries such as restaurants and retailers closing early due to the lack of employees available for hire.

With more employment has come a housing shortage. A small one-bedroom apartment now rents for around $1200 - $1700 a month - if one can be found. The school systems need bus drivers because the majority of those previously employed left to drive 18-wheelers for the oil companies (Wethe, 2018). The community colleges are seeing a 20 percent decrease in total school enrollment compared to last year with the exception of commercial driver’s licenses (CDL) classes. Most CDL classes are full and have a lengthy waiting list; however, once a student passes the test they can earn more than $140,000 a year hauling a rig (Wethe, 2018). In an interview with Reuters on May 1, 2018, Dale Redman, chief executive officer of ProPetro in Midland, Texas stated his workforce had tripled from 2016 with the majority of his workforce making more than $100,000 a year (Saphir, 2018). His employees are coming from hundreds of miles away and from every state. His business is providing a great wage nonetheless, the cost of living has gone up all over the Permian Basin. Other services are seeing the increase also as Odessa car dealership Sewell Ford sold 1,073 trucks in the first three months of the year compared to a total of 670 last year (Saphir, 2018). As a result, Sewell just opened a new state of the art service center.

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