With the world population predicted to reach 10 billion by 2050, access to sustainable, affordable and secure energy sources is a major global concern. Shifts in global demographics are creating new markets that reward agile companies. While oil and gas companies are traditionally slower to adopt new technologies, these companies also recognize that to compete and win in the digital age they must transform their business models, processes and IT operations. In the new digital economy, access to information is a key competitive differentiator– and securing this information from cyber threats is a top business imperative for 2017.

Here in Houston, as oil and gas companies begin to rebound slowly from the downturn, expect continued investment in digital technology to integrate, collaborate and automate processes. Companies are turning to technology to flatten out their boom/bust cycles and improve operational efficiencies. For example, companies are enhancing their exploration, development and production efforts by using advanced technology to create detailed models and images of the Earth’s structure and layers up to 35,000 feet below the surface. They’re using proprietary data to describe oil well activity, manage machinery and tool performance, and monitor oil flow rates and pressures.

Do you have the skills these companies need to succeed in the digital age?

  1. Oil and gas companies are extremely cautious about security concerns and network vulnerabilities– and for good reason. Proprietary exploration, discovery and extraction data from geologists and geophysicists – like the detailed models of the Earth’s layers previously described – represents an oil and gas company’s competitive advantage. As companies shift towards cloud-based applications, securing this proprietary data is of utmost importance. Here in Houston, companies are seeking IT professionals with strong backgrounds in secure software development, cloud security, networking monitoring and intrusion detection.
  1. Supply chain management. In the age of software and semiconductors, supply chain digitization drives efficiency. Technology-savvy, metrics-driven professionals who excel at complex logistics management are in high demand right now. Professionals with experience managing enterprise network data and complex supply chains can command top salaries even in a down market.
  2. Operational performance. From well performance management to pipeline integrity monitoring, Internet of Things (IoT) technology is reshaping how oil and gas companies optimize operational performance. Both oil and gas and manufacturing companies are creating new roles for these confident decision makers who have backgrounds in LEAN, SIX Sigma, Operations Excellence and Continuous Improvement.


Digital Energy Job Outlook 2017

With the oil and gas industry expected to stabilize this year for the first time since the downturn, companies are ready to shore up network vulnerabilities with expert hires. Currently, there are more cybersecurity and digital technology roles open than we can fill due to a mismatch between available skill sets and market demand. With the avalanche of new products, new technologies and new ways of working, job seekers who can demonstrate strong digital skills – including cybersecurity expertise – can expect multiple, competitive offers in 2017.

Do you have the experience and in-demand skill set for the digital energy revolution? For more information on available positions and required skills, contact me at DArmendariz@lucasgroup.com.

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