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Jim Craddock - Rosetta Resources
Despite the exciting contributions to energy production that the application of horizontal hydraulic fracturing (fracking) has provided, the market for petroleum engineers and technicians is still very tight.
Rykert attributed this to the oil and gas "bust" in the 1980s, during which there was a decline in the number of students entering petroleum engineering degree programs.
"There was a 'skipped generation' as college students avoided the field due to the perception of lack of opportunity.
Petroleum engineering university programs are now growing as the industry has significantly rebounded, but there is a gap in experience levels in the 10- to 20-year range," Rykert said.
"The industry is also facing the loss of the 'baby boom' generation as these individuals are nearing retirement age."
The growing number of employment opportunities across the state due to the Eagle Ford Shale, in conjunction with a sluggish supply of new talent, means industry employers are eager to search for and hire qualified engineers.
"We seek experienced engineers and geoscientists in the exploration and production industry with petroleum engineering, geoscience or related degrees.
We maintain an internship program as a method to establish a pipeline to future engineering talent and introduce students to opportunities...," Rykert said.
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