As the federal government struggles to get out of its worst oil spill yet, a new report highlights how companies that are seeking to clean up the spill and rebuild communities are making the effort to hire engineering talent.
The National Petroleum Council (NPC) commissioned a report called “Oil Spill Resilience: A National Resource,” to examine how companies are using engineers, technicians, and other specialists to help with cleanup efforts.
“We know that oil spills are one of the most costly public health problems in the United States,” the report states.
“In many cases, these investments are not made because of the value of the expertise that we have to be able to perform the task, but rather because of our capacity to save lives.”
While many companies are taking advantage of these resources, others are simply not hiring the right people to take on these tasks.
For example, oil companies have been hesitant to hire engineers and technicians in the aftermath of oil spills, but that hasn’t stopped them from seeking to fill that void.
In the past few years, the industry has seen a sharp increase in the number of oil spill cleanup engineers, according to the report.
The report found that more than 40 percent of these positions are filled by oil spill engineers and engineers with experience in chemical engineering and chemistry.
That number increased to nearly 65 percent of the positions, with oil spill remediation engineers making up another 28 percent of this category.
A majority of these oil spill-resilience positions are held by the oil and gas companies, with more than 80 percent of all oil spill engineering jobs being held by companies in the oil industry.
Companies that employ oil spill professionals include companies such as Exxon Mobil, BP, Shell, ConocoPhillips, and Chevron.
As the report notes, oil spill responders are often not hired because they are deemed too expensive to hire.
As of January 2019, only 8.6 percent of oil and oil gas workers were employed by oil companies.
As the report also notes, most oil spill experts are either temporary or are hired through a temporary job, meaning that the oil spill specialist is not the same as a long-term oil spill consultant.
The majority of the oil-related jobs in the US are temporary, according the report, and oil spill specialists are a growing number of these jobs.
While oil spill response engineers and chemical engineers are typically the most expensive jobs, the report noted that a large percentage of these occupations do not require that specialized training.
Despite these high costs, oil and energy companies continue to hire oil spill and chemical engineer positions.
According to the National Council on Oil Spills, about 40 percent (25,872) of all petroleum spill response positions were held by oil and chemical companies in 2017, up from 24 percent in 2016.
As with other jobs, oil spills and chemical spills are costly, but the energy companies are finding that hiring the best people is one of their most important efforts to reduce the risk of oil leaks.