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Expatriate workers find wealth of positions worldwide

Posted on April 25, 2013
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Working abroad is just part of the job for many professionals in the oil and gas industry, driving expatriate employment around the globe. For engineers, geologists and other professionals, the opportunities to work overseas are abundant, and the benefits attached to these expatriate positions are well worth the journey.

Saudi Aramco, a national oil and natural gas company, has both the largest proven crude oil reserves and largest daily oil production. Robert Britt, a member of staffing services at Aramco Services Co., said his division, a U.S. subsidiary for Saudi Aramco, recruits for professionals to fill a broad range of positions to support the company’s worldwide jobs and projects.

“From drilling and workover engineers, to geologists, petrophysicists, hydrogeologists, reservoir engineers and sedimentologists, we are looking for engineers to join our team working on a number of large-scale activities,” Britt said.

“From regional play-based exploration to focused field developments, we have an active exploration program with opportunities with reservoirs you will find nowhere else than in Saudi Arabia. From exploration and producing, to refining and petrochemicals, there’s a full spectrum of opportunity.”

As another global player in the energy sector, Aker Solutions provides products and services in engineering, construction, maintenance, modification and operation of new and existing oil and gas fields.

“We send all engineering positions, as well as designers and service technicians, abroad to locations like Norway, Germany, Australia, Malaysia, India, Korea, France, United Arab Emirates, Angola and Nigeria,” said Sally Vardy, head of human resources for Aker Solutions’ North America Region.

Britt said Saudi Aramco recruits primarily for expatriate positions in Saudi Arabia, where the company is based.

“Saudi Aramco has four communities, in Dhahran, Ras Tanura, Abqaiq and Udhailiyah, which combine Western-style conveniences with a fully accredited school system, outstanding medical care and diverse recreational activities.”

Providing such conveniences and amenities to expatriates is not uncommon for oil and gas companies. Many provide expatriate communities that are complete with housing, shopping, recreational activities, and educational and medical facilities.

Besides having access to most Western-style conveniences, expatriate assignments also provide competitive benefits and pay.

“There are many benefits when taking on an expat assignment. At Saudi Aramco, the benefits include vacation schedule, highly competitive compensation, tax advantages and many others,” Britt said.

“What we emphasize is that the benefits are not only for the employee, but also for the entire family. The expat positions offer the best of both worlds – a once-in-a-lifetime career opportunity combined with an outstanding quality of life and experiences you’ll never forget.”

Vardy said that expatriates have boundless opportunities for professional development when they take assignments abroad.

“It’s an opportunity to transfer knowledge to and learn from the host country, such as technology and culture, and to develop leadership skills that broaden international exposure,” Vardy said. “Expat assignments are a development opportunity and a global experience, and they build self-esteem.”

The benefits of expatriate assignments extend not only to employees, but to the employers as well. Oil and gas companies that provide expatriate assignments benefit from the experience and diversity expatriates bring to positions.

“Expatriates who join Saudi Aramco work on developing reserves and mega-projects that require excellence at every level,” Britt said.

“The professionals at Saudi Aramco are committed to partnering with others in the industry to address the challenges of our global energy future. And that not only benefits Saudi Aramco, but also the industry at large.”

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