More than 360 young energy professionals from throughout the state met at the Sheraton in downtown Oklahoma City on Thursday to learn more about both the oil and natural gas industry and the opportunities within the sector.
The industry downturn from the late 1970s through the early 2000s led an entire generation to run as far away from oil and gas as they could.
“My dad begged me not to come back to this industry,” said Roe Patterson, senior vice president and chief operating officer at Midland, Texas-based Basic Energy Services.
He didn't listen, and now he's glad he didn't.
Improved technology and drilling techniques have led to a renewed focus on finding and developing oil and natural gas throughout the United States and Canada over the past decade. With that boom, the industry has created tens of thousands of energy jobs in Oklahoma alone.
Energy companies have flooded university campuses throughout the country searching for young, quality geologists, geophysicists, engineers and accountants.
“Not too long ago, I thought my generation would turn out the lights on the industry as we retired,” said Jeff Hume, Continental Resources' vice chairman of strategic growth initiatives. “But today our company has 40 years worth of drilling projects, and we're growing that every day.”