Informational Interview with an Oil and Gas Consultant
Today, the global oil and gas industry offers exciting opportunities to young college graduates, post graduates, and experienced professionals. It is one of the most lucrative industries, which is full of challenges and exciting new opportunities. This paper deals with the reflections and advice that I received after interviewing Mr. Agnihotri, who is an oil and gas consultant of international repute. He provided me with valuable information and insights on the dynamics of oil and gas industry, and what it can offer to the next generation.
Background of the Interviewee
He has authored of a book titled ‘ oil- past, present, future- An Indian Perspective’, which is a sort of a reference guide for oil industry, and it is meant for students as well as young oil and gas professionals (Agnihotri, 2013). Having travelled extensively to various oil and gas locations, Mr. Gaurav has successfully dealt with oil companies such as O. N. G. C, Oil India limited, Cairn, and G. E – oil and gas. He also writes columns for IQPC-London, and has been included in the list of ‘ Top 50 oil and gas people you need to follow on twitter’ (Dutta, 2014). He is also active on twitter by the handle @Gaurav81184 and has more than 9000 followers on twitter.
I conducted an informational interview with Mr. Gaurav Agnihotri via telephone. He was very kind and promptly answered all my questions. Although I had prepared several basic questions, I had decided to conduct this interview in an open ended way, where I would ask questions based on the expert’s reactions and answers. The interview went really well and following are my major takeaways/ advice from the interviewee:
– Oil and gas is perhaps the only industry which can create a major impact in the world economy, as oil and gas prices are dependent on factors such as wars, political unrests, sanctions and supply disruption. If the price of oil goes up, so does the inflation. Because of this, oil and gas industry is probably the backbone of the world economy.
– In order to get into oil and gas industry, one has to have a bachelor degree in engineering or a science degree. Some of the most prominent jobs in oil and gas would be of geologists, drillers, sales managers, project-engineers, instrumentation engineers, chemical engineers, draftsmen, design engineers, oil and gas consultants and analysts. People who have a master’s degree tend to get better pay packages as compared to the ones with a bachelor degree.
– Private companies like Shell, Cairn, Chevron, Exxon Mobil and BG hire trainees as well as management graduates from various colleges across the world and equip them with necessary technical and managerial skills.
– The pay packages offered by these companies are pretty substantial and best in the industry. It ranges from $1000 to $150000 per month.
– Speaking about his work, a normal daily schedule includes checking out various oil and gas websites to find any new tenders/projects, checking out the latest developments in the field of oil and gas, visiting client’s locations and maintaining excellent professional relationships.
– According to Mr. Agnihotri, the biggest success mantra in the oil industry is to create excellent working relationships with the partners, suppliers and the client. After all, it is a small world, and a person who is working in one company would be working in another one after few years. So, having good relationships can have several indirect advantages!
– Training and development is another important aspect of oil and gas industry. The employees must be trained on new technologies and skills. Several training courses such as Auto CAD and PMP helps the professionals in getting jobs faster.
Advantages of being in oil and gas sector
As I interviewed Mr. Agnihotri, he gave several examples and situations that highlighted the advantages and merits of being in oil and gas sector. Some of the key points of this discussion were:
– Oil and gas sector is the backbone of the world economy.
– The professionals get high level of international exposure by working with private oil and gas companies such as Exxon Mobil, Chevron, GE, Saudi Aramco and Cairn.
– High level of employee engagement and best in class salaries as compared to any other industry.
– Sales Managers and Oil and Gas consultants get to travel all across the world, attending conferences, trade shows, and exhibitions along with making new business contacts for future.
– A much better work- life balance as compared to other industries. Oil and gas industry is an exciting place to be in. There are no excessive target pressures and the work is pretty satisfying.
– Exciting new opportunity in the form of Shale oil and gas: Shale oil and gas is a great new alternative to conventional oil and gas (Agnihotri, 2013). The technology for extracting this is currently under further development, once this technology is developed, it would open a whole new employment market. This would be a tremendous opportunity that would be up for grabs.
While interviewing Mr. Agnihotri, I could relate myself with him, because even I want to pursue something what he is doing. If you want to change the world, be the change. This is what Mr. Agnihotri believes in, he writes columns which focus on issues such as oil prices, future of energy and new opportunities in oil and gas. To be honest, I could feel an emotional connect between his thoughts and mine. From the interview, I realised that in order to succeed in any field, you need to study hard and get a professional degree. That is the stepping stone of success. Then, a person needs to constantly look for opportunities and must keep faith in himself. If he is talented enough and has good grades, he will definitely land up in a good organisation.
The biggest learning from this interview is the importance of ‘ self-marketing’. In today’s world of cut throat competition, it is very important to create your own brand. According to Mr. Agnihotri, this can be done by writing blogs, and showcasing your expertise on social media vehicles such as Twitter. With consistent efforts, you can generate a group of loyal followers, who would consider you as an ‘ expert’ on a particular topic of your choice. This is what Mr. Agnihotri did. Today, he has more than 9000 followers on twitter; his names shows up on Google search and his books are referred by students of various engineering and petroleum colleges. Following are his details:
Telephone No: +91-022-9020920402
E-Mail ID :
Twitter Handle: @Gaurav81184
Agnihotri, Gaurav. Oil-Past, present, future. First Edition. New Delhi. New Delhi Publishers, 2013. Print
Agnihotri, Gaurav Exploring the potential of shale in India. Retrieved: April 02, 2014 from http://www. oilandgasiq. com/
Dutta, S. (2014) Top 50 Oil and Gas people you need to follow on twitter. Retrieved: April 02, 2014 from http://www. oilandgasiq. com/