Besides Roughnecks and Roustabouts, Fracturing Equipment Operator is the most popular fracking position. Interestingly, to be hired as Fracturing Equipment Operator, a candidate is not required even to have previous experience on oil rigs, while having your valid CDL (commercial driver's license) is obligatory. In fact, FEO is an entry-level oil frac job on rigs. Besides availability of CDL, a candidate should be sure he is mechanically skilled, a quick learner, and got stamina to work hard, sometimes overtime, up to 70 - 80 hours per week total. That's for the salary that is more than generous. Say, in PA fracking jobs pay on average $US 62,000 per annum salary. Regardless of the state, the majority of fracking jobs are in drilling and engineering, the other of them being positions such as Treators, Field Supervisors, Engineering Technicians, Project Engineers, Civil Engineering Technicians, Survey Technicians, Gas Turbine Field Engineers/Technicians. Contrary to Fracturing Equipment Operator, more complex jobs may require both formal training and field experience working on oil & gas rigs and clearances or certifications that allow to operate high pressure equipment. Employment is available with the contractors like Haliburton, Lewis Energy Group that services approximately 1,400 oilwells at Eagle Ford, Wilcox, Escondido, Olmos, and Edwards formations, and the list could go on. As for the salaries, the lowest paid unskilled positions without previous experience allow to easily earn $US 1,000 per week. It is worth noting that each fracking job creates 3 more jobs in the related industries, like catering, housing & hospitality, construction, trucking, water supplies etc., the opportunities are good.
Fracking for oil and natural gas offers quite a lot of jobs. However, what is fracking? Fracking, or "hydraulic fracturing", is the technology, used to extract natural gas and oil from rock that lies deep inside layers of formations below the surface of the earth. Fracking uses big volumes of water as a base of chemical solutions mixed with approximately 10% of sand and 0.5% of additives, to be injected at high pressure inside the rocks to fracture them for the purpose of releasing oil or gas, locked within them. The advent of fracking, employed in combination with horizontal drilling, has formed a specific technology of drilling for oil and natural gas, which is responsible for the abrupt rise of the U.S. oil and natural gas production and bringing the number of jobs, available in oil drilling industry, to almost 10 million jobs across the USA. Partially the boost to fracking originated also from the ban on offshore drilling in some parts of the Gulf of Mexico. Thus jobs, appearing with oil frac companies somewhat compensated for the jobs, lost by the people on offshore platforms.
If we take the last August situation, the total number of jobs in oil & natural gas development/production across Texas exceeded the impressive 300,000, resulting from the fourth year of steady economic growth caused by the start of using fracking drilling. Texan oil companies apparently feel shortage of both experienced and inexperienced staff, and try to draw trained oil rig workers and key engineering staff from the other states across the USA. The high demand in new workforce immediately got reflected in the increase of the salaries that at the moment were cited to start at $US 70,000 for low skilled workers without previous experience in oil drilling industry to fill hot vacancies of Roustabouts, Roughnecks, Motormen, Mechanics, Pipefitters, Leasehands, ordinary Painters, Trainee Drillers and the full range of the positions in logistics, required by oilfield development and servicing companies. Companies join severe competition for the workforce they are desperate to hire.
It is the technologies, involving fracking and horizontal drilling for oil that created some of the most technologically advanced oil production jobs with salaries going way beyond $US 100,000 a year, especially in some of the previously nearly depressive areas of the south Texas and North Dakota. Jobs from frac companies are mostly available in the following states: West Virginia, Colorado, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Louisiana, Arkansas, Texas, Ohio, and on the following shale plays: Marcellus Shale, Eagle Ford Shale, Barnett Shale, Haynesville Shale, Fayetteville Shale, Bakken Shale, Utica Shale. In fact, what we see, is boom in fracking industry jobs in the USA. According to the National Journal, during the last decade the rise of median salary in the oil drilling industry in Pennsylvania, residing in the very center of this recent oilwell fracking boom, was recorded at almost 80%, while median wage growth in all other state's industries was only slightly more than 35% over the period, covering the last ten years.
The most important advantage that oilwell fracking technologies provide, lies in stimulation of oil production from the wells that would otherwise turn hopelessly unprofitable to develop. If not fracking, oilfield servicing companies, operating the oil rigs in question, would have to be decommissioned and many oil rig jobs would be lost, starting from low end Roustabouts and Roughnecks and extending to Reservoir Engineer, Exploration Geologist, or Process Engineer with 6 figure salary.
Fracking could be done, using instead of water the gases like nitrogen or propane in the capacity of the replacement for the water. The huge amounts of water used by the frac companies raise environmentalists concerns, fearing they could not only upset the water balance in the nature, but also cause severe pollution to the environment. In case of using water as the main constituent part of the solution, used in the fracking process, 90% of the fracking fluids remain deep inside the earth. How that could impact the earth structure and what tectonic consequences could involve, is so far not clear.
Back to the employment opportunities with frac companies. Besides the USA oil fracking jobs are available in Canada, Australia, UK, Saudi Arabia and some other places, where the drilling for oil is performed by big players.
There's a country in the world, almost completely deprived of its permanent sources of the fresh water. This country is Saudi Arabia. This Middle East country has not even a single river or other permanent source of water through its entire territory. Some flows, looking like river, may appear only after prolonged heavy rains, should they occur during the humid season for a very short span of time. Those irregular flows are very strong in the eastern part of the country, in al-Hasa, where there are many springs, used to irrigate the oases, but they do not form any rivers. The problem is solved by the country's water supply improvement and the development of plants that desalinate sea water, through creation of a large number of artesian wells, and arranging some ultra deep wells, allowing access to groundwater. Nevertheless, in spite of such devastating shortage of water, this oil producing country and its major oil company Saudi Aramco, work towards implementing hydraulic oil fracking technologies to increase their oil production volumes. Recently Saudi Aramco was reported to invest $ US 7 billion (£ UK 4.64 billion) in shale (unconventional) gas drilling on the nation's territory. Saudi Arabia is estimated to possess the shale deposits that rank fifth in the world and makes it clear it is resolute to use hydraulic fracturing to reach them, while in the countries like UK the arguments over the ban of the frac practices of drilling for oil do not subside. It seems authorities of Saudi Arabia feel sure they'd cope with the job of averting water contamination risks.