ABOUT US | Experienced Energy Industry Personnel Clearing House
Consulting Assets is a clearing house for individual technical and management consultants and personnel in the energy industry.
Jim Honefenger has more than 40 years in the oil and gas industry, managing senior technical teams and complex technical sales & marketing processes. Jim has worked in key executive management roles and as a consultant with companies of all sizes, with regional, national and global teams and most recently, as Regional Director for Gaffney, Cline & Associates. Jim holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering and has been involved with software applications—through marketing, sales, support, consulting or development—for his entire oil patch career. In addition to his business ventures, Jim actively participates in AIPN, SPE, the Oil Council and Volunteer Houston, where he has held key leadership positions.
Dave Rees has over 40 years of experience in the oil and gas industry, leading sales, marketing or petrotechnical teams for much of his career. He has worked in executive management roles with service and consulting companies of all sizes, most recently as Senior Vice President of Business Development with RPS Group and Knowledge Reservoir. Dave holds a bachelor’s degree in environmental sciences and has been involved with technical consulting and resourcing for the past twelve years.
The energy industry is going through a major restructuring, the like of which has not been seen since the late 1980’s, when a generation of workers was lost, and it is obvious that the rate of skills replacement will not be adequate when things turn around.
The drivers behind this restructuring are multifaceted, but the largest factor, as ever historically, is the commodity prices of oil and gas. When oil was at $100 per bbl, the industry overreacted with over hiring and high debt to earnings ratio. In addition there was a pervasive thought by many of the shale operators that shale development was a “factory” with little need for technical evaluation of the subsurface. The mode of operation was trial and error with different completion techniques.
The downturn has forced the industry into a reduction-in-force (RIF) situation, with much of that RIF achieved by pushing the experienced end of the workforce into retirement. The industry is also enduring the “Great Crew Change”, compounding the experience and skills shortage the industry will face in the next upturn. The aging of our industry’s workforce and the near-term disappearance of the related knowledge base and experience are apparent when examining the data on SPE members’ age distribution.
As prices return to stability, albeit at lower levels than previous highs, operators will find that they no longer have enough staff to execute new and existing projects, and furthermore that they lack the experienced staff who were available as mentors previously.
The talent pool that has been laid off either through retirement or RIF activities is enormous. Access to that talent will be a need that the industry will have, but that it may not want or be able to hire back as full-time staff. This need will vary depending on the company - some will want additional technical people to work on internal projects and some will want mentors to help their young staff with difficult problems and their lack of experience.
Disinclined to meet the ongoing costs of hiring back permanent staff, producers and service companies alike will turn to contract consultants to fill immediate and medium term needs.
Consulting Assets is well positioned to provide experienced technical and management personnel on a contract basis to our clients looking for access to lost experience without the costs, risks and liabilities associated with rehiring full-time employees. For our clients with full-time positions to fill, we maintain an extensive pool of candidates across the spectrum of disciplines and experience levels.