Growing up, I knew nothing about the oil and gas industry. I didn’t know a single person in the industry; for all I knew, oil was extracted from big underground caves. However, through my early education, I knew that math and science were the only things I liked and was decently good at in school. So, as I began to look at colleges, there was one application that didn’t require me to write an essay, which to me was a no-brainer to apply. That was the Colorado School of Mines.
In my first days at Mines, I discovered that the only classes I would take were math and science. Physics, chemistry, thermodynamics, calculus, differential equations, statics, geology, and many more. For the next few years, my world would be steeped in learning how our world works, from the very atoms that make up everything, to the distribution of electricity, to the construction of skyscrapers and the extraction of oil and gas.
Once I got out of school and started working in the oil and gas industry, I realized only then what the purpose of all this schooling was. Not to only learn ideas and concepts about engineering and oil and gas, but to learn how to solve problems and figure things out. This process is conducted through the medium of math and science.
After receiving my degree in Petroleum Engineering, I started working for Baker Hughes in their Drilling Fluids division. Working in the field as a mud engineer, I began to understand the size and scope of the oil and gas industry. I had one role on a drilling rig among dozens. The one drilling rig supported dozens of companies. The thousands of drilling rigs throughout the US were simply one initial facet of the upstream side of the industry. From drilling and completions to production, midstream, and refining, the sheer scale of the industry never ceases to amaze me to this day.
Going through the ups and downs of this industry, I’ve continually been proud to be a tiny part of what powers our planet. I am incredibly thankful that this industry has allowed me to provide for my family while helping supply the world’s energy needs.
Blog Author: Dean Madrid, Account Manager – Rockies Division