WHILE the resources industry has retreated somewhat from the massive highs of recent years, there's still plenty of activity in the sector, particularly as oil and gas exploration and production expands to compensate for the retraction in the coal and iron ore sectors.
The big players in oil and gas are well-known. Think companies like Woodside, Shell and BP for the former, and Santos, QGC and Arrow Energy, for the latter. But while these are the companies you're more likely to hear about, they are by no means the only ones operating in the sector.
The big guys generally operate at the project level - they're the ones building the massive LNG plants off Gladstone's coast, but to actually do the work they contract downstream companies with expertise in specific parts of the project.
The same thing happens at the other end. Out in the oil and gas fields of south-west Queensland's Surat and Galilee basins, upstream companies have their workers on the ground performing the project-critical tasks that keep the whole show moving forward.
Leighton Contractors, for example, is working with Australia Pacific LNG to install more than 1200km of pipeline, and 1700km of fibre optic and power cabling, and equipment for more than 600 LNG wellheads near Miles, 340km west of Brisbane.
The $450 million project is scheduled for completion in 2015, and at its peak will employ about 375 people.
Leighton has noted filling those jobs as a key challenge of the project, largely due to the difficulty in attracting appropriately skilled workers, given three other companies are working on the same project in the same area.
The key though for jobseekers is that many upstream roles won't be advertised by the project joint venture partners. If you can determine who has been awarded which contracts, you'll have a better idea of which companies you should be approaching, or at least keeping an eye on.
The internet is a powerful tool. Learn to use it in your job research and you'll discover there are plenty of upstream opportunities, they're just not being shouted from the tree-tops and aren't always with the flagship companies leading the big oil and gas projects.
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