careers advice

Oil and Gas


Nigeria produces only high value, low sulphur content, light crude oils.  It has a crude oil production capacity of 2.5 million barrels per day and is the largest African producer of oil and the sixth largest oil producing country in the world.   In 2011, Nigeria produced 2.9% and 1.2% of the world’s crude oil and gas. 

The sector is dominated by joint venture operations between the Nigerian government and six major international oil companies—Shell, Mobil, Chevron, Agip, Elf, and Texaco.

Types of jobs within Oil and Gas in Nigeria: Oil and gas jobs in Nigeria are wide ranging and include engineering, drilling, design, commercial, inspection, environmental, geosciences, inspection, health and safety, financial, legal, IT and communication, HR and recruitment, administration, marine, logistics, management, medical, procurement, production sales and marketing, and scientific jobs.


Writing CVs: Same as standard generic CVs but with specific experience and qualifications to oil and gas.

International CVs: It is important to note that a number of oil and gas companies in Nigeria are international companies who have their individual requirements step by step recruitment process, hence the importance to ensure that the CV and application forms meet their individual requirements. For example, Shell , one of the main international oil companies in Nigeria states the contents for CVs to them, and is in a standard or chronological order as follows:

  • Personal details - Keep this section brief - your full name, address, email address and phone number are important.
  • Education details - List these in reverse chronological order with your most recent experiences first. Include the name of the institutions, the dates you were there and the qualifications you obtained/will obtain. You may want to list the relevant modules, the projects and dissertations you undertook, the grades you achieved and the skills you developed.
  • Career history / professional experience - Whether they’re paid, voluntary or shadowing, all experiences count. State these in reverse chronological order with dates to show how long you were there. Mention your achievements and highlight the skills you used or developed.
  • Positions of responsibility/other achievements/outside interests - Including this information will show that you’re motivated to pursue activities relating to your career and that you take the initiative to develop your skills. Focus on recent examples, describing what you contributed and learnt.

Reference:  Shell: tips for CV writing

Application forms: Same as advise as generic information but relevant to oil and gas.

Preparing for interview: You can pass any job interview if you will consider following the next set of tips:

  • Arrive at the company earlier, maybe 10-15 minutes earlier. In order to achieve that, make sure you allow time for any traffic problems. In case you are late apologize briefly and don′t offer any excuses, because you shouldn′t have any.
  • Don′t go at the interview if you are tired; yawning and lacks of energy don′t make god impressions.
  • The handshake should be firm. If you are nervous and your hands are sweaty, you can run some cold water over them and wipe them with a napkin.
  • Make sure you choose the appropriate clothing for the position you are applying for. A suit might be great for an accountant position, but not for a driller position.
  • Be prepared with useful information about the company and the oil and gas industry and you will build an interesting conversation with the interviewer.
  • Turn off the cell phone and the pager. No one likes to be interrupted by their sound, especially the interviewer.
  • Avoid excessive hand gestures or other nervous habits (like playing with your hair or chewing your nails).
  • Speak clearly and try to avoid using words like ′hmm′ or ′ah′, that could leave the impression you don′t know what to respond.
  • Think before you speak, especially if you like chatting. The interviewer doesn′t need to know what movie you have seen last night.
  • Be confident when it comes to your skills and what you can do for the company.
  • Maintain a positive attitude.
  • Don′t hesitate in asking questions about the company. If you don′t have any, think of some. The employers appreciate the real interest in the company and the operations they perform, and will consider that you could fit into the company.
  • At one point, you can open a discussion about the wages or benefits they can offer you, especially if you are a graduate.
  • You can offer to provide them more references about your skills and experience.

Now that you know what you should do during the job interview, maybe some possible questions about the oil and gas jobs might prepare you better regarding the informational aspect of the interview.

Those questions can easily match many of the Oil and Gas sectors, and the only thing you must to is consider any questions related to the specific company you are applying for. You can use them successfully for asking your interviewer details about the company and show that you are really interested in building a career in the oil industry.

  • Can you specify some of the consequences of the mergers and the restructuring of the staff on your company′s profile?
  • What is the career development of your employees that started a similar position five or seven years ago?
  • What are the methods used by your company to maintain a permanent development in the oil and gas field?
  • How would you describe your company′s most competitive advantages?
  • How do your business units cooperate in order to operate at a maximum efficiency?

Now that you have put your interviewer on the spot, it will eventually be your turn to be ′grilled′. You can use those questions to get an idea about what the interviewer will ask you. There will also be questions that will refer specifically to the position you are applying for.

  • What are your goals on a long term period and on a short one regarding your career?
  • Why have you chosen the Oil and Gas industry to build a career?
  • Have you ever used your persuasion skills in order to achieve your goal? If you had, describe the situation.
  • Have you ever been involved in a project that required working with people that came from different backgrounds? Describe the experience.
  • Can you describe me a situation that required you to use your skills in order to prevent a possible conflict?

Reference: (Nigeria)

Key employer


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