The Problem of the Great Crew Change

In early 2018 the oil and gas market is showing signs of a recovery. According to the Wall Street Journal, this past February marked the fifth month in a row that banks raised their forecast for oil prices, signaling confidence that prices will continue to recover as a global supply glut decreases due to production cuts.

Many companies that had reduced their capital expenditures and delayed projects are bringing them back online. As a result, skilled and competent workers are needed once again by operators. Although companies are back hiring, there is still a lingering problem brewing underneath the markets recent turn for the better, and that is the Great Crew Change.

Yes, we have talked about the Great Crew Change in the past, but the conversation took a backseat because of all the adversity the oil and gas industry faced due to the last downturn. The topic is back in the forefront, and the conversation is more important now more than ever. Many veterans of the industry are about to retire, and because of the lack of hiring back in the 80s and 90s, a large age gap in the oil industry workforce was created (engineers are either over the age of 57 or under the age of 37). Think about the invaluable real-life experience that is going to be lost that you just can’t teach in a classroom. How do you transfer this knowledge effectively and efficiently with limited resources?

Sysmax, an international technology firm, is the answer to solving the Great Crew Change. The company specializes in addressing the transfer of knowledge by utilizing several management systems in the areas of risk management, integrity, and competency assurance. Founded by 33-year petroleum engineering veteran Peter McAteer, Sysmax has been working with operators worldwide to drive performance enhancement.

The company’s systems take competency to new levels by using gamification techniques, human factors and characters to place users in real-life challenges where incidents unfold. Imagine taking all the real-life experience from veteran crews along with internal/external data and using technology that is attractive to a younger workforce but user-friendly for all ages, to transfer knowledge. Sysmax technologies can funnel years of knowledge into days or hours of learning.

The ratio of new hires coming in compared to retirees going out is 2 to 1. Over the next three to five years an average of 20 years’ experience is going to be removed from the industry. Sysmax is uniquely equipped to address the Great Crew Change for the oil and gas industry.

To learn more about our systems, contact Shon Mattox, Business Development Manager at +1 (281) 619-4964 or by email:

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