Behind The Scenes Petroleum Careers: Business And Operations Support


It takes more than just engineers and field workers to keep the oil and gas industry running!

Business and operations support professionals work “behind the scenes” at oil and gas companies and in government in a variety of occupations that support various aspects of the industry.

Sounds kind of vague, doesn’t it? To get more specific, they are industry specialists in certain areas such as energy asset management, the environment, health and safety, regulatory affairs, and stakeholder relations.

These careers require diverse educational backgrounds, ranging from journalism and public relations to business and law to science and social sciences, and many other disciplines as well. Most entry-level jobs can be obtained with an undergraduate degree or diploma, but some may require an advanced degree, such as a master’s, MBA or PhD, or a specialized certification or designation.

Working in this area of the oil and gas industry isn’t without its adventures: some positions are primarily based in an office, but most involve at least occasional travel to work sites. A promotion opportunity or change in area of assignment may also require you to relocate!

Stakeholder Relations

(Aboriginal, Community, Investor and Public Relations)

You’ll develop and maintain strong relationships with the external people and groups that affect the success of the industry and the company you work for. Specializations within this area include investor relations, public relations/communications, advising or liaising with local and Aboriginal communities, and conducting research on the social and economic impacts of oil and gas projects.


If you’re passionate about helping the industry reduce its impact on the environment, you’ll enjoy specializing in environmental affairs, where you’ll conduct research to identify sources of industrial pollutants; analyze and test water, air and soil samples for environmental safety; and monitor the impact the industry has on weather and marine life. Jobs include Environmental Advisor, Hazardous Waste Management Advisor, Marine Biologist, Microbiologist and more.

Energy Asset Management

Professionals who work in this area are responsible for ensuring their company properly adheres to the industry’s business regulations and for reporting and negotiating business processes. This may include developing agreements with other companies, negotiating new contracts, conducting cost-analysis reports on the company’s tools, and keeping all licensing and regulations up to date.

Health and Safety

Your career in the health and safety specialization of the petroleum industry will require you to monitor health standards, inspect existing services and programs when needed, implement safety programs and plan for any emergency scenarios. Some common health and safety careers you might find at oil and gas companies include Emergency Response Planner, Health and Safety Inspector, Medic and Nurse.

Regulatory Affairs

Almost every aspect of the petroleum industry is regulated, including drilling, oil and gas production, and pipeline construction and operations, to address environmental, safety, public consultation, and health requirements. In these roles, you might interpret regulations and help determine whether companies are compliant, apply for necessary paperwork and approvals, work with regulatory bodies, and even try to influence existing regulations on behalf of the oil and gas industry. Common regulatory affairs jobs include Regulatory Specialists, Regulatory Compliance Inspectors and Industrial Benefits Analysts.

Customer Relations

In petroleum customer relations, your job is to keep as much oil and gas flowing as possible at all times – and to the right people. You’ll develop and manage relationships with customers and supplies, and keep track of all the data about various products coming in and going out. Common petroleum customer relations careers include Customer Service, Gas Allocation, Pipeline Scheduler and others.

For more detailed information about these career paths and others, check out the Business & Operations Support page on the Careers in Oil and Gas website.


Looking for a career in the oil and gas industry?
Visit TalentEgg’s Petroleum Career Guide or Oil & Gas Jobs section.

Petroleum Career Guide
TalentEgg’s Petroleum Career Guide and this editorial feature were produced in partnership with the Petro Labour Market Information  (PetroLMI) Division of Enform. For more information about starting your career in the oil and gas industry, please visit


Photo credit: Calgary Downtown by Madhu Madhavan on Flickr