Energy company hopes video game will help fill long list of job openings

Oil and gas companies, struggling to expand against a dearth of skilled workers, have been using a plethora of tactics to attract new employees, from building high-tech training facilities to offering sky-high bonuses.

Energy and shipping behemoth Maersk Group has developed a unique method for winning new recruits to the industry. A video game.

“Quest for Oil: A Subsurface Gaming Experience” challenges players to tap deeply buried oil in extreme environments, using 3-D seismic maps and a digital team of advisers. Set in either the freezing waters of the North Sea or the blazing heat of Qatar, gamers must explore the rock, secure licenses, and reach their production target faster than their opponents.

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In a teaser on the game’s site, Maersk offers players “the potential for a world-class career within Maersk Group” , linking to lists of job vacancies on Maersk.com. The company says it offers hundreds of career opportunities in more than 140 countries.

As of Wednesday evening, the company had posted 71 job vacancies since Sunday. Among the job listing were ads for a senior offshore toolpusher in Denmark, a planning engineer in Kazakhstan and a transportation coordinator in Baytown, Texas.

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“Quest for Oil” players encounter many of the challenges oil companies navigate in reality. Game strategy requires gamers to assess the permeability of rock to find the easiest to access crude deposits. They also must use precise drilling to reach the target and determine the appropriate amount of CO2 and water injections to send oil rushing to the surface.

The game is available for download at questforoil.com. You can view the game’s trailer below.