I've worked in Bakersfield, colorado, west texas doing cookie cutter unconventional type wells. This is good for learning the basics of the oilfield. I've worked deepwater GOM, overseas working land in the middle east and deepwater in africa. There are plenty of land wells in the US that are tricky and each area offers its different challenges. I'm not sure if you are trying to get into drilling and completions, production, geology, etc. but for D&C or production you can get plenty of great experience on the shelf or on land. I would try to see as many wells as possible starting out. After you get some experience transition into deepwater. It's more technically challenging and will make you more valuable.
I've worked all over the world in drilling. You can take any deepwater guy and throw them into an onshore or shelf situation no problem, would be a walk in the park for them. You take someone who has never been in deepwater and put them on a deepwater team, they will figure it out but there will need to be a steep learning curve to understand the equipment and tricks/strategies used when drilling with riser especially pertaining to well control.
I started in deepwater which was good to see, then went to land to just do well after well after well until it was second nature, then went back to deepwater. It's important to understand that everywhere you go you will have different challenges and learn something different. One of the posters above stated that deepwater GOM is the most challenging environment to work in, maybe from a geological standpoint. He has probably never had to tender all of his services thru a west african government, then try to get equipment in country, then manage logistics from one country to another country three days sail away by work boat because the country you are drilling in doesn't have a port, all while drilling deepwater wells that would rival most in the gulf.
When i was in bakersfield, we were drilling wells that most people would laugh at based on depth and casing design. You stick anybody from deepwater gom out there and they would need some training to understand how to handle drilling into steam pockets when working in an active steamflood.
If I were starting my career I would want to start on land and see as many wells drilled/completed or production from as many different wells as possible. This will get your feet wet and give you a basic understanding of how operations go. After getting pretty comfortable with that try to get to deepwater. Try to work in as many different areas as possible. I've never spent more than two years working any one field/state/country which has helped me see how tons of different operations are run and helped me grow in my career. Just my advice.
Also one thing to add, you don't see much H2S in deepwater. That adds another level of complexity to well design, facilities, production, operations.
This post was edited on 3/15 at 12:58 am