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Byline: DOUG TSURUOKA
On the surface, the oil and gas sector is bubbling with success.
Crude touched $70 a barrel. Profits and share prices are surging.
But drill down a bit and you'll find the industry faces some sticky managing issues.
The toughest is a rapid graying of its work force. Engineers, geologists and other linchpins of the energy industry are retiring in droves.
"There's nothing more challenging in our environment" than this labor crunch, said Barry Davis, CEO of Dallas-based Crosstex Energy. The $2.3 billion natural gas distributor runs 4,500 miles of pipelines.
Still, even the trickiest managing problems have solutions. Some firms are kick-starting efforts to train younger workers for the big crew change.
In other cases, old-timers methodically …