Skip to comments.Demand for O&G Professionals Remains High
Posted on 08/07/2012 8:00:57 AM PDT by thackney
Despite the global markets reaction to the European debt crisis, the demand for skilled professionals in the oil and gas industry remains strong due to the number of projects underway, according to oil and gas recruiting firm Hays Oil & Gas Global Quarterly Report.
Geologists and petro-physicists in particular are in demand, and Hays reports seeing strong demand for reservoir engineering and drilling staff.
While the feeling of unease has undoubtedly eroded confidence in hiring, "there is a general perception that, specifically where the oil and gas industry is concerned, the key drivers remain in place most notably increasing world demand for energy and that any downturn may be brief," Hays said in its report.
The most significant change seen by Hays has been the length of the recruitment process, which has lengthened as employers "take their time to ensure that the right candidate fits the job and that the business imperative to hire is satisfied beyond question."
Skill shortages have started to bite into a number of areas, resulting in a general increase in poaching by companies and competitors from one another, eager to employ locally based staff. While the trend is causing some ill feeling between clients and suppliers, there appears to be little done to actively counter the poaching.
To address the issue, companies in general are shifting away from using contractors towards permanent staff.
"This is often done with a view to gaining some buy-in from the workforce and trying to reduce the attrition rate, as well as the wage bill," Hays said in its report.
Oil and Gas Hiring Hotspots
In Australia, massive oil and gas projects, including three major liquefied natural gas (LNG) projects in Queensland, and major field developments offshore Western Australia such as Gorgon, Wheatstone and Ichthys requiring specialized employees have increased the recruitment drives in both states.
Construction workers are in great demand for the Gladstone LNG project in Queensland, including civil supervisors, health and safety advisors and environmental consultants. In Western Australia, Hays has seen demand rise for environmental specialists and advisors and discipline engineers. Integrity engineers and senior level managers also are being sought.
"In the West, there appears to be more of an appetite for overseas hires, particularly from the UK and Canada," said Matthew Underhill, managing director of Hays Oil & Gas, in a statement. "Some companies are choosing to offer more apprenticeships and graduate recruitment."
Demand for skilled oil and gas specialists should continue to grow in the Asia-Pacific region, said Underhill. Singapore is being driven by a strong market in construction of FPSO and topside structures while Malaysia and Indonesia are looking at deepwater field exploration.
Exploration and production activity is driving demand for geophysicists, geoscientists and reservoir engineers in the region. Senior drilling engineers are needed, particularly Malaysian and Indonesian nationals to maintain local content requirements for both countries.
"However, there's still a strong drive to recruit returning Asia Pacific nationals ahead of expatriates," Underhill noted.
The efforts of China's national oil companies to enter foreign exploration and production markets is putting further strain on China's domestic talent pool as the national oil companies seek to take experienced talent with them to other regions.
Exploration and production geologists, petrophysicists, reservoir engineers, drilling engineers and geo-modelers are in constant demand in the Chinese market as several ongoing projects are in their initial stages, including exploration onshore and offshore China.
While India's business environment remains challenging, enough energy demand exists in the country for recruitment demand in upstream sector, with geologists, petro-physicists, reservoir engineers, drilling engineers and geo-modellers in demand.
Development of unconventional oil and gas projects worldwide is generating high demand for skilled Canadian oil and gas professionals, including project control leads, planner/schedulers and senior project engineers with steam-assisted gravity drainage experience are highly sought after by oil and gas companies and engineering, procurement, and construction management companies.
At the same time, demand for oil and gas workers in Canada is expected to grow as production levels in Canada are expected to triple by 2030 and Alberta's provincial government is promising to invest billions of dollars in industry development.
Canadian companies are beginning to look for workers to relocate on a permanent basis to Fort McMurray, Alberta to advance development of Canada's oil sands. However, many vacancies in Fort McMurray remain unfilled as the general workforce prefers to fly in and out of Fort McMurray for work, Hays noted in the report.
The United Kingdom remains a very active market for oil and gas professionals as the record 27th North Sea licensing round in May had the largest number of applications since offshore licensing began in 1964. Strong demand is seen in the UK across the majority of disciplines, including geophysicists, subsea installation engineers and offshore structural engineers with jackets experience.
Over the past two quarters, Hays has noted a heavy reliance on temporary contractors for the bulk of the project work, and how companies are dealing with the additional cost; the second is diversity and inclusion, and both will remain strong themes throughout the remainder of 2012 and 2013, said Underhill, adding, "Hays & Oil is actively supporting a select number of companies in how they tackle these issues."
In Russia, the Yamal Gas and Yamal oil projects are driving demand for oil and gas operations professionals, and demand is growing for workers in the upstream sector as well. Candidates with drilling, cementing, well completions and field construction experience are currently in high demand.
Companies operating in the United Arab Emirates are rethinking their strategies as the Middle Eastern market has become turbulent due to falling oil prices. In general, visa restrictions have relaxed and companies are beginning to look at candidates in Canada and Central and South America to meet their staffing needs, Hays noted.
While Brazil's large exploration and production projects have received a great deal of attention, refurbishment and construction of new refining assets also is needed. As a result, demand for workers focused on downstream, including design roles in structures, process, automation and electrical engineering at all levels, from intermediate to job leaders, is growing.
And to think that when I graduated in Petroleum Engineering in 1973 during the first Arab Oil Embargo I was asked “Whyd did you choose a career worhing for an oil company? Don’t you know we will run out of oil in 10 years?”
Since then, we are now producing at the highest rate with the most reserves than at any time in the history of the world.
God’s great and natural gift just keeps on giving.....
Great! My daughter is studying to be a geologist. Started out as an English major, but loves geology. She says she’ll drill for that nasty oil, thank you. The one liberal in the family (35 year old dropout who works for his dad) says she will be contributing to destroying the earf. This, while he drives an extended-cab pickup with a camper on it.
So, you believe oil is abiotic? My daughter says they don’t or haven’t yet talked about this in her university classes.
I’m a second generation earth rapist (a term I use to piss off liberals) and it’s one of the best times to begin the industry with so many of the senior staff retiring and a huge gap of experienced people between 5 and 25 years of experience do to the hiring freeze from the mid 80’s to the mid 90’s. During this time oil was at $10/barrel and anyone who had a science or math background went to California chasing the Internet boom. Note to your daughter - be prepared to get a MS if she wants job security in the future. If another downturn happens, those with just a BS Geology will be the first to get cut if history teaches us any lessons...
begin = be in
Note to your daughter - be prepared to get a MS if she wants job security in the future. If another downturn happens, those with just a BS Geology will be the first to get cut if history teaches us any lessons...
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My experience doing consulting/construction/design engineering for oil/gas companies a couple decades is the degree means next to nothing. Maybe that is an important check box working for the large multinational majors, but producing work always seemed to be the important deciding factor when work slowed down. The ability to effectively communicate was a close second.
General question to anyone kind enough to provide some guidance:
Son, 24, is moving to my area in a few months due to economy.
He has a few hrs. of community college under his belt - general AA degree. I have been encouraging him to look into this field - going to boom - and having no experience myself, I’m not sure where to guide him.
I’m asking for opinions - along the lines if you (experienced ones) “could do it again”...what would you do, to gain expertise? What schooling? Experience starting out as a roughneck a good way to go?
do companies hire people, hard workers (he’s a great kid) and help them get schooling? Where to start?
Any helpful advice would be greatly appreciated!
Thanks for the advice! I have a cousin whose husband is a geologist who just retired. My daughter and he ‘talk shop’ about her classes and plans for the future, etc. He gave her the same advice about the MS, too. I appreciate your sharing your thoughts with me and will definitely pass them on.
In general, the mid to large O&G companies don’t expect a “return on their investment” for a new hire until about 5 years of experience. I agree that performance and communication skills are very important and after several years at a company, the degree is less important but there is still a glass ceiling for most without an advanced degree if they want to eventually get into a management position. Getting in the door is the most difficult part and most of the mid-sized and larger companies still are recruiting students with MS degrees in geology and geophysics (reservoir and production engineers can get hired easily without an advanced degree).
The shale gas boom has provided the demand in the US for “grunts” but there is a downturn in activity now due to the depressed natural gas prices (most of these areas require more than $5/MCF just to break even and the price is well below that now hence the shift to the “liquid rich” plays. Yes, there is a demand for skilled hires but the real demand right now is for those with experience between 5 to 20 years and they are able to demand a premium...
I’m so sorry! I posted my thanks to thackney for the advice when I meant to send it to you. SO, thanks AND apologies to you! I appreciate your advice for my daughter’s future plans :)
Don’t know about abiotic, that is for scientists, not engineers.
What I do believe is
1. Experts consistently underestimate the amounts of oil and gas in the world. As an example, the past ten years have seen these amounts see a tenfold increase due to conventional traps being bypassed to exploit unconventional hydrocarbon sources.
2. New ways to exploit the hydrocarbons in the world are constantly being found that enable increased access to conventional resources and to commercialize resources that unexploitable.
Yes, with these two references (coupled with enviable compensation) those now embarking on a career in the oil industry can be highly rewarded. With the opportunity of old farts like me retiring, there will be ample opportunity.
If your son could move to North Dakota for awhile, he could work easily in the oilpatch. Right now, they have no unemployment due to the industry boom.
Even McDonalds is handing our bonuses to anyone who signs up with them there.
Suggest he work awhile getting his hands dirty(as well as socking away some really good money) and to learn the oil business, then if identifies something attracts him can figure out from the many hands and professionals he will meet his next steps.
Bigtime needs for solid hard working field hands. being in field is always a plus for those later on who decide to become professionals.
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Thanks guys! Working on a plan for my young man...
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