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Big Oil Is Down, But Not Out

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Oil, Gas Industry Fears Skills Shortage

fracking crew

Almost half of oil and gas industry professionals around the world see a potential skills shortage as the biggest worry in their sector, according to the Global Energy Talent Index (GETI) survey of Energy Jobline and energy recruitment firm Airswift.

A talent crunch is coming to the oil and gas industry, with nearly half of all respondents saying that they were “either quite worried or very worried about an impending talent crisis,” according to the survey of 17,000 energy professionals across the oil and gas, petrochemicals, power, renewables, and nuclear industries.

Only 30 percent of oil and gas professionals said that they were feeling ‘relaxed’ about finding talent in the industry, the survey showed. A total of 40 percent see a skills crisis already unfolding in their geographical area, while another 28 percent of respondents see the crisis hitting them within the next five years.  

Respondents in Europe, Asia, and South America were more likely to report that the talent crunch has hit their regions, whereas the figures for North America were slightly below average, the survey showed.

The Permian in the U.S., however, could be seen as “a warning sign for the talent crunch that looms over the industry,” according to the authors of the survey. Soaring production growth and increased competition in the Permian has created a massive shortfall. Companies struggle to fill in the talent gap, and even higher salaries can’t attract the needed skilled workforce.

Related: Is Kuwait’s $500 Billion Oil Plan Overoptimistic?

“The Permian is in a unique situation, but it’s one that we can see playing out across the world as growth continues. In countries where obtaining visas is arduous, companies are really going to be challenged,” Airswift CEO Janette Marx says.

In Texas, home to most of the Permian, job growth essentially stalled in November 2018, despite the fact that production is rising and will continue to rise, according to the latest data from the Texas Independent Producers & Royalty Owners Association (TIPRO).

“Job growth in the Texas upstream sector was essentially flat in November compared to many months of consecutive growth. A slowdown in employment was expected due to the impact of takeaway capacity constraints in West Texas, lower crude oil prices, added expense to E&P projects from increasing service costs, as well as rising material costs resulting from steel and aluminum tariffs,” TIPRO President Ed Longanecker said.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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