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The Oil Industry Is Facing A Labor Shortage

The oil and gas industry worldwide faces a talent gap as workers contemplate moving to renewables or leaving the energy industry altogether, a survey by recruitment firm Brunel and Oilandgasjobsearch.com, cited by Reuters, showed on Tuesday.

More than half of workers in oil and gas, 56 percent, said they would look for employment opportunities in the renewables energy sector, according to the survey. Last year, that percentage was 38.8 percent, highlighting the shortages the oil industry is facing as it looks to hire again, after letting go in 2020 thousands of workers in oil and gas and related services in the supply chain.

The survey also showed that 43 percent of workers want out of the energy sector within the next five years.

As more workers look to move to renewables or to ditch the energy sector altogether, recruiters in the oil and gas business find attracting talent with the right skills increasingly difficult.

Labor shortages have already become evident this year in the U.S. shale patch and in the Canadian oil sands as demand recovers and companies put rigs back into operation.

Related: Canada's Ambitious New Plan To Save Its Oil Sands

Despite the recent uptick in oil industry employment in the United States, short-term and permanent shifts in workers’ negative perceptions of the sector have already started to create labor shortages. These shortages threaten to delay and even hinder the recovery of U.S. oil production, analysts say. More and more workers are fed up with the boom-and-bust nature of the oil industry after two major oil price and drilling activity collapses in just five years. They vow they will never again be beholden to the volatile oil markets, and have quit the sector entirely after being let go in 2020.

In Canada, the number of total jobs expected is set to rise next year, but labor constraints have already started to impact the members of the Canadian Association of Energy Contractors (CAOEC), the association said last week in an otherwise positive outlook on Canada’s drilling activity for 2022.

By Michael Kern for Oilprice.com

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