The continuing shortage of skilled labor in the oil and gas
industry coupled with expanding demand is presenting a
significant workforce challenge and jeopardizing safety
standards in the industry, according to a new
report released Monday.
The report, published by international jobs board
OilCareers.com and partner Air Energi, emphasizes
that heightened safety concerns, economic instability and a
strong oil prices, along with the ongoing skills shortage --
particularly in the LNG
and subsea sectors -- will continue the trend for oil-related
salaries to push higher.
While economic instability
currently ranks as the highest concern for those surveyed, the
shortage of skilled labor in the industry is a major
consideration with far-reaching consequences for safety and
security within the industry.
Nearly one third of survey participants identified the ongoing
skills shortage as the biggest threat to the sector, while a
lack of skilled trainers was identified as a major training
issue by more than 20%.
While the news is troubling for the industry, employees in
oil and gas benefit from higher wages in the face of labor
force shortages and significant industry growth. In particular,
employee packages are seeing a general upward trend, in
particular for those positions considered to be high risk.
"The recent tragic events in Algeria have underscored
existing safety concerns throughout the oil and gas industry,"
said Mark Guest, managing director of
"Positions in certain geographic areas have historically
attracted higher compensation to reflect the safety issues tied
to the work location. It is clear, though, that the industry
must concentrate on developing the workforce in order to ensure
knowledge is passed on and the required experience is in place
to manage the world's oil and gas reserves."
Increasingly high levels of activity currently under way
have contributed to a strong candidates' market, the authors
said, though rates remain stable and the trend toward permanent
hires versus contractors observed in 2012 continues.
Fortunately, the US still holds a long-standing pool from which
to recruit from.
Throughout the US, 2013 is expected to continue to be a big
year for operators with the rapid development of shale gas and
shale oil plays affecting the world energy spectrum, even over
the past six months. Canada and Alaska are also ramping up
significantly as the development of Arctic reserves becomes a
"The skills shortage is a major challenge the industry must
overcome to continue to thrive," said Ian Langley, group
executive chairman of Air Energi. "The shortage of subsea and
personnel is being felt throughout the industry with
significant effect in terms of project costs and delays. It's clear
that without the right people on the ground we won't get the
reserves out of the ground."
The authors said they surveyed more than 170,000 oil and gas
professionals worldwide. The seven major oil and gas producing
regions are represented with respondents drawn from over 50
countries. More than 15,500 were either direct recruiters or
senior decision makers.
The full report, titled Global Oil & Gas Workforce
Survey: Expectations for hires and pay rates in the oil and gas
industry (H1) 2013, is available for review at the OilCareers website. The report
includes specifics for each international region.