It’s true that in the UK, the industry has faced difficult challenges in recent times, notably as a result of the tumbling price of Brent crude. From $100 per barrel as recently as 2014, the price is currently (July 2016) hovering around the $40 mark. Royal Dutch Shell, Europe’s largest oil company reported its lowest quarterly earnings in 11 years, further evidence of the parlous state of the market.
However, those with relevant transferable skills are still highly sought after. According to Engineering UK, in excess of 180,000 skilled engineers will be needed each year up until 2022, with many destined for oil and gas. As Scottish Secretary David Mundell said recently, “Engineers and skilled workers in Scotland’s oil and gas sector are world class, and many industries could benefit from their expertise and experience.”
While the Oil & Gas sector and its workers have been hit hard, there are still abundant opportunities for contractors. Companies are now looking for people to work on short-term contracts, for example to help with the integration efforts following the spate of mergers and acquisitions that have brought about mass redundancies in the sector.
Expertise is sought across a number of key areas, such as the construction/installation of subsea pipelines, operations maintenance production, geoscience and project management. For redundant North Sea oil workers, jobs are being created in nuclear new builds, renewable energy, major infrastructure projects and innovative energy solutions.
The nascent decommissioning industry will benefit from significant investment as gas installations, oil rigs, pipelines and subsea infrastructure are dismantled. Therefore, those who can demonstrate a strong track record of deconstruction, maintenance and fabrication will be in high demand for years to come. For example, there are already a significant number of decommissioning projects scheduled over the next decade for the Norwegian Continental Shelf.
A new website is being developed specifically for oil and gas workers to find new job opportunities in the sector, supplementing the existing Talent Solution Retention scheme, which is used by 1,000 companies. Business minister Anna Soubry was quick to point out that the UK cannot afford to lose the considerable knowledge and expertise that it has in the sector, “The future success of our economy depends on having the people with the right skills in the right jobs, and that’s why it’s vital we retain the talent of our highly-skilled workers currently in the oil and gas industry.”
Despite the trials and tribulations of the last two years brought on by the sharp fall in oil prices, most analysts are predicting a recovery towards the end of the year. To help alleviate workplace pressures and fill knowledge gaps, companies are increasingly turning to specialist oil and gas contractors. With government backing and highly sought after transferable skills, the future for these skilled operatives remains bright.
Ask away! One of our team will get back to you!