Oil, Gas Automation Sector Suffering From Skills Shortage

Oil, Gas Automation Sector Suffering From Skills Shortage
The oil and gas automation sector is suffering from a skills shortage, according to Vimal Kapur, President of Honeywell Process Solutions.

The oil and gas automation sector is suffering from a skills shortage, according to Honeywell Process Solutions President Vimal Kapur.

Speaking at the EMEA HUG conference in The Hague, Kapur told delegates that the issues around skills in the sector are three dimensional:

  • The work being undertaken today is more complex than in the past
  • A lot of people who manage the current fleet of control systems in the industry are either retiring or on the brink of retirement
  • Companies are increasingly being asked to work with fewer people

“You put the three together: we are supposed to have less people who are likely to be inexperienced and they need to lead with complex technology,” Kapur said in his speech.

“It’s a pretty deep challenge, which has to be managed,” he added.

Lack of Standardization Raising Costs

In another observation of the oil and gas industry, Kapur outlined that capital expenditures in the field could be slashed through standardizing elements of the process sector.

“Capital spend on projects continues to be a challenge,” Kapur said at the conference.

“Why does capital spend go higher? One of the biggest takeaways is that there’s a lack of standardization in the process industry ... every plant is custom built,” he added.

Kapur also added that oil and gas field developments in the EMEA region and LNG developments in Asia have overrun massively on estimate costs, increasing from original estimates by several hundred billion dollars.

A graduate in journalism from Cardiff University, Andreas has eight years of experience as a business journalist. Email Andreas at andreas.exarheas@rigzone.com

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George Williams | Oct. 29, 2016
In response to this shortage that you say you are about to have, how giving new graduates or even current students jobs. Instead of turning them away for lack of experience because what better way for them to learn. Is from the men the that are about to retire, I am here in the Houston, TX area and they have two schools producing Instrumentation Technician, and that would be Lee College in Baytown, San Jacinto, Pasadena . Thats if you are really concerned, because I know we are ready to go to work.

john weaver | Oct. 26, 2016
We will see another 10-15 year gap in experience , veryone will suffer.

Jose Vitorino Pinto | Oct. 26, 2016
I agree 100% with this article. Lake of standards and experience it is a strong problem for future contracts....

Gillard | Oct. 25, 2016
I believe there is another aspect of not having skilled labour. Engineering is being treated the same as manufacturing. Upper management sees the tasks required by engineering professionals the same as someone who sews a pair of jeans. Management wants to cut labour costs so they go to lower cost labour markets where its unlikely the people there have the experience or knowledge of highly complex engineering design. I see it as a danger, if these plants(projects) are not engineered properly there are disastrous consequences not just a case of ripped pants. Also companies view a individual with 3 years experience the same as one with 15 years experience, so they keep the juniors around with maybe only one senior to oversee for the same cost cutting attitudes. It would be great if all this surplus money saved went back into developing the company & industry but we all know that it just goes into the bonuses of upper management who are overpaid as it is. There is no leadership up top, no accountability and no consequences for bad business decisions. Cut everything below & blame the employees is the attitude.


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