Hiring Bounces Back in 2017 for Oilfield Services Onshore, Offshore

Hiring Bounces Back in 2017 for Oilfield Services Onshore, Offshore
Onshore recruiting is underway again, and hiring for positions offshore may not be too far behind, according to recent announcements.

A recent spike in hiring announcements suggests oilfield services companies are hitting the ground running to ramp up a workforce to tap North American shales.

In North America, oilfield service companies are hiring. A quick check of Rigzone data shows job listings from Halliburton, Parker Drilling and Schlumberger, among others. Hiring offshore, too, is expected to pick-up next year with the acceleration of shale activity and final investment decisions (FID), according to Rystad Energy research.

Dramatic layoffs dominated headlines during the last two years as historic low commodity prices roiled markets. Among the Big Four – Schlumberger, Halliburton, Baker Hughes and Weatherford International – up to 40 percent of workers lost their jobs. Companies with less exposure to North American markets made more modest cuts, up to 30 percent, Rystad said. Among the top 50 service companies, close to 300,000 workers have been laid off since 2014.

But that’s all about to change, according to analysts’ consensus.

“With more projects offshore being revived in 2017, we expect the offshore lay-offs to stabilize and start to increase later in 2017,” said Audun Martinsen, Rystad’s vice president of oilfield service research, in a report.

Offshore hiring in Norway has already accelerated, Martinsen said.

“It’s only a question of time before it starts elsewhere,” he said. “The race for the best hands and brains has started in the industry, and the companies that have laid off people in a responsible manner are likely to have a competitive edge going forward.”

Those companies will need every advantage in hiring the best workers in a post-downturn world. Even before the downturn took jobs from the industry, oil and gas companies were facing the “Great Crew Change,” an impending exodus of retirement age executives.

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