Next US Shale Wave Will Need Fewer Heads, Different Skills

Next US Shale Wave Will Need Fewer Heads, Different Skills
Technology, process optimization and a different kind of headcount would lead the second exploration and production uptick.

In terms of absolute count, the reduction in the number of fracking jobs for top 10 operators came in around 10 percent from June to October 2018, while the corresponding percentage for the remaining operators was as high as 48 percent in the same timeframe.

Available empirical and anecdotal evidence should not come as a surprise, says Mayor. “Big oil’s incremental push into the shale patch is likely to be less capital intensive, and they’ll manage the cycles more quickly and effectively. As the majors lead the shale charge, I remain bullish they would deploy state-of-the-art solutions.”

Every aspect is being catered to via integrated well and site asset management drives initiated by oilfield services (OFS) companies at competitive prices and contracts, details of which are rarely made public for individual project sites.

Technological solutions and workforce upskilling – whether the end user is an OFS firm or an E&P company – is assisted by kit from vendors such as Emerson, Schneider Electric, ABB and Honeywell.

Peter Herweck, Executive Vice President of Industrial Automation at Schneider Electric, says the next shale wave will not just be about “surviving but thriving.”

“If you are talking about integrated asset management, new software and hardware is required and deployed. We see tremendous opportunities as the oil industry optimizes and the natural gas business experiences renewed interest in the global economy’s march to a low carbon future. The industry is changing – so is the workforce and the advanced tools it deploys. There is no turning back.”

So it is settled then – manual, mechanical and digital skills-sets have started overlapping like never before. Demand for multi-skilled, digitally savvy oil industry workers required to spend quicker turnaround times on the rig to kick-start things and more time indoors making the well maximize throughput is perhaps set to rise.

Gaurav Sharma is an independent oil and gas analyst with over 15 years experience. He provides regular market commentary for events, publishers and broadcasters. Follow him on Twitter @The_Oilholic or email at gaurav.sharma@oilholicssynonymous.com


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