Oil, Gas Employment Moves from Shale to Offshore
Anticipated demand for offshore services brings with it an increased demand for workers as oil and gas employment shifts from shale to offshore, according to new analysis by energy research firm Rystad Energy.
Looking at the oilfield services industry sectors with the highest percent change of employment, Rystad found the main driver of employment is moving from shale to offshore.
“This is a clear effect of the increase in offshore sanctioning,” Matthew Fitzsimmons, vice president on Rystad’s oilfield services team, said in a report sent to Rigzone. “We expect offshore commitments to nearly double from 2018 to 2020 and sustain high levels of spending over the next five years.”
While onshore basins like the Permian have been a hotbed of activity in recent years – holding US employment in the services sector steady in 2016 and 2017, offshore has now taken the lead, contends Rystad.
Earlier this month, Rystad forecasted a massive year for offshore project sanctioning in 2019. Now, it’s expecting offshore services demand to reach $442 billion in 2025, a 45 percent increase from 2018.
Rystad said there was a cumulative workforce reduction of 31 percent due to reduced activity in 2015-2017, which greatly affected companies exposed to the offshore industry.
But now the offshore market is gaining momentum as four out of the five top oilfield services companies with the largest workforce change from 2017 to 2018 were primarily exposed to the offshore industry.
Still, there will be challenges.
“Our informal interviews with oilfield services company leaders across the offshore industry all echoed a common challenge: how to bring experienced personnel back into the industry amidst current growth, and how to attract new talent,” said Fitzsimmons. “History would show that to bring back experienced professionals into an industry, higher wages will be required.”
Rigzone recently reported that U.S. exploration and production (E&P) workers were getting paid more in 2019.
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Senior Editor | Rigzone