Motley crew

Russell McCulley
Friday, April 1, 2011

A shortage of experienced geoscientists and petroleum engineers will delay projects and could push operators to take more risks, according to a survey released 29 March 2011.

The labor market for mid-career petrotechnical professionals ‘will be tight over the next three years, resulting in the poaching of staff, salary escalation and higher attrition rates', Schlumberger Business Consulting said, following publication of the results from its 2010 Oil & Gas HR Benchmark study. ‘These staffing issues will have serious consequences on projects and production capacity.'

The survey found that NOCs and major oil companies have substantially increased their recruitment targets to address the shortage.

As many as 5000 geoscientists and petroleum engineers hired before the oil crash and recruitment cutbacks of the 1980s will retire by 2014, SBC said. Oil company demand for new graduates is outpacing gloomy forecasts from last year's survey, it continued, with respondents revising 2011 recruitment targets for technical staff upwards by 15%. Universities are on track to meet the demand, particularly schools in Asia and Russia, which supply 72% of graduates in geosciences and 79% of petroleum engineering graduates. Women make up about 40% of petrotechnical graduates in Asia, compared to 20% in North America, the survey found.

‘Companies will need to adapt their recruitment to the new distribution of talent worldwide,' SBC said.

‘Recent trends and serious accidents' will create higher costs for operators and increase the ratio of workers to barrels of oil produced, the company added.

The survey was conducted by the Paris-based SBC Energy Institute using data from 11 NOCs, five majors, 12 independents, one oilfield services company and 77 universities. OE

Categories: Geoscience Engineering

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