The last four years have been gruelling for the oil and gas sector. A plummeting oil price in 2014/2015 saw vulnerable oil companies slow their operations, and unfortunately we witnessed mass redundancies across the board.
But things are now looking up, with positive activity in the market.
Clearly, a healthy oil price is crucial for new projects to receive investment - and the price per barrel has been on the rise since the end of 2017.
As we start 2019 there’s more investment being released into offshore oil and gas projects globally than there has been for a few years. Inevitably, bids to tender mean there are more specialist roles to be filled.
Key hirers are forecasting increase in headcount this year. At RHL, we know this as we’re being reengaged by clients who had paused their North Sea recruitment needs for some time.
Take the offshore engineering and construction specialist, Subsea 7, as an example. It’s recently won contract extensions with seven clients, as well as an EPCI (engineering, procurement, construction and installation) project contract from Royal Dutch Shell.
Another energy service firm Aker Solutions, has announced it will be providing engineering services for a BP project - which means it will need to staff up its London office in 2019.
Another positive sign that the oil and gas sector is in recovery comes from the LNG (liquified natural gas) market, which is set to have a good year in 2019. There’s huge demand for LNG from countries in the Asia Pacific region - most notably China, thanks to its efforts to combat air pollution by shifting from coal to a cleaner-burning fuel.
It’s good to see spending commitment to new LNG projects and facilities globally. Africa, in particular, is expected to perform strongly, with new floating units converted from existing tankers cutting the time taken to get the product to market. RHL will continue to provide specialist contractors on such projects in this region in 2019.
In the last slump a few years ago, some specialist contractors found that they were able to use their engineering skills in other sectors - renewables, nuclear or downstream. As there was an ageing workforce others simply chose early retirement.
At RHL, we’re hoping to encourage more people back into the industry. We’re catching up with talented professionals who are interested in returning to specialist oil and gas roles.
Of course, the oil and gas industry must work hard to attract a younger workforce, too.
Not only are there highly-skilled careers on offer, but cutting-edge and data-driven technology like robotics, drones and the Internet of Things are also playing an increasingly crucial role in operations. Inevitably, millennials are better placed as the experts to shape the future face of the sector.
I’ve personally worked in oil and gas recruitment for nearly 20 years, and have witnessed several peaks and troughs in the market. But these positive signs are cause for genuine optimism. Specialist skillsets are highly sought-after once again and we’re facing 2019 - and beyond - with a good many reasons to be cheerful.
At RHL, we have over 25 years’ experience in the oil and gas sector and are well placed to advise candidates as well as clients on recruitment.
We are now handling a variety of specialist engineering vacancies. Our clients will be on the look out for specific technical skills and we’ll be recruiting for the following in 2019:
Do get in touch for an informal chat about any of the specialist roles above.