A study by Booz Allen Hamilton found that over the past 12 to 18 months the industry is struggling to fulfill expansion plans as an ageing workforce moves into retirement. But neglect of recruitment and training in the lean years of the 1990s means that it will have difficulties filling all kinds of skilled positions from rig workers to senior scientists and engineers.
With oil and gas prices soaring, and expansion planned everywhere, the current generation of employees drawing close to retirement are working flat out and have ever less time to transfer their valuable skills to new employees through coaching and mentoring, the report says.
Varya Davidson, principal at Booz Allen Hamilton, says the industry is paying for its "shortsightedness, treating human resources like a tap that can be turned on and off at will".
Years of contraction have combined with a reluctance of people to join an industry perceived as monopolistic and environmentally unsound.
Peter Parry, head of global upstream business for BAH says that the 'talent issue' will take the industry a decade to sort out and has the potential to reshape the industry. "Some players who set strategies and really find the key to develop and retain talent will build significant competitive advantage and this may even drive consolidation if companies with projects and capital simply cannot find the skills to develop and operate them."
Source: Labour and skills crisis could stall oil and gas investment boom
Booz Allen Hamilton, 24 August
Review by Joe Gill