The Oil and Gas sector continues to support over 450,000 jobs in the UK (according to Oil & Gas UK), with 340,000 in the direct industry and a further 110,000 supported by industry workers’ spending.  The UK oil and gas sector contributes around £7 billion worth of exports and is currently still delivering over 1.5 million barrels of production each day.

Kevin Forbes of Industry Job site, oilandgaspeople.com said “The Oil Industry is still enjoying great success in the North Sea but the easy oil is depleting and continued investment in new technology is required to maximise extraction from old and new, currently less viable fields. The Industry also needs to address the current skills shortage caused by an aging workforce, lack of investment in people and workers being lured abroad where they can get higher wages and better conditions”

Despite this sizeable economic contribution, industry concerns exist (as voiced by Oil & Gas UK chief executive officer Malcolm Webb) that there is insufficient activity in UK offshore waters and that we are not finding enough oil and gas in the drilling that is being done.  The industry body is calling for concerted action by the Department of Energy and Climate Change, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) and the industry itself to ensure that economic recovery of our offshore oil and gas resources is maximised.

That said, 2013 saw a record level of UK capital investment at over £13 billion. There was significant growth from a small number of large, highly robust projects plus a greater number of smaller ones than in the previous period.   Meanwhile, production from existing fields has fallen significantly and the total number of exploration wells has dropped too despite 2013 seeing a record number of new exploration licenses awarded

In his interim report ‘Maximising Economic Recovery for the UK’, published last November, Sir Ian Wood proposes a new and strongly resourced oil and gas regulator, working in cooperation with the Treasury and the industry towards the shared goal of maximising economic recovery of the substantial remaining UK oil and gas resource.

There are clearly substantial volumes of oil and gas still to recover from the UK continental shelf and the industry is pushing hard to get appropriate support from government to accelerate the extraction of these resources.

Jenny Godden Head of Primat Recruitment said “We are witnessing evolution in our clients approach to recruitment. As our oil and gas clients continue to grow across the UK and Europe, we are continuing to see escalated levels in demand for talented individuals. As well as ‘traditional’ talent acquisition – sourcing candidates with skills and experience gained from within the Oil and Gas industry – we are now witnessing our hirers actively seeking a greater diversity of talent than ever before. This means they are placing a great deal of importance on bringing in new and different skill sets, often from outside of the sector or from non-typical geographies, to ensure their business can deliver the highest quality to its clients. We see this diversity in recruitment as a very healthy step in order to maintain a highly skilled oil and gas industry workforce for years to come.”

Ash Winters of Kelly Services adds “One of key factors in realising the growth of the oil and gas sector will be the ability to secure the right talent. Increasing competition is being witnessed, meaning companies will need to think more innovatively to attract and retain employees in the short to medium term, and over the longer term the industry needs to work collaboratively to position itself as one of choice.”