Statoil embarks on oil and gas recruitment drive

Wednesday 16 April 2014

Aberdeen is continuing to demonstrate that it is a city of ample opportunities for oil and gas limited companies.

Statoil has announced that it will add 200 jobs to its North Sea head office in the city and 500 offshore jobs linked to production from the Mariner field.

With production set to commence in 2017, more than $7 billion (£4.2 billion) will be invested in the project over the 30-year life of the field.

The firm will also move to a new business park, Prime Four, to support its ever-growing workforce.

Gunnar Breivik, head of Statoil's Aberdeen office, said: "We are in the middle of a significant recruitment effort for our Aberdeen operations centre as well as for offshore positions on the Mariner field."

"We are encouraged by the interest and attention we have received from the city, and we feel very welcome as a new entrant to Aberdeen’s thriving oil industry," he added.

Scottish secretary Alistair Carmichael has welcomed the news that more jobs will be added - a development he calls "excellent" and "a great jobs boost for Aberdeen".

"It reflects the city’s status as a global oil and gas hub and shows that for multinational companies like Statoil the expertise and skills available in the North East are an invaluable resource in themselves," he said.

Mr Carmichael added that the government is collaborating with firms like Statoil to "maximise production from the UK continental shelf over the coming decades".

In a bid to encourage activity, the government has already introduced field allowances, while creating certainty over the tax relief offered on decommissioning costs.

It's paying off too and Bank of Scotland research has shown over the next two years, up to 39,000 new jobs could be created in Aberdeen.

During the last year, employment forecasts have grown by 5,000, with 34,000 new jobs expected to be delivered over a two year period in 2012.

Confidence in the sector is also strong, with 69 per cent of British-based oil and gas executives optimistic about growth prospects for 2014 and 2015.

However, 38 per cent of executives believe the greatest challenge facing the industry over the next two years will be the skills shortage, increasing from 33 per cent in 2013.

This indicates that limited company contractors will be called upon to help fill the gap where talent is unable to be sourced.

Engineering companies are expected to see the greatest skills shortage, with 87 per cent of British-based companies expecting this to become a problem.

There is less concern among exploration and production firms, with just 20 per cent fearful of the skills shortage.

Stuart White, Bank of Scotland commercial area director, claims action is being taken to cultivate oil and gas talent, however.

This includes new partnerships with higher education institutions and the introduction of new specialist apprenticeship schemes.

Being able to better access talent will enable companies to fulfill their growth strategies over the coming years, with 64 per cent of respondents to the Bank of Scotland survey claiming international expansion is a priority.

By Victoria McDonnell

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