Texas oil and gas candidate demand intensifies

Tuesday 15 July 2014

Limited company contractors in the oil and gas sector are likely to see demand coming from Texas over the next few years.

Increased shale and unconventional resource basin activity, teamed with technological advances, are driving companies to hire more non-engineering positions, the Houston Chronicle reported.

One area where demand can be found is the Eagle Ford Shale, were 1.3 million new jobs are expected to be added by 2020, according to the International Association of Geographical Contractors.

The shale covers most of South Texas and is made up of organic, matter-rich fossiliferous marine shale.

Speaking to the Houston Chronicle about the range of opportunities on offer, Phillip Myint, managing principal at EDG Inc, said: "Our efforts in the Eagle Ford Shale and other shale plays require typical project team needs such as project controls, drafting and design, procurement, project administrators, and data management professionals."

Mr Myint claims these positions are in particularly high demand because of the "low supply of available talent and the length of time it takes to get someone up to speed to act in an independent state in the role".

Indeed, the skills shortage is being felt strongly in the oil and gas sector and businesses are currently trying to find a way to navigate the knowledge cliff.

However, research suggests the talent pipeline could get more robust in the future. A study from Universum showed a rising number of engineering students aspire to work in the oil and gas sector. Resource companies are proving to be particularly popular due to the US shale and fracking boom.

Universum surveyed nearly 8,000 undergraduate engineering students to determine which companies they would most like to work for across multiple sectors.

ExonnMobil was ranked 6th on the list and top for oil and gas. Some 9.74 per cent of respondents claim the organisation would be their ideal place of employment.

Shell wasn't too far behind and was picked by 6.15 per cent of engineering students. Meanwhile, Chevron Corporation was cited by 5.4 per cent.

Nevertheless, for now skills remain in short supply and businesses are becoming more and more competitive in the war for talent.

A study from Mercer LLC showed 66 per cent of global energy companies have poached employees from one of their contemporaries, the Denver Business Journal reported.

Kathy Dahlman, a Denver-based principal with Mercer, said: "The industry is growing, we’re adding more than 500,000 jobs over the next five years [around the world], there’s a skilled worker shortage, and there’s a wave of retirements coming.

"There’s not enough people, even if you’re paying the top of the top of the wage scale, there’s not enough skilled candidates."

To deal with the talent shortage Mercer claims that organisations need to borrow the skills they require using temporary workers.

The company also recommends transforming a business to focus on the skills of people who are available.

By Victoria McDonnell

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