Rigzone: It pays to stay local

Wednesday 5 March 2014

A European oil and gas limited company is likely to pull in more money than its counterpart in another part of the world.

According to research from Rigzone, employees in the sector working in Europe are now the highest paid in the global industry. This is thanks in part to the robustness of North Sea oil and the government's continued efforts to boost the sector.

The average annual pay packet for energy staff on the continent increased by 14 per cent year-on-year to £72,714 in 2013. This is higher than the £72,230 offered in Australia/Oceania, the £70,780 received in Africa and the £58,953 yearly rate recorded in the US.

Oil and gas workers are paid the least in the Middle East, where pay declined by 10 per cent over 2013 to an average of £54,209.

Dominic Simpson, an executive at Rigzone EMEA and APAC, said: "Professionals in Europe have particularly benefitted from the record investment levels now being poured into the North Sea following the British government’s moves last year to support deeper-sea exploration on the Continental Shelf.

"It reflects the ever-changing landscape of the global oil and gas market, which sees certain regions and professions benefitting at any given time."

The figures from Rigzone come as the UK government announced it would be fast-tracking some key proposals from the Wood Review.

Claiming North Sea oil and gas could be worth up to £200 billion over the next 20 years, officials are endeavouring to support the recovery of three to four billion additional barrels of oil than would be produced without the introduction of the new reforms.

The changes coming from the Wood Review include the creation of a commitment between officials and the industry to ensure production licenses are awarded to allow the maximum volume of petroleum to be recovered as a whole. This is opposed to the current system that works within individual licensing blocks.

Collaboration will also be a key tenet of the changes, facilitating the sharing of infrastructure and geophysical information.

What's more, an independent regulator will be created to ensure this is taking place and to supervise licensing.

Prime minister David Cameron said: "For many years the UK has supported the North Sea oil and gas industry and we have worked together to make this an economic success the whole country can be proud of.

"I promise we will continue to use the UK’s broad shoulders to invest in this vital industry so we can attract businesses, create jobs, develop new skills in our young people and ensure we can compete in the global race."

The government has already launched several initiatives to encourage further activity in the North Sea, including a £3 billion allowance for large and deep fields and a £500 million allowance for large shallow-water gas fields.

This is all hoped to reverse declines in North Sea production, ensuring the UK can meet demand for oil and gas. Indeed, while short-term prospects look good, innovation is needed to ensure this can be sustained.

By Victoria McDonnell

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