Oil companies and their equipment suppliers cut an estimated 440,000 jobs worldwide in recent years after crude prices plummeted in 2014.But as prices stabilize above $50 a barrel, most companies expect to expand their workforces over the next year, according to a survey of the global oil industry by NES Global Talent, a recruiting firm in the United Kingdom.
Eighty-nine percent of surveyed energy employers – across North America, Europe, the Middle East and South America – believe they’ll boost staffing levels over the next 12 months, with 60 percent of those saying their recruiting efforts will be “significant” and 48 percent saying salaries could increase by 5 percent. Almost one-third of the surveyed companies said they haven’t cut any jobs within the past year and believe their staffing levels will remain flat. Eleven percent expect to cut jobs, making the next 12 months the first period that the industry expects to bring on more workers than it lets go. Twenty-three percent of these companies said they will increase their workforces by 5 percent, and 19 percent pegged the increase at 5 percent to 10 percent. Another 17 percent said they’ll expand their payrolls by more than 10 percent.
NES said U.S. shale drillers have led the expansion, with Halliburton, the largest oil field services company in North America, posting the largest number of job openings this year. In Texas, oil and gas companies have added about 30,000 jobs over the past year, according to the U.S. Labor Department. “There is a sense of positivity the likes of which we haven’t seen since 2013,” said Alex Fourlis, a managing director of Oilangasjobsearch.com, which partnered with NES to conduct the survey. “This is key to kick-start projects that haven’t been viable in a while.”