UK North Sea oil workers remain confident

Over two thirds of oil and gas professionals (68%) working in Scotland and the North Sea region are concerned about the potential impact of current oil prices on the development of deep sea offshore projects over the next five years according to the latest survey by Rigzone.

Despite the concerns, the majority are broadly positive about their own career prospects for the coming year in the region – 38% describing their confidence levels as either ‘middling and above’, with a further 20% being ‘very’ confident. Only 10% said they were ‘not at all’ confident about their careers in 2015.

And when questioned about their career prospects over the next five years in Scotland/the North Sea region, a similar pattern appeared – 61% feeling broadly confident with only 9% saying they were not at all confident about their prospects in the region over this time-frame. 30%, however, describing their confidence levels as ‘below middling’.

International assignments

Interestingly, of the 39% that said they were less than positive about the five year outlook, nearly half (42%) said they were already looking at international assignments, with a further quarter saying they are seeking additional qualifications or training.

Of those considering international assignments, Australia/Oceania was the location of choice for nearly a third (30%), followed by the Middle East (18%) and the USA (16%) as the next two most popular regions.

Oil and gas industry still needs to focus on attracting top talent

Bob Melk, President of Rigzone, commented: “In spite of the fall in oil prices and political debates about the long-term revenue potential of the Continental Shelf, the majority of oil and gas professionals still appear to be confident about their career prospects in the region, both in the near- and long-term. However, for oil and gas companies to continue attracting top talent to the region, they will need to continue offering generous compensation packages and incentives.

“It would also appear that there is work to be done by the political parties in Holyrood and Westminster to reassure the industry about their long-term commitment to North Sea exploration following last year’s Referendum.”

Scottish Referendum

When asked if the political debate in the run-up to last year’s Referendum had in anyway impacted oil career prospects in Scotland/the North Sea region, 36% believed it had impacted negatively with only 9% reckoning it had played positively. 35%, however, reckoned it had no impact at all, with a fifth being undecided. 

The survey of oil and gas professionals working in Scotland and the North Sea by Rigzone took place between 9-19 December 2014. 90% of those surveyed were British passport holders.


Adapted from press release by Cecilia Rehn

Published on 13/01/2015


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