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Gearing up for the employment wave, Part 3

Published by
Oilfield Technology,

Dominic Simpson, Rigzone, UK, concludes his review of the developments in the UK oil and gas industry and the challenges ahead for the industry.


Jobs likely to be in demand 

Based on the experiences of the Gulf of Mexico, decommissioning involves 10 main steps: project Management, engineering and planning; permitting and regulatory compliance; platform preparation; well plugging and abandonment; conductor removal; mobilisation and demobilisation of derrick barges; platform removal; pipeline and power cable decommissioning; materials disposal; and site clearance.

For each of these areas, the skill sets are known. The challenge is going to be anticipating the speed and extent of the decommissioning exercise given there are some 630 installations with associated infrastructure, 5000 wells and nearly 10 000 km of pipelines currently in the North Sea of which around a third will need decommissioning in the next 10 years.

With regards to the deeper sea exploration on the UKCS that the decommissioning tax breaks effectively free up, engineers are likely to be the candidates in highest demand - in particular subsea engineers, drilling engineers, completions engineers, and well design engineers.

   2011 2012 Yr/Yr change 
Africa US$ 99 894 US$ 105 107   5% 
Australia & Oceania  US$ 123 453   US$ 123 161     0% 
Asia US$ 101 703  US$ 98 399   -3%
Europe US$ 93 238 US$ 99 683   7%
Middle East US$ 90 905 US$ 94 309   4%
North America US$ 99 175 US$ 94 722   -4%
South America US$ 103 019 US$ 104 459   1%
Table 1. Average global compensation levels 2011 - 2012.

However, based on a Rigzone 2013 compensation survey, the engineers earning the biggest bucks and therefore potentially attracting the greatest number of new recruits were reservoir engineers, drilling engineers and petroleum engineers. The challenge for the North Sea operators will be ensuring that they are able to attract the right numbers and quality of personnel wanting to work on North Sea specific projects to realise the full potential of the continental shelf given many next generation engineers may well be drawn to the brighter lights of the new-start domestic UK fraccing industry or global opportunities.


Part 1 of this article is available here.

Part 2 of this article is available here.



Adapted by David Bizley

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