Mercer developed the Oil and Gas Talent Forecast, which focuses on the supply and demand of critical industry jobs, to help organizations better anticipate and manage their future workforce. It provides objective, fact-based talent forecasts that use Mercer’s proven ELM Analysis® (External Labor Market). With this key data in hand, HR can partner with and guide business leaders in making sound, informed human capital decisions under very different industry scenarios. By aligning workforce planning strategy with company goals, proactive employers can operate optimally during times of turmoil and economic uncertainty.
Economic Turmoil and Its Impact on Human Capital
After four decades of volatility in oil markets—roughly the length of a career—one might think organizations have become adept at managing ambiguity. Yet 2015 had the industry scrambling to adjust not only capital plans, but also workforce plans. Dramatic swings are common in the industry, and over the past decade firms have gotten better at managing between cycles with more disciplined workforce planning. Unlike past instability, exogenous factors, as well as innovation within the industry, have tilted to prolonged excess supply instead of higher prices and supply concerns.
Although other factors — including regulations, war, China’s economy, foreign exchange rate devaluations, strategic petroleum reserves, lifting of crude export restrictions and Iran’s trade sanctions, Saudi Arabia’s no-cuts commitment, Russia’s cash needs, modest global growth, and implementation of agreements to tackle climate change and reduce greenhouse gas emissions — present challenges, global energy demand will continue to rise.
So, despite energy price fluctuations, in 2016, oil and gas players across the value chain — whether independent, integrated, or national oil companies — must work to improve margins and make safety and environmental improvements. And they must do so while ensuring their actions do not endanger the critical skills needed to increase production when supply and demand come back into balance.
Refining and Petrochemical Jobs
By 2020, new refineries are slated to come online, driving up the need for experienced refinery technicians and managers. However, companies are likely to scale back (in capacity) or delay the launch of more speculative planned refineries.
For many integrated companies and national oil companies, their talent priorities have flipped from upstream to downstream skill groups, creating a major shift in career pipeline investments, training, and succession planning.
With most of the growth in Asia (not simply China), experts anticipate an increase in competition for regional refining and petrochemical talent in the next five or more years. Reduced margins, as new additional capacity comes online, will put additional pressure for employers to hire the right experience and skills to work efficiently.
Given the large amount of unconventional reserves around the world, experts predict that talent demand for unconventional plays will increase globally.
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