In the survey taken at this week’s Offshore Europe event, these issues were jointly ranked first, with 29% of respondents identifying each as their primary concern.
Peter Richards (VP Marketing & Communications) said: “Across the world, assets are reaching maturity, access to reservoirs remains challenging and many experienced specialists are nearing retirement. On top of that, the ‘digital oil field’ brings an increased need for strong capabilities in mathematics, statistics and data alongside the traditional science and engineering skill sets. This survey reflects those industry dynamics.”
The theme of this year’s Offshore Europe, “Inspiring the next generation”, also reflects this, and recognises the need to understand what the industry’s future looks like and to build a talent pipeline to support it. But in the low oil price environment, many organisations need to make difficult decisions in order to achieve cost reductions – and that may prove to be counter-productive in the longer term.
Following the technical session on talent development which was chaired by LR Energy during the conference, John Nicolson (HR Director) commented: “Even as the energy industry braces itself, companies must keep one eye on the future – if the talent pool is diminished (in quality or quantity) the business will be less able to leverage the upturn when it arrives.”
As the debate at Offshore Europe 2015 illustrates, how the industry addresses these challenges is critical in ensuring the continued long term growth of the industry. There are no easy answers but one thing is clear from Offshore Europe 2015: the industry is aware of the challenges and is actively looking for solutions to drive long term growth.