There is currently a large demand in Norway for highly skilled workers in the oil and gas industry, but due to high costs of living and taxes, it is challenging to attract and retain workers from overseas. However, it has been predicted that the average annual wage will have increased by 3.5% in Norway by the end of 2014. Additionally, statistics in the state budget show that 70% of new jobs created are filled by expats. Norway is very proud of the welfare system and family and equality policies which continue to attract workers from overseas.
Moving forward towards 2020, Norwegian continental shelf (NCS) production is expected to grow significantly. From 2013 to 2015 around 27 new fields are expected to commence production versus only ten new fields from 2010 to 2012. The NCS 2014 review states that oil companies have plans to drill at least 15 wells in northern sea area and 18 wells in the Utsira High. In the next few years, the numbers of rigs in Norway will increase from the current 36 to 51 by 2015, meaning that 4,000 new rig workers in addition to the existing 7,500 will be needed. Norway is also making huge steps in the subsea market, and 2013 to 2016 is expected to be a golden age, as over 50 new subsea fields will be developed in the near future.
Engineering courses in Norway have also seen a 25% increase in applications since 2011, particularly MSc courses which have seen numbers rise by 5.8%. However, NAV’s annual survey clarified that Norway is still short of 8000 engineers and ICT specialists. Norwegian companies currently lack 37,500 workers, with 11,300 of these working in oil-related professions.
According to Statistics Norway, companies expect to invest NOK215.1 billion in 2014, the highest figure ever - but a more moderate growth than in the previous years. Most of the 2014 investments have been and will continue to be spent on maintaining the output in current fields. This has been estimated at NOK100.1 billion, compared with NOK70.2 billion which will be used to develop new fields and NOK32.8 billion that will be used on exploration. The Norwegian Oil and Gas Association stated in its yearly report that investments reached a record of NOK219 billion ($35.3 billion) in 2013 and are expected to reach 224 billion kroner in 2014, before averaging about 200 billion kroner a year in 2015 to 2018.
Norway remains as a significant supplier of oil and gas to the world markets and the future looks bright in supply and demand for highly skilled personnel. For these reasons, the hiring activity in the Norwegian oil and gas industry will remain high with numerous opportunities available
Stavanger currently bills itself as the European Oil and Gas capital, with the majority of Norway's major operators being based here. In total the city has more than 35 operators with interest in the NCS based in Stavanger. More than 300 oil service companies are also here, and around 45,000 people in the Stavanger area are employed in the oil and gas industry.
Living in Bergen is no disadvantage in Norway's ongoing oil story as there are a host of energy related companies in the city. The Bergen region has almost as much enterprise, industry and expertise linked to oil and gas in the region as Stavanger. Bergen is Norway's second largest energy city based on oil, gas, water and wind. Altogether, the region has 27,800 employees and 1,361 companies working in energy. In addition to this, many energy sector businesses have chosen Norway’s capital, Oslo, to establish their headquarters, with 42 oil and gas companies currently based here. Overall, Norway’s oil and gas presence is continuously growing, and with so many skilled workers still needed, the region is on the lookout not only for suitable nationals but also well experienced expats.