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UK Oil and Gas Workforce stabilises



According to data from Oil and Gas UK’s most recent report, the UK’s workforce numbers have stabilised in the last year.

The UK workforce is expected to rise in 2019, for the first time since 2014
(Image via Shutterstock)

The latest workforce report stated that the Oil & Gas sector supported between 245,600 and 277,400 jobs across the UK in 2018, through direct employment, indirect employment and employment induced as a result of the industry’s wider economic contribution. 39% of these jobs are based in Scotland.

This represents a 5% decline in the number of jobs supported by the industry, an improvement on the 14% decline seen between 2016 and 2017. The report goes on to anticipate an increase of almost 10,000 jobs in 2019 - totalling an estimated 269,100 in total employment.

This would be the first year of workforce expansion since 2014. 

The report highlights an increase in drilling activity in 2018 - 101 wells on the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS), compared with 96 in 2017. Two of the largest discoveries for a decade made late last year - CNOOC’s Glengorm and Total’s Glendronach - suggest 10-20 billion barrels of oil equivalent is still to be recovered, reviving optimism around exploration activity in the basin.

Improved cash flows, competitive market prices and a competitive fiscal regime are thought to be encouraging investors to begin increasing budgets on the UKCS - with the increased expenditure leading to the upturn in job creation. 

However it does warn that market conditions will continue to impact on investment decisions and therefore could continue to negatively impact industry activity.

Dr Alix Thom of Oil and Gas UK said: 

“These employment figures indicate a welcome stabilisation of workforce numbers and is positive news for an industry which has a relentless focus on improving the sustainability and safety of the basin.

“While parts of the supply chain continue to be under real pressure with tight margins, overall our report findings indicate that the health of our industry continues to improve.

“Attracting and retaining a diverse workforce will be critical to ensuring we are fit to meet the challenges of the future and to realise the opportunities that will come with new technology and innovation.”

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UK Oil and Gas Workforce stabilises - Time to read 2 min
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