Royal Dutch Shell Group .com Rotating Header Image

Daily Telegraph: Oil workers run dry

By Roland Gribben
(Filed: 23/09/2006)

A recruitment crisis is threatening the oil and gas industry boom and dozens of important projects, a research report claimed yesterday. BP, Shell, ExxonMobil and the other big groups face ”severe stagnation” because of the failure to replace an ageing workforce.

Graeme Sword, partner and head of energy at 3i, the private equity and venture capital group, makes the bleak predictions in a survey analysing the challenges facing the industry.

His analysis reflects growing concern among industry leaders about the shortage of new recruits, particularly engineers. Oil at $70 a barrel oil has changed the investment climate, triggering a sharp rise in conventional oil and gas projects while improving the economics of alternative and renewable energy sources.

Companies are attempting to counter arguments from students that oil and gas holds little interest for them because it is a “sunset industry”. They are trying to promote a more positive image of the industry and widening the recruitment search to the Far East.

Earlier cutbacks have contributed to chronic shortages, particularly in the 30 to 45 age bracket. The average age of offshore workers in the North Sea and North America is over 50. Mr Sword said: “There is quite literally a generation gap. It is a massive task to recruit tomorrow’s workforce.”

Concerted efforts are being made to ease the problems in the North Sea where the Government is trying to encourage an increase in exploration and development. and its sister non-profit websites,,,,,, and are owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia feature.

1 Comment on “Daily Telegraph: Oil workers run dry”

  1. #1 Virgil Constantinescu
    on Sep 23rd, 2006 at 10:47

    Welldone!Very good article!!!

%d bloggers like this: