What Themes Will Dominate Oil and Gas Recruitment in 2024?

As 2024 presses on, Rigzone asked several U.S. based oil and gas recruitment experts what themes will dominate oil and gas recruitment this year.Responding to the question, Christopher Melillo, the founder and managing partner of the Dallas, Texas, based Kaye/Bassman Energy Practice, told Rigzone that the majority of job opportunities in domestic oil and gas will continue to be field engineering/specialist roles, “very often not requiring degreed engineers or geoscience professionals”.

“However, not many of the roles will be for drilling specialist, tool pushers, etc. as opportunities have drastically been reduced,” Melillo said.“For the non-degreed side, we see engine operators, operations support, drivers, etc. We have several superintendent roles for piping for midstream and refinery construction,” he added.

“The professional degreed positions we are often seeing does, in some cases, require degreed professionals for supply or QA auditors, QA supervisors, and chem specialists for injection related activities,” Melillo continued. “The second area of focus will be on the supply chain side of operations as this has been drastically hampered by recent logistical shortfalls starting in the Covid years and the domino effect not yet reaching normal levels,” he went on to state.

Melillo told Rigzone that the Kaye/Bassman Energy Practice is seeing many mechanical technician opportunities for the field and mechanical engineers for piping projects.“Once again, piping dominates for refinery and midstream PMs as there are several projects still mid-process for large capital builds,” he added.

“With production deadlines and need to keep leases active, this is a crucial piece to production continuation,” he continued.Melillo warned Rigzone that “as … [the] federal government continues to compress our ability to produce our own domestically produced energy, there will still be a drastic opportunity shortfall in comparison to our last surge of 2012 and 2013 numbers on the domestic side”.“As the new BLM’s [Bureau of Land Management] rules for oil and gas leasing are designed to pretty much shut down fossil fuel production, we will continue to lose crucial jobs to our economy and increase energy costs across the board,” Melillo stated.“House Energy Chair, Rodgers (R) has been very clear about these pitfalls and the long term damage to occur should we continue down this path. These numbers will continue to decrease unless there is a 180 on BLM regulations,” he added.

Rigzone has asked the BLM, the U.S. Department of Energy, and the White House for comment on Melillo’s statements. At the time of writing, none have yet responded to Rigzone with a comment.Looking internationally, Melillo said the spectrum of job opportunities is comparably spread across all roles within the upstream production lifecycle.“Specifically on the professional engineering and geoscience positions for offshore exploration and production,” he added.“Ghana being one of the fastest growing regions for these roles with a heavy demand for Transmission/Piping design and implementation roles,” he continued.

When they were asked what themes will dominate oil and gas recruitment this year, Louisiana based OneSource Professional Search’s (OPS) President, Dave Mount, and Vice President, Henry Shurlds, said in a joint statement, “after working in operating oil and gas companies and then professionally recruiting technical and financial talent in the industry for over twenty years, the only thing we can predict with certainty is that there is constant change in oil and gas where companies and people that can adapt to the change will be successful”. 

“What we think will occupy and or dominate oil and gas recruitment in 2024 is the market rebalancing with companies and people/jobs adapting to more company consolidations and efforts to gain efficiencies; scale up acreage for best drillable locations via mergers/acquisitions,” they added.The OPS representatives told Rigzone that they feel carbon capture and storage will continue to grow as more projects are built and predicted that renewable energy jobs will be trimmed “as some segments are having challenges commercializing their ideas (i.e. hydrogen)”. 

“The U.S. government seems to be incenting heavily wind energy, but growth in jobs in this area (other than construction), don’t compare nearly as well for the longer term vs more traditional oil and gas production,” they added.“Time will tell as to what specific regions and position needs will emerge as several very large mergers were announced in 2023 – Chevron/Hess, Exxon/Pioneer, Permian/Earthstone, Oxy/CrownRock – and it will be interesting to see how this plays out in regulatory review and approvals,” they continued.

The OPS representatives said recruiting needs will continue to grow in back filling retiring Boomers and said there will be a lot of chair swapping “pending the actual implementation of capital and people post-mergers”. “We don’t currently see any macro hiring trends related to any new plays or technologies but do forecast more movement of people,” they added.

“Those positioned with good resources that can provide them with an ear on the market will likely do best in terms of niche openings/opportunities that will be available as the market reconfigures itself and adapts to efficiencies and optimization of assets,” they continued.

Source: https://www.rigzone.com