High oil prices always affect oil and gas recruitment in a positive way.
That’s according to Gladney Darroh, an energy search specialist with 47 years of experience who developed and coaches the interview methodology Winning the Offer, which earned him the ranking of #1 technical and professional recruiter in Houston for 17 consecutive years by HAAPC.
“Projects that were uneconomical to do at lower prices are now quite economical to do at higher prices, and projects that were economical to do at lower prices are ramped up (which often can be done quickly) to take quick advantage of a price spike,” the Founding Partner and President of Houston, Texas, based Piper-Morgan Associates Personnel Consultants told Rigzone.
“All of this translates into an increased need for contractor and direct hire personnel,” he added.
When asked if high oil prices are affecting oil and gas hiring, Dave Mount, the President of Louisiana based OneSource Professional Search, which is celebrating 20 years of recruiting technical and financial talent in the energy industry, said higher oil and gas prices have continued the momentum of hiring that the company has seen from 2022 into 2023.
“Demand/recruiting of geoscientists has picked up in 2023 vs 2020-2021, which is encouraging as geoscientists are typically at the front end of a growth cycle in oil and gas,” Mount told Rigzone.
“This trend is a reversal of steep declines in hiring this discipline prior to 2023 correlating to oil price collapse, although the market for geoscientists is still slightly oversupplied from the massive layoffs in recent years,” he added.
“Additionally, searches for facility engineering talent have increased slightly, indicating increased level of investment in planned production facilities projects. Demand in environmental disciplines, particularly air quality/permitting has also increased as the industry keeps pace with increased regulatory oversight, along with oil companies seeking to voluntarily improve on their ESG commitments,” he continued.
Mount also noted that OneSource has seen an increased demand for higher end engineering technicians who can assimilate and organize diverse data from varied operational inputs and diverse technical software, “becoming a hybrid of IT and engineering professional”.
Demand for other disciplines has remained steady, according to Mount.
“While demand is robust, the pace of hiring is still tempered as companies are still being highly selective in hiring, not at all like the big boom times of 2008, 2011, 2013, and 2014 where any B+ rated candidates would receive multiple offers,” Mount said.
“OneSource feels this hiring selectivity still reflects cautionary hiring by operating companies balancing the tightrope of living within cash flow/capital discipline while taking on growth projects,” he added.
The Brent crude oil price rose from a close of $72.26 per barrel on June 27 to a close of $96.55 per barrel on September 27. It is currently trading at $87.84 per barrel.
The West Texas Intermediate (WTI) oil price increased from a close of $67.7 per barrel on June 27 to a close of $93.68 per barrel on September 27. At the time of writing, the commodity is trading at $86.27 per barrel.
The last time Brent closed above $96 per barrel was in November 2022, while the last time WTI closed above $93 per barrel was over a year ago.
In its latest short term energy outlook (STEO), which was released in September, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) projected that the Brent and WTI spot prices would average $84.46 and $79.65 per barrel, respectively, in 2023. The EIA expects the former to average $92.68 per barrel in and the latter to average $87.69 per barrel in the fourth quarter of this year.
In a report sent to Rigzone on September 26, Standard Chartered projected that the ICE Brent price would average $91 per barrel this year and that the NYMEX WTI oil price would come in at $88 per barrel. In that report, the former was anticipated to average $93 per barrel in the fourth quarter and the latter was expected to average $91 per barrel.
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