Petroplan will be exhibiting in the North Sea Decommissioning Zone at SPE Offshore Europe 2017 in September. Decommissioning is a special focus at the conference with a range of expert speakers. These are part of the plenary and new Decommissioning Zone technical programme. Supported by Decom North Sea, this new zone will deliver an extensive line-up of industry commentators and business speakers. Petroplan will be exhibiting on stand 6A24.
With more than 100 offshore platforms forecast for full or partial removal in the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS) and 1,800 wells to be plugged over the next decade, SPE recognised a need to place North Sea decommissioning high on the 2017 Offshore Europe agenda.
As several assets in the North Sea reach the end of their lifespan, the latest cost estimate from the Oil and Gas Authority has predicted the cost of decommissioning the UKCS oil and gas infrastructure is £59.7 billion with an ambitious goal of completing this work for less than £39 billion. Source: https://www.offshore-europe.co.uk/Show-Features/Decommissioning-Zone/
Petroplan’s decision to take part in this conference is in response to the growing need for specialist skilled people to plan, oversee and deliver North Sea decommissioning projects. Petroplan as an international oil, gas and energy recruitment and contract management business started its 40 year service in the North Sea. We are therefore well-versed in the challenging conditions and identifying and mobilising the appropriately skilled professionals to deliver projects safely in this location. This is a natural progression for our teams to support our clients and contractors through the North Sea life cycle as they move from late life to decommissioning.
The 24 months since the oil price slide have seen as many as 440,000 redundancies worldwide, as well as thousands of early retirees with three decades and more of experience in their fields. Source: https://www.oilandgasiq.com/strategy-management-and-information/articles/decommissioning-oil-gas-north-sea-uk-norway
So the challenge for those organisations looking to fulfil North Sea decommissioning projects will in large part be due to labour shortages. Many of these organisations are seeing the commercial opportunity in these decommissioning ventures and will need to select their key teams with great care.
Only earlier this month, an offshore vessel said to have produced almost 150 million barrels of oil over 36 years has arrived in Shetland for decommissioning. Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-north-east-orkney-shetland-40910885 Originally a drilling rig, Buchan Alpha started production from the Buchan field in 1981.It was taken out of service in May by operators Repsol Sinopec Resources UK.
North Sea decommissioning is high on the political agenda of the Scottish government. It is committed to supporting Scottish industry win this decommissioning activity as an estimated £17.6bn is expected to be spent in the North Sea over the next decade as mature fields reach this stage in their project lifecycle.
The government is now actively supporting the industry, through the £5m Decommissioning Challenge Fund and the Decommissioning Action Plan, to identify further investment opportunities to capture contracts for later stages of the North Sea decommissioning process. Sources: https://www.energyvoice.com/oilandgas/north-sea/148405/scottish-energy-minister-visits-dundee-port-hear-decommissioning-offshore-wind-ambitions/
Applications to remove platforms are starting to come in thick and fast. Organisations such as Britain’s Oil & Gas Authority (OGA) estimate the price of decommissioning the UK’s offshore oil and gas facilities at almost £60 billion ($78 billion) in 2016 prices, based partly on a survey of operators’ intentions. However, there is evidence to suggest that there is scope for reducing that sum by up to 35% to just below £39 billion ($51 billion). This could be achieved through developing more innovative contracting approaches and sharing lessons from completed decommissioning projects. One of the initiatives the authority cited is the UK’s multi-operator well plugging and abandonment (P&A) campaign. According to the Aberdeen-based Oil & Gas Technology Centre, P&A activity accounts for around half the UK’s decommissioning costs. Source: http://www.offshore-mag.com/articles/print/volume-77/issue-8/departments/offshore-europe/baltic-countries-seek-norway-gas-link.html
The particular challenges of the North Sea decommissioning mean that the skills and technology developed here will be of enormous use to global decommissioning projects in the future. They will help to work towards the cost savings that could be achieved through the approach to the project. For instance, new waterjet cutting technologies which can cut in difficult and confined conditions – like those found on an oil rig – will enable decommissioning teams to operate more quickly and easily.
In particular, cold cutting water jet technologies can now be operated around 1km from where the actual cutting is taking place. And with its ability to operate both on land, underwater and in potentially explosive environments, it is perfectly placed to help decommission the North Sea and help lead the UK into a new age of decommissioning excellence. As more fields go offline, the skills and technologies developed in the UK will likely be in high demand.
Our recruitment specialists are segmented into Specialist Discipline Teams focused on key areas of the business. These teams work independently of each other to build discipline-specific groups of talent, and are founded on exceptional levels of technical knowledge – ideally equipping them to qualify candidates to a very high technical level. We speak the language of the industry and genuinely understand the requirements of our clients; allowing us to quickly and efficiently gauge a candidate’s suitability.
In the early stages we expect to recruit for: The Senior Project Management Team.
In the execution and design phases of project management we’d focus on roles such as Structural Engineers, Subsea / Pipeline Engineers, Subsurface / Reservoir Engineers (Petroleum), Wells Engineers, Accountants / Cost Controllers, Planners, Asset management (i.e. OIM’s ) Risk & Tech Safety, Specialist Study providers, Public Affairs, Environmental Advisers, Permits / Regulation Adviser, Auditors / Peer Reviewers, Supply chain & Logistics, Admin & IT (Inc. Document Control), Partner Reps, Human Resources and Well Examiners.
In the latter execution and close out phases, we’d identify staff for (Vessel Rep, Materials control, Safety Adviser, Well supervisor roles. Specialist contractors (i.e. NORM / LSA, seabed soil sampling) Invoice / payments controllers, Training and Coaching would also be applicable. As well as Project Managers, Contracts, Accounts, and Commercial positions forming the focus post decommissioning.
In many competitor organisations to Petroplan, recruitment consultants have dual responsibility for both recruitment and contractor management. At Petroplan there is an expert team dedicated solely to contractor mobilisation and support – resulting in the highly personalised and efficient services for which we are renowned, and freeing our recruiters up to focus on securing the best talent for our clients.
Petroplan’s contractor support package is designed to minimise administrative distractions, allowing contractors to focus on their assignment. Depending on the contractual agreement and the client’s specific requirements, any combination of services may form part of our contractor management provision, for example: contract drafting and negotiation, pre-assignment briefings, mobilisation travel and accommodation, training re-validation and ongoing contract administration – to name just a few.
In line with our culture of continuous improvement Petroplan recently implemented a new Contractor Timesheet and Expense Management system that allows the online submission of monthly or bi-weekly expenses, with automated approval and invoicing processes.
If your business has a North Sea decommissioning project on the horizon or indeed you are a professional looking to be represented by a specialist recruiter, get in touch with Suzanne Cameron [email protected] at our Aberdeen office Regent House, 36 Regent Quay, Aberdeen, AB11 5BE and +44 1224 536210
Due to being the fifth and fourth largest producer of oil and gas respectively, Canada has been providing hundreds of thousands of jobs to people from across the globe for decades, fueling its own economy in the process. The last 3 years has seen over $65 billion taken out of Canada’s oil and gas industry due to a decline in capital investment and plummeting crude oil prices, resulting in extreme cost-cutting, mass job losses and the cancellation of dozens of projects. Sixty-five percent of oil and gas companies have reduced their staff, resulting in approximately 100,000 workers being made redundant.
Many skilled oil and gas workers have relocated abroad or to new states in search of work, not only due to redundancy, but also to the collapse of oil and gas training programs which could have provided them with the retraining for related jobs. Any new investment, whether project- or technology-related has therefore followed them. Job creation in this sector has been tight throughout Canada.
’The suicide rate in Alberta climbs 30% in wake of mass oil patch layoffs’ CBC News, December 2015
‘Saskatchewan, another energy-dependent region, has a higher rate, and it’s seen 19% more suicides this year’ The Guardian, December 2015
By the end of 2015, requests to the Calgary Distress Centre for counselling services had increased by 80% according to counsellor, David Kirby (CBC News, 2015). He claims the issues people are facing are vast, including substance abuse, financial collapse, anxiety, depression and relationship conflict. For those lucky enough to still be in employment, longer working hours are causing high levels of stress and fears that complaints will result in their lay-off too.
According to the Scottish Trades Union Congress, the oil and gas crisis in Scotland has “critically undermined rig safety, as workers fear reporting issues in case it results in job loss, causing serious health and safety implications – and there is fear a similar issue could be uncovered in the Canadian industry. As in Canada, workers are facing redundancy, shift pattern changes, wage reductions and loss of colleagues, and are being expected to take on their work.
We caught up with David Kirby recently to talk about the impact of job loss on mental health, how job loss can affect the family unit, and the work of the Calgary Distress Centre.
“In general our agency has seen about a 15% increase in service use over the past two years that we relate to the recession and impacts of it in the energy sector in Calgary. Certainly, we’ve had many more calls related to resources for emergency financial assistance to pay for rents, mortgages, utility bills, and even to put food on the table. The amount of suffering created by the recession and sector slowdown in Calgary and across our province has been unfathomable. Anecdotally, we can say that this is certainly the worst we ever seen it locally.”
Commenting on how the Distress Centre helps those facing job loss to cope, David said:
“In general we encourage people to reach out and talk to someone (i.e. our 24-hour crisis lines) when they’re feeling stressed about their future. We know that the sooner people reach out for help, the more likely the psychological impacts can be lessened. We encourage people affected by job loss to use their support system, focus on what they can control, develop an action plan for creating some positive change, and use the time to evaluate their values, priorities, and focus time and energy on self-care.
Many people find the prospect of having to ‘start over’ very much intimidating and difficult to cope with. We often encourage people to use the time to reconnect with their values and reconsider other hopes and dreams they may have had at earlier points in their lives, essentially trying to turn a negative into a positive.”
“Unless you have strong mediatory factors in place – such as good supervisors and HR support, chronic stress can be very negative, not just for the individual but also the organisation.”Margaret Crichton, Managing Director of People Factor Consultants (PFC)
Fortunately, the Canadian oil and gas industry is forecast to recover this year. Employment will grow steadily between 2017 and 2020 as new investment is placed in projects including a large two-train LNG facility in British Columbia. Market prices will increase from US$40 per barrel to US$71 with profits reaching 2010’s level of $13 billion by 2021. This is clearly positive, but because of the effects of the recent downturn, employers should put preventative measures in place and provide support for those showing signs of stress.
‘’5,200 wells are expected to be drilled across the country this year, an increase of 975 wells projected in November’’ Calgary Herald
Downturn relocations, baby-boomer retirements and technological advancements are causing an urgent need to appeal to younger workers from across the globe. With recent mental health campaigns such as Canada’s, ‘Not Myself Today’ and England’s, ‘Time To Change’ the younger generation are becoming more aware of its potential impact, explaining their greater likelihood to take part. They are also expecting a more open approach to mental health, demanding their employers account for this. Therefore, oil and gas companies should act, not only to attract new workers, but to give much needed support to their current ones.
When you’re living with mental illness, external circumstances that would normally be stressful for anybody are even more stressful. Job loss and unemployment certainly fall into that category. When faced with such a scary situation, it is more important than ever to make sure you’re using healthy coping mechanism, sticking to a routine as much as possible and staying productive, maintaining any treatment and also seeking additional help if necessary. Counseling and therapy can be beneficial in particularly difficult situations, especially as a supplement to other treatment methods and self-care.
Chelsea Ricchio, Communications Manager,Healthy Minds Canada
In recent years, there have been examples of the industry becoming more aware of mental health and its importance, Continue reading “Mental Health in the Oil & Gas Industry”
Since the employment market in the oil, gas and energy industry is suffering from a lack of demand at the moment, surprisingly a candidate-led trend has emerged where the desired talent is still in a good position to land the top industry roles. There are still a number of companies which are hiring, regardless of the overall view that “There are no jobs”, the difference is that; these organizations are only looking for what they classify as “top talent” and candidates that fully match a job specification. However, this top talent only wants to work under certain conditions, as in every market, they are aware of “supply vs demand” and know that people with desirable skills are in short supply as people exit the industry or sit tight in their current roles. The aim of this article is to demonstrate how to engage the most talented professionals based on the results we have from our Talent Insight Index 2016 survey on what aspects of an employment package is most attractive to energy professionals. These insights could form the basis of a more compelling job offer that is appealing enough to pique the interests of these professionals when confidence in job security is very low. If you are looking for a way to improve your CV in order to highlight your professional skills as top talent you can access CV formatting tips and download the a CV/Resume template on our online employment resources page.
The Talent Insight Index 2016 research has highlighted loyalty as a key factor to retain and develop talent. This can also apply to hiring new talent based on your existing employees’ loyalty.
Locating top talent that will want to be a part of your organization can be really hard to do, especially if your current employees won’t recommend it even in a downturn.
The first thing to consider when positioning vacancies as top oil, gas and energy job offers is having your other employees loyal and happy enough to talk about their “amazing job”, and recommending the roles to likely great candidates, or ex-colleagues whether online or through word of mouth.
Having a job requirement that makes reference to testimonials from current employees can motivate the talent you seek to apply for the position in the first place. If your current employees share their positive perceptions of the company, the potential candidate will be more persuaded to apply.
Loyalty to the company is usually a good signal, however this should not diminish the importance of the basic pay/salary package offered by organizations to attract employees and contractors.
In the Petroplan survey, respondents clearly state that basic pay is the single most important factor.
This is the same across all oil, gas and energy employment types, ages and regions of work.
As part of the Talent Insight Index 2016, we look at what the workforce ranks as the most important benefits to include in an offer of employment. To download the full findings of the Talent Insight Index sign up here: https://www.petroplan.com/talent-insight-index-2016/
When talent that your company needs is looking for something more of a guarantee of job security than just basic salary, a broader benefits package illustrate the values of the business that will also have a role in their decision.
There is an opportunity to attract both contractors and permanent employees with a whole package approach with many workers having lost security, training and medical support.
In the United States, Petroplan provides oil, gas and energy recruitment capabilities nation-wide; with a focus on the Greater Houston area, the Gulf of Mexico and the Texas Shale Plays.
We particularly concentrate on exploration and production, midstream and downstream, LNG, oilfield services and manufacturing; and our core specialisms include Discipline Engineers, HSE, Project Management and Services, Subsea, Subsurface and Corporate roles such as Technical Sales, Support Functions, Finance, HR and IT.
The full range of recruitment services are available through us, from executive search and contingency recruitment for direct hire, to contractor recruitment, mobilization and pay rolling.
The results of Petroplan’s Talent Insight index 2016 shows us that the top talent that the industry requires still values benefits such as length of contract, healthcare, training, holiday allowance or flights and bonus.
The order and importance of these benefits can vary, so we have created an ideal job specification for the US region “savvy top talent” that the industry is needing.
A review of the employment environment in the energy sector by Petroplan has found that, despite a major contraction in the value of the energy employment market over the past two years, global oil prices are now around the level where demand for talent looks set to pick up again.
Respondents from thirty-five organisations from across the major global oil and gas hubs participated in the survey, the aim of which was to gain insight from the industry’s employers on the prospects for recovery, and how this would impact on hiring in the near future.
Contract staff are likely to be in the vanguard of any recovery, with over two-thirds of respondents expecting greater use of contractors, bringing with them the flexibility and cost control which are critical in the current business environment. The use of Western expat contractors – long seen as a mainstay of the oil and gas industry – looks set to decline however as lower-cost local talent upskills and nationalisation targets take effect.
Activity is expected to pick up on onshore rigs first (in the US, then Middle East, Asia and Africa), followed by shallow water projects. Experienced technical talent, as well as those with a combination of technical and financial skills, look set to be most in demand in any recovery. Mechanical and chemical engineers, project managers and IT experts were among the shortage roles cited in the survey.
If anything, the oil price downturn since mid-2014 has increased the demographic challenge the industry faces, with experienced middle managers laid off and millennials put off entering the industry. While two thirds of respondents recognise the challenge as a major obstacle to growth, there was a feeling that multi-skilling and up-skilling the existing workforce will help to address it.
Rory Ferguson, CEO of Petroplan, said: “After a very challenging couple of years, our review reflects a cautious optimism for the future among energy employers. This is feeding through into hiring strategies that are focussed to a greater degree on cost efficiency and flexibility – but not at the expense of quality”.
“Something that came across very strongly from the review is that, whilst employers want to fill roles quickly, they also want to find the right candidate in terms of technical and business culture fit. Reconciling these two is where specialist recruiters such as Petroplan play a key role, even more so with the reduction of internal recruitment teams in many organisations”.
Full findings and analysis from the ‘Energy Talent Explorer Review’ can be found at: https://www.petroplan.com/about/energy-talent-explorer-review/
“There is a culture of resiliency in the Canadian oil patch, and people tend to pride themselves on their ability to find solutions in tough times. This could translate into heightened pressure on workers to keep their emotions under control and to themselves” Alberta Oil
The oil and gas industry is a high-pressure environment compared to many others, with stressful long hours requiring constant alertness set in isolated locations. With mistakes costing lives, workers can feel overwhelmed yet unable to express themselves. Weeks away from home and the people they feel comfortable around can enhance these feelings, building up until their mental health deteriorates. Being able to share thoughts and feelings with employers due to worry about what they will say to- and about- them, as well as how people may act toward them can also hinder their likelihood to seek help. In many cases, support is not available even if it pursued.
‘’Only employers and employees working together can make the changes that are fundamentally needed’’ Michael Kirby,
Partners for Mental Health
Part of the problem is in identifying mental illnesses. Not only for employees questioning their own mental states, but for employers unsure of what to do when they notice issues and knowing how to cope. With mental illness costing the Canadian economy $51 billion annually, effective support should be given to- or put in place by companies, not only reducing this figure, but providing employees with the help they need.
‘’Whether we’re managers, human resources, union reps or even co-workers, most of us don’t have the training or the knowledge about how to help someone. They don’t know where to begin, they don’t know where to apply limited resources or time. And so, they’re not sure where to get started’’
Mary Ann Baynton, Mindful Employer Canada
Fortunately, there are various mental health charities raising awareness among employees and companies alike. Not Myself Today, a campaign run by Partners for Mental Health has already had over 320 companies and organizations take part. The campaign aims to promote mental health within these places, creating a ‘safe, open and supportive work environment’, ‘reducing stigma’ and giving employees a, ‘better understanding of one’s own mental health’. They’ve seen much success, with 93% of companies stating the campaign increased mental health awareness, 89% claiming it started an open dialogue about mental health among employees and 88% agreeing it raised awareness of ready-available mental health resources. 78% also agreed it has helped to create a more understanding and supportive work environment. This shows how beneficial a mental health charity can be. It also suggests how duplication of this campaign across the oil and gas industry could be effective too.
The fact these charities and campaigns are needed highlight their importance – not enough is being done to combat mental health issues. It is estimated that improved treatment of depression could grow Canada’s economy by as much as $32.3 billion annually, and for anxiety, by up to $17.3 billion (The Conference Board of Canada). This impact is huge and shows the benefits for companies and its employees. Making use of mental health charities can clearly have a positive impact, and where possible, companies should put additional support in place.
‘’The reality is, in our post-modern economy, many Canadians in the workplace aren’t lifting heavy things anymore. What they’re valued for is their minds. And we need to do more to protect and promote the health of people’s minds in the workplace, because it’s when people get into trouble with their thinking and their feeling that it interferes with their ability to be productive, to be collegial, and to be at their best in terms of their functioning’’
David Goldbloom, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health
Petroplan Group is pleased to announce the appointment of Rory Ferguson is its new Chief Executive Officer.
Rory joins Petroplan from recruitment firm Lawrence Harvey, where he spent three years as Group Managing Director, overseeing a period of rapid growth and developing a new leadership team.
Prior to Lawrence Harvey, Rory spent four years at international recruiter Hydrogen, in which time he took the oil and gas team from inception to an international practice representing 20 percent of the Group’s gross profit.
He has a BA in History from the University of Southampton, and also served as an officer in the British Army for four years.
John Reeder, Co-Founder and Chairman of Petroplan, commented: “We are delighted to have Rory on board, given his very impressive track record and over twenty years’ experience in recruitment. I and the rest of the Board look forward to working with him as we broaden our scope and deepen the expertise we have under our roof.”
Rory said of his new appointment: “I’ve had a passion for the oil and gas sector for many years, but the opportunity to assume the leadership role within a well-known and respected international player like Petroplan was too good to pass up.
Over the coming weeks, I’ll be working with the Board to build a strategy which I’m confident will include an element of diversification. But we won’t be straying too far from our primary market, where I believe value remains in the longer term.
In terms of Petroplan’s own people, I think we’ve got some great talent in the business. Where possible we’ll always try to grow organically and promote from within, but we will acquire experience if we feel it can give us a strategic edge.”
Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, chairman of Masdar, made the opening keynote address and extended his warm welcome to all in attendance. He spoke of how the summit had become the, ‘premier destination for championing sustainability and championing tangible and real results’. This is certainly true, as the last 10 years has not only seen the introduction of solar and wind power into emerging markets, but also the reduction of its production and maintenance costs, by one third and one half respectively. Though Jaber expressed hope for continued renewable success, he emphasized that, ‘oil and gas will remain critical drivers of the global economy for decades’ and that, ‘there is more benefit in leveraging both new and traditional forms of energy by integrating them’ rather than trying to reach 100% renewable energy usage.
The four-day event comprised various exciting and innovative talks, events and showcases that enlightened and inspired. Always a crowd-pleaser are the live demonstrations of the latest products and this year was no different. At the Sustainable Transport event for example, exhibits included fuel cell cars, robotic parking and LPG Powered Vehicle that certainly impressed. New product announcements included air to water generators from Maghdeem Contracting which work by extracting humidity from the air, floating solar panels from Nemo and the SAM Bridge Environmental Data Acquisition System by ISEO that can be used as hardware for environmental systems such as weather sensors and analysers. It all looked very technical.
91% of exhibitors were satisfied with the World Future Energy Summit 2017’
Talks of particular interest to us included, ‘Carbon Capture and Storage – a critical part of the future energy mix’, ‘Energy Transitions for Oil Producing Regions’ and ‘Disrupting the transportation model’. In the former talk, John Scowcroft (Executive Adviser at the Global CCS Institute) discussed the worrying effects of climate change but how carbon capture and storage (CCS) technologies can enable oil recovery and stop greenhouse gases from entering the atmosphere. With many Middle Eastern countries aiming to enact CCS schemes with the possibly of worldwide uptake, this has the potential to reduce worldwide carbon dioxide emissions drastically. In the latter talk, Dr Andreas Dietrich Kopp (Lead Transport Economist at The World Bank’s Sustainable Development Network), Tim Karlsson (Executive Director at International Partnership for Hydrogen and Fuel Cells in the Economy) and Tom Zhao (General Manager at BYD) discussed the future of travel. They believe electric vehicles and hydrogen fuel cells will eventually replace oil-based options and that transport companies especially should be wary of this in terms of future innovations. Lastly, in, ‘Energy Transitions for Oil Producing Regions’ El Hadi Jazairy (a research scientist at MIT School of Architecture and Planning) examined how various political, financial and environmental crises have placed energy as a top concern for many national leaders. He particularly looked at how geography impacts oil infrastructure and what can be done to benefit both.
In true, ‘World Future Energy Summit’ style, some key decisions were also announced. Saudi Arabia stated they would be investing approximately $50 billion (Dh183.50 billion) in renewable energy schemes such as wind and solar. They hope by 2023 to generate close to 10 gigawatts of power from these sources, considerably cutting their carbon footprint. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) itself will be investing Dh600 billion into renewable energy to appease growing energy demands in a sustainable way. India announced plans for a 175 gigawatt renewables addition by 2022 which led to much discussion and private meetings between potential partners such as Masdar, Dewa, AVAADA Energy and Mytrah Energy Limited. Other plans included Masdar’s acquisition of a 25% stake in the offshore floating wind farm, Hywind Scotland which is located in the North Sea and will power 20,000 homes from late 2017. Masdar and Bee’ah also agreed to construct a 300,000-tonne waste-to-energy plant in Sharjah.
96% of delegates were satisfied with the World Future Energy Summit 2017
So how could these decisions affect Petroplan? Though one may worry about the increase in investment of renewables in the Middle East, we do not see the oil and gas industry declining anytime soon and consider the evolution of renewable energy as a great opportunity for our candidates. Lastly, as stated in our celebratory post, ‘The Oil & Gas industry – the past 40 years, the current market and a look to the future’, the oil and gas industry remains incredibly lucrative as globally the need for oil especially is increasing. We are therefore certain that we will see continued success for the foreseeable future.