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The uncertain scenario of the oil and gas sector: between pandemics, conflicts and sustainability plans

The oil and gas sector is experiencing a period full of contradictions: on the one hand the current geopolitical situation promises an increase in employment data, on the other we are witnessing job losses. 

The burden of the pandemic

The pandemic has led to the reduction of hundreds of thousands of jobs in the oil and gas sector around the world, as the demand for crude has plummeted and many energy companies have gone bankrupt. At the same time, the green transition creates concern among professionals. 

The outlook in the United States

With the return of demand to pre-pandemic levels and the huge investments made in the oil and gas sector, the labor market is expected to improve. An energy report from Rystad Energy confirms this trend, by predicting that the oil and gas employment in the United States will rise by 12.5% in 2022.
As the global price of oil continues to rise, operators in the US want to increase investments to around $ 90 billion a year by 2027. With US energy companies ramping up production to meet growing global demand, especially in response to sanctions on Russian oil, the need for engineers and other skilled workers is evident. Even if the increase in inflation will partially limit the growth of the labor market. 

The search for specialized staff

The biggest obstacle is the lack of skilled workers available to support the expansion. This trend is due to the choice of several universities to abandon their oil and gas engineering programs, because of the change in energy prospects and the decrease in demand for such degrees.
This would indicate that this is a market that allows new employees to ask for better wages and conditions. But it is also true that the sector is unlikely to return to pre-pandemic employment levels, due to the greater digitization and automation of operations.

Interference from sustainable agendas

The transition to a renewable energy system and the Sustainable Development Goals warn the oil and gas sector, and workers are preparing for this inevitability by looking for other opportunities. If experts hope for a recovery in the labor market in the coming years, the long-term prospects for workers in the sector are uncertain.

The situation is full of unknowns; the only certainty is that, regardless of the outcome, the oil and gas sector cannot shut the door to a clear and collaborative conversation with the renewable energy industry.


Read also: Oil and Gas: the consequences of the Ukrainian War and the sector’s new challenges
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