Since 2004, Schlumberger Business Consulting (SBC) has produced the annual Oil & Gas HR Benchmark survey to assess the global supply and demand of petrotechnical professionals (PTPs), geoscientists and petroleum engineers, and highlight best practices in talent management in the upstream industry. This survey has become a reference for decision-makers, who seek talentmanagement strategies that have a measurable impact on business results.

Based on information provided by exploration and production (E&P) companies and universities annually, the HR Benchmark has developed analyses and concepts that are now used and debated in people resource practices. For the 2010 survey, SBC introduced the PTP IntensityTM concept, the ratio of the number of PTPs versus operated production. A high PTP Intensity indicates there are more PTPs per 1,000 barrels of oil produced than for companies with a lower score.

Highlights from the 2010 Oil & Gas HR Benchmark include:

  • High-growth companies have a higher PTP Intensity than others;

  • A big crew change is underway. The industry is transitioning from a senior-intensive demographic profile to a younger one with 5,000 experienced PTPs expected to retire by 2014, leading to a lower PTP Intensity for both major and independent companies;

  • Graduate recruitment is recovering from pessimistic forecasts in 2009. Worldwide, universities can provide sufficient graduates, but supply from quality institutions will be tight; and

  • In some regions, the female PTP student ratio exceeds 40%. The E&P industry is lagging, but the proportion of women is increasing with the exception of major companies.

The PTP Intensity measurement clearly demonstrates the close link between people and growth. The labor market for experienced PTPs will be tight in coming years and this knowledge shortage will have serious consequences on projects and production capacity. E&P companies need to consider this link along with other possible contributing factors such as portfolio composition, recruitment of mid-career professionals rather than inexperienced graduates, competency development and time to autonomy. Technology, process improvements and outsourcing will be key to mitigate staffing issues.

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