Sie sind auf Seite 1von 4


Technical Talent Shortage

Could Begin to Limit Growth
Jean-Marie Rousset, Pierre Bismuth, and Olivier Soupa, Schlumberger Business Consulting

How do you transition an industry and gives insights into an often misun- file with its recognizable double-hump
from conservative and slow moving in derstood and underestimated element of young and senior petrotechnicals
terms of human resources (HR) strate- of the global oil and gas industry: tal- surrounding a gap of midcareer profes-
gy to pro-active, responsive, and ready ent requirement. sionals (Fig. 1).
to take risk? This is the quandary fac- The 2010 survey shed light on two The right hump on Fig. 1 is about
ing exploration and production (E&P) important facts for the industry’s supply to disappear and the 2010 benchmark
companies at a time when a “big crew chain of talent: the demographic transi- confirms that this last episode of the
change” is under way. The industry tion or “big crew change” is now taking “big crew change” is happening now
will see a serious shortfall of expe- place, and technical talent has become and will be mostly over in five years.
rienced technical professionals from a true strategic enabler for delivering The detailed demographic statistics
attrition in the coming five years when production and future growth. obtained through the survey provide a
the call on technical expertise will better view of the mechanisms at play.
be greater. An increasingly stringent Demographic Transition From a quantitative perspective, the
post-Macondo regulatory environment More than 25% of petrotechnicals cur- total number of autonomous petrotech-
and new frontier and unconventional rently working for E&P companies nicals will decrease by about 6% or
oil and gas plays will leave companies are older than 50 years of age and the 5,000 professionals. This is a relatively
struggling to maintain current opera- vast majority will retire in the next five small loss that hides a much larger
tions and drive growth. years. This is the generation of profes- outflow of about 27% or 22,000 of the
Schlumberger Business Consulting’s sionals who joined the industry during current pool of experienced petrotech-
(SBC) annual Oil & Gas HR the late 1970s and early 1980s at the nicals and partially offset by the inflow
Benchmark survey provides informa- peak of the oil and gas expansion cycle. of 17,000 younger petrotechnicals who
tion on trends involving petrotechni- The crisis of 1986 marked the brutal are reaching autonomy. E&P com-
cal professionals, namely geoscientists end of that expansion and the begin- panies should already have transfer
and petroleum engineers. Compiled ning of a long period of anemic recruit- provisions in place to ensure that the
from the responses of oil and gas ment that lasted nearly two decades transition between the 22,000 veteran
companies and universities, the study and created an irreversible void in the petrotechnicals and the 17,000 less
has become a reference point for E&P ranks of today’s midcareer profession- experienced petrotechnicals does not
executives seeking to understand als. The vigorous upcycle of 2003 to result in a huge loss of knowledge and
industry trends and develop HR strat- 2008 has provoked a rapid and impor- experience from the industry.
egies that provide a competitive edge tant uptick in graduate recruitment (a On the left side of the demographic
and sustainable business performance. three-fold increase). This has finished profile, we start to see the other chal-
The survey highlights best practices shaping the sector’s demographic pro- lenges facing the industry: finding,
recruiting, and developing a growing
number of young petrotechnicals to
Pierre Bismuth is a senior HR adviser for Schlumberger. He has been with Schlumberger address the need of producing more
for 34 years and was group vice president of HR for 10 years. He also advises interna- complex hydrocarbons. Indeed, most
tional companies on the design and implementation of global HR strategies. energy scenarios predict that oil and
gas will remain a large part of the pri-
Jean-Marie Rousset is a vice president of Schlumberger Business Consulting. He has mary energy mix for at least the first
more than 14 years of management consulting experience in organization, HR, and large half of this century and will continue
transformation programs in the oil and gas, automotive, and technology industries. to grow for many years to meet the
demand of emerging countries and
Olivier Soupa is a senior manager at Schlumberger Business Consulting. He has 10 developing economies.
years of management consulting experience in organization and transformation in the There were some positive signposts
energy sector and oversees publication of the annual SBC Oil & Gas HR Benchmark. from this year’s survey for which
action and planning today would bring

46 JPT • JUNE 2011





The Welltec Annular Barrier blocks fluid migration be- Welltec® develops and provides well technology and
hind the casing eliminating micro annulus and cement solutions for the oil and gas industry. Our technology
channels thus assuring a competent, robust well integ- and solutions are dedicated to aid in optimizing the
rity solution. performance of reservoirs by providing the necessary
means to do so, both in the form of well completion
Qualified beyond ISO 14310 the Welltec Annular technology and intervention services which ensure
Barrier offers a life of well integrity capability as a the optimal well performance and assure integrity.
result of its unique high expansion all metal design
and construction. Suitable for application in wells
with demanding differential pressure, temperature,
washed out open hole and cased hole conditions.

TALENT & TECHNOLOGY Loss of Experienced PTPs

21 800
PTP, %

2009 Flow Flow 2014

Age, years Actual Out In Forecast
Fig. 1—The large turnover of retiring industry personnel to a younger workforce is under way. The graph dis-
plays the percentage of petrotechnical professionals (PTP) per age category on a global basis. The number of
experienced petrotechnicals is expected to drop by 5,000 professionals between 2009 and 2014. Experienced
petrotechnicals refers to those age 35 and older.

sustained success later. First, gradu- frontiers such as deep offshore and the subset of higher-ranked universities
ate recruitment targets are rising. In unconventional oil and gas. that have traditionally provided the oil
the survey, E&P companies reported Second, the global supply of gradu- and gas industry with most of its gradu-
recruitment targets for 2011 are up by ates in both geosciences and petroleum ates barely covers demand (Fig. 2).
15% compared with the same targets engineering exceeds the total demand This apparent global balance of sup-
reported in the 2009 survey. This will from companies. Even when remov- ply and demand hides alarming regional
not alter the demographic shift from ing the high percentage of the gradu- imbalances. For example, Angola pro-
a senior-centered to a young industry, ates not intending to join the E&P duces approximately 100 petrotechni-
nor will it compensate the loss of expe- sector—more than half of geoscience cal graduates per year but local demand
rienced petrotechnicals, but it does graduates in North America—there is is more than 10 times higher. Helping
mean that over time a new generation still adequate supply to cover demand. educational systems and channeling
of technical talent will evolve and The difficulty arises when quality is the best engineers toward the oil sector
develop to face the challenges of new targeted. The supply of graduates from should be one of today’s top priorities.


Number of graduates
graduates, excluding China Number of graduates
graduates, excluding China
12,000 12,000

10,000 10,000
pp y available for the industry*
Supply y

8,000 8,000

Supply available for the industry* Supply from quality universities**

6,000 6,000
Supply from quality universities**

4,000 4,000

2,000 2,000

0 0
2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013

Global Demand for G&G Graduates Global Demand for PE Graduates

Net Supply of G&G Graduates in Selected and Preferred universities Net Supply of PE Graduates in Selected and Preferred universities
N t Supply
S l off G&G Graduates
G d t in i allll universities
i iti Net
N t Supply
S l off PE G
d t in i allll universities
i iti

Fig. 2—World demand and supply of graduates in geosciences and petroleum engineering.

48 JPT • JUNE 2011

have created a workforce model that
forecasts petrotechnical intensity based
All PTP and Experienced PTP Intensity per peer group on a company’s demographic profile
and other HR parameters including
PTP Intensity for All PTPs Average Operated recruitment and attrition rate. Fig. 3
Production CAGR 2005-10 illustrates the trend for the next five
Western years suggesting that Western indepen-
6.7% dents will be in a position to reinforce
their growth leadership and national
oil companies will regain some growth
capacity, while majors will lose some
growth capacity.
Majors 0.7%
A New Mind-Set
The need for more petrotechnicals,
the ongoing “big crew change,” and
the gap in midcareer professionals are
NOCs 0.2% compounded by a shift toward uncon-
ventional geologies and reservoirs and
a more stringent post-Macondo regu-
latory environment. These issues will
have serious consequences on projects
and production capacity. Two-thirds of
the 2010 survey respondents reported
staffing issues with the potential to
delay projects and increase the level
2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
of risk supported by these projects.
Mitigation steps involve a combination
Fig. 3—Evolution of petrotechnical intensity from 2010 to 2015 reveals of technology to boost petrotechnical
different stories for Western independents, majors, and national oil
companies (NOCs). While Western independents and majors will have productivity, standardize project work-
higher petrotechnical intensities in value, NOCs will experience rapid flows and tools, and the outsourcing of
petrotechnical intensity growth with a general decline for majors. non-core competencies.
The tight availability of technical
talent will become a limiting factor
Technical Experience ing is the strong correlation between for growth and eventually a risk fac-
a Strategic Enabler petrotechnical intensity and operated tor. As experienced in 2006–2008, the
E&P companies have long felt a lack in production growth. Faster-growing market for experienced petrotechnicals
technical talent, yet few have recognized companies have a higher petrotechnical is expected to become extremely tight
the issue as a strategic one that would intensity than other companies. in the foreseeable future, driving up
curb their development ambitions. By grouping companies with similar salaries, and reliance on experienced
Before the recent boom, the oil and petrotechnical intensity, one can identi- hires to mitigate staffing problems
gas industry had undergone 20 years fy four segments: (1) Western indepen- will become a more expensive and
of rightsizing, and temporary human dents with the highest petrotechnical risky proposition. In this context, E&P
resources capacity issues could be easily intensity and the highest growth rate, companies need to adapt quickly and
resolved by tapping retired profession- (2) majors and (3) international nation- improve talent management policies
als who could be contracted as needed. al oil companies with lower petrotech- in planning, recruiting, development,
As easy access to a large technical tal- nical intensity and lower growth rates, staffing and attrition. The potential
ent pool diminishes, it will become and (4) national oil companies with exists to accelerate people develop-
increasingly important to develop and lowest petrotechnical intensity for a ment. The SBC benchmark surveys
maintain internally the right number relatively stable production. A more over the past few years have shown
of petrotechnicals to deliver current careful analysis of these four segments that focused development programs
production and to enable future growth shows that they share more than just supported by a combination of blended
plans. What is this right number? similar petrotechnical intensity and learning and structured coaching tech-
The 2010 SBC survey has explored growth rates; they also tend to have niques can cut by half the time needed
the notion of petrotechnical inten- similar demographic profiles and simi- to bring a new graduate to autonomy.
sity: the ratio between the number lar HR challenges. The survey pro- For this to happen, a new mind-set has
of petrotechnicals and the number of vides a detailed comparison of their to emerge: The supply chain of talent
operated barrels of production. At the HR practices that is outside the scope must be elevated from tactical to stra-
first level, we found that this ratio of this article, but demonstrates that tegic on the management’s agenda and
reflects a relatively good correlation petrotechnical intensity may be used technical talents have to be recognized
between production and petrotechnical as a leading indicator of the growth on the same level of importance as
head count. A more interesting find- potential of each segment. We also managerial or functional ones. JPT

JPT • JUNE 2011 49