February 23, 2024

As the year draws to a close, Rigzone asked oil and gas recruitment experts if oil and gas recruitment surprised them in 2023, and if so, how.

“What surprised me about oil and gas recruitment in 2023 is that the upstream oil and gas sector thrived as well as it did,” Gladney Darroh, the Founding Partner and President of Houston, Texas, based Piper-Morgan Associates Personnel Consultants, told Rigzone, responding to the question.

“In fact, the May 2023 employment report by the Texas Workforce Commission showed an increase of 6,900 jobs, which was ‘the highest single month reported job growth in 33 years’,” 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, added.

“This was driven by the economics surrounding the strong price of crude as companies scrambled to extract as much oil from the ground as quickly as possible, completed and produced wells whose completion had been delayed, and equipping and producing idled uneconomic wells which were suddenly profitable again,” Darroh continued.

“Accounting for this increase was the ancillary but important effect of climbing crude prices brought on by the uncertainty of the war in Ukraine, the fundamental supply/demand dynamics driven by OPEC politics reacting to global events, and the surprising strength of the U.S. economy,” Darroh went on to state.

Offering his view, Dave Mount, the President of Louisiana based OneSource Professional Search, told Rigzone that OneSource Professional Search was not extremely surprised at the demand for oil and gas recruitment in 2023.

“What has surprised us is the challenge of getting good people to switch companies, as many are being well compensated and companies are being very aggressive in counter offers to employees upon tendering resignation,” Mount said.

“As prices soften, we forecast that this will soften somewhat and movement of qualified professionals will be more free flowing,” the OneSource Professional Search President added.

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) latest short term energy outlook (STEO), which was released earlier this month, the West Texas Intermediate (WTI) spot price averaged $75.96 per barrel in the first quarter of this year, $73.49 per barrel in the second quarter, and $82.25 per barrel in the third quarter.

The EIA expects the commodity to average $85.93 per barrel in the fourth quarter of 2023, $89.64 per barrel in the first quarter of 2024, $90.34 per barrel in the second quarter, $89 per barrel in the third quarter, and $88 per barrel in the fourth quarter of next year, the report shows. Overall, the EIA sees the WTI spot price averaging $79.41 per barrel in 2023 and $89.24 per barrel in 2024, the report revealed. The commodity averaged $94.91 per barrel in 2022, according to the report.

In its latest STEO, the EIA projected that the Brent spot price will average $83.99 per barrel in 2023 and $93.24 per barrel in 2024. The commodity came in at $100.94 per barrel last year, the report highlighted.

The STEO sees the Brent spot price averaging $90.27 per barrel in the fourth quarter of this year, $93.64 per barrel in the first quarter of next year, $94.34 per barrel in the second quarter, $93 per barrel in the third quarter, and $92 per barrel in the fourth quarter of 2024. The commodity averaged $81.04 per barrel in the first quarter of this year, $78.02 per barrel in the second quarter, and $86.64 per barrel in the third quarter, according to the report.

To contact the author, email andreas.exarheas@rigzone.com

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