People looking for well paid jobs overseas are likely to be in demand in the oil and gas industry according to a new report detailing a lack of skilled workers around the world.

The world’s oil and gas industry is in the midst of a talent crisis, according to a new survey from Mercer which indicates that in the United States alone, many large employers risk losing 50-60% of their workers in the next five years as they reach retirement age. This also comes at a time of unprecedented opportunities in the industry.

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While the looming retirement wave is of primary concern to oil and gas industry employers, the Mercer survey also reveals other critical talent issues faced by oil and gas employers. some throughout the world.

Some 74% of organisations surveyed cited ‘technical skills gap’ as a critical problem, but leadership, management and supervisor skills were also noted as being in short supply.

The oil and gas industry will add more than 530,000 positions in core professional and technical jobs over the next five years and more than 1.1 million over the next 10 years, yet over half of the world’s largest oil and gas producing countries will not have an adequate supply of talent to meet this demand.

Recruitment provider NES Global Talent said that there has been an increase in opportunities not only in the Middle East, but also in neighbouring countries including Iraq, Kurdistan and the United Arab Emirates.

‘Iraqi Kurdistan is one of the hottest spots globally for the oil and gas industry. The size of the oil market has attracted many leading operators and huge amounts of investment. Currently, the majority of companies are at exploration stage and once this turns to production the need for manpower will increase significantly,’ said Vikram Nanda, NES Global Talent operations manager in Iraq.

‘In northern Iraq and Kurdistan we are seeing a great deal of growth in operation and drilling services, with in-demand disciplines including subsurface, project services and operations and maintenance while in southern Iraq, existing oilfields such as Rumaila are also going from strength to strength and creating more and more job opportunities,’ he added.

Last year, NES Global Talent obtained a new trade licence, allowing it to partner more fully with the state-owned Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), one of the biggest oil and gas companies in the world, opening up a host of new opportunities and enabling it to provide contract as well as permanent personnel in the region.

‘Abu Dhabi is the oil and gas capital of the [UAE] and over the next six years, Abu Dhabi is looking to double its oil production to over one million barrels per day, with projects such as Upper Zakum, SARB, Umm Lulu and NASR, as well as looking at projects to increase the supply of gas in Abu Dhabi,’ said Neil Mellin, NES Global Talent operations manager in Dubai.

‘It’s an exciting time to be working in oil and gas in Abu Dhabi and we are looking forward to making the most of all of the new opportunities in the pipeline,’ he added.

Oman has said that it needs 20,000 to 30,000 oil and gas industry professionals in the next 10 years in both new projects and enhanced recovery projects.