Working on an oil rig can mean long hours and tough conditions but it is also a way of making great money in a challenging environment with great career prospects. Anyone looking for jobs on oil rigs needs to work out where the best opportunities lie, and as it is a truly international industry sector with operations that span the globe, there is no end of variety when it comes to choosing a location.
In recent years there has been a worldwide boom in offshore drilling and a corresponding rise in salaries that can be achieved. A mix of skills and experience can generate the most competitive rates but even those with lower skills levels (like the roustabout who is generally considered to sit on the lowest rung of the oil career ladder) salary expectations have nearly doubled in just five years. As a highly specialised industry, recruitment for oil careers requires specialist handling – but just where might you end up working?
Asia and the Arctic
The energy demands of emerging economies in Asia are driving forward a new wave of offshore drilling activities and so the availability of skilled and experienced workers is playing a large role in how quickly things are moving forward in the region.
Many old hands have relocated to Asia as the financial rewards are now far outstripping those of previous high paying areas. Ever more extreme regions such as so called ‘frontier areas’ like the Arctic and other new offshore zones are increasing in activities as existing fields begin to decline in reserves.
Oil demand has risen by 14% on a global scale since 2001, now amounting to 88 million barrels per day. New and rapidly growing economies are accounting for much of the increase with consumption in China doubling during this period to now stand at almost 10 million barrels per day.
South America and India
The Gulf of Mexico and its deepwater drilling operations have long been some of the most lucrative rigs in the world but in the past decade Brazil has become associated with those looking for high earnings. Untapped reserves in the Santos basin are a main area of focus and are found 188 miles outside of Sao Paulo in a south-easterly direction. Their depths total over 1,500 metres.
In the Asian region, it isn’t just China that is attracting skilled workers. India takes third position when it comes to the Asian oil industry and the waters found in the Bay of Bengal is expected to see an expansion in deep water operations.
It isn’t just roustabout type work that is paying dividends, as engineering graduates and technicians play vital roles and need to be tempted with salaries that compete well with other industries – but where is the best pay?
Keppel Corp. (KPLM.SI), a leading firm and considered the largest rig builder in the world, is certainly a strong contender. They saw wages and salaries rise by more than a quarter (27%) between 2007 and 2011, making their job vacancies highly lucrative.
In total, 540 offshore oil rigs existed globally last year with projections for the end of last year expecting a further 51 to be added to bring the total to 591. This should mean more than 11,000 new jobs over the next 12 to 18 months – ideal for those looking to secure positions in this industry.
Written by: Rebecca Mileys – a specialist recruitment consultant at Randstad CP&E construction recruitment agency.
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