Analysis: Don’t give up the day job: The world still needs oil and gas, and its workers

Oil and gas production will be needed for years to come — but who will run the rigs and work the wells?

Canada’s oil industry could be tens of thousands of workers short, according to government projections. Models by Employment and Social Development Canada across hundreds of occupation groups forecast 14,000 industry vacancies in the 2022-2031 period.

The same is true in the U.S. A recent Reuters report described the “scramble” among oil firms to secure workers at a time of widespread national labour shortages. According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were nearly two job openings for every available American worker in December.

The U.S. oil and gas industry currently supports 10.9 million jobs, the American Petroleum Institute (API) says, with nearly 1.9 million new opportunities projected through to 2035.

Filling those roles may be problematic, however. The recruitment challenge could be compounded by the energy transition amid strategies to nurture new skills and jobs in moving to a low-carbon economy, which could erode the number of employees ready to report for work in oil and gas.

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