The global oil and gas offshore labor market is estimated to reach a value of $76.8 Bn by the end of 2022, growing at a CAGR of 5.3 percent, according to Beroe Inc., a procurement intelligence firm. The global offshore workforce is estimated to expand from 1,040,000 in 2019 to 1,260,000 in 2021, following the recovery of crude price and the implementation of new offshore E&P activities.
The global offshore labor demand is the highest in the APAC with 35 percent of the total global demand, followed by the Middle East for 20 percent, Europe for 17 percent, LATAM for 11 percent, North America for 9 percent and Africa for 8 percent. The demand for offshore labor is driven primarily by E&P activities, majorly in APAC, followed by ME, and Europe. The UK, Germany, and China would are expected to require more labor to cater to their offshore wind projects in the coming years.
An offshore well continues to produce the comparatively same volume of crude for 10–15 years, whereas onshore wells reach approx. 50–60 percent of production in the first year. This would ensure long demand for offshore labor compared to onshore. New deep water discoveries are expected to drive the demand for the offshore labor market along with offshore developments in wind farms. The market faces challenges from prevailing low oil spend due to slow recovery of crude oil prices, stringent regulatory policies, and health and safety measures to be followed on offshore platforms that limit the number of labor on platforms.
Recent developments in drilling, such as increased drilling speed by approximately 100 times, would bring down the drilling time by 50 percent. This would bring down the labor count and requirement. Automation and efficient drilling rigs have reduced the actual need for field hands-on offshore platforms. The access coverage of offshore wells to reservoirs is superior to onshore rigs. Hence, the number of actual wells drilled would be lesser compared to onshore.
Image source- Wind Energy Magazine