America is experiencing an energy shortage, but not the kind you might think. While the oil and gas industry continues to boom, the problem is finding qualified workers. Prospecting has become more than an exercise in geological research and lease applications. It is now a search to find the talent to get the job done. The gap in skilled labor is a result of several factors which have discouraged many young professionals from entering the oil and gas industry. Everything from reduced oil prices in the 90s to the poor image of this sector as perceived by “greener” generations.
According to an IPAA survey, an estimate 71% of the workforce in oil and gas is 50 years of age or older and a survey conducted by Oil & Gas IQ found that roughly 50% of all geophysicist and engineers in the oil and gas industry will retire by 2018. You can bet this has recruiters busily seeking talent to fill the gap certain to impact an expanding industry in need of engineers, executives and skilled labor.
Increased salaries, heavy recruitment and poaching employees from the competition are all becoming so called “tools of the trade.” It is becoming apparent that appealing to a new generation of workers is needed. But tech savvy, green-oriented millennials may be more attracted to Silicon Valley rather than the oil fields in Texas and North Dakota.
The numbers don’t lie though. In just five years, the shale oil and gas boom has increased production in the U.S. by approximately 64%. As a result, oil and gas supports almost 10 million workers, and employment growth in the industry is greatly outpacing job creation in other sectors. In Texas alone over 4,000 new positions were added between April and , giving Texas a commanding lead in oil and gas job creation.
Green initiatives are important, but even despite the support of millions of dollars in tax-payer funded subsidies, wind and solar installations accounted for just 4% of the U.S. power consumption in 2013. It is undeniable that the oil and gas industry continues to influence the quality of life for millions of Americans and arguably no other sector is more integrated with our economy than the oil and gas industry.
- A record 14,135 robots, valued at $788 million were ordered from North American robotics companies in the first half of 2014, an increase of 30% in units and 16% in revenue over the same period in 2013. The second quarter of 2014 was the main driver of the market’s record first half, with 8,197 robots valued at $450 million sold to North American customers. This performance shattered the previous record for a single quarter, exceeding the fourth quarter of 2012 by 31% in units and 17% in revenue. (supplychain247)
- An independent scientific report commissioned by the Bureau of Land Management that analyzed current hydraulic fracturing operations in California appears to strike down a number of key arguments used by opponents of the controversial industry practice, concluding that fracking does not significantly increase seismic activity and consumes substantially less water per well than in other states. (eenews.net)
- More than 80 percent of marine pollution comes from land-based sources like untreated sewage, plastic, urban and agricultural runoff, and toxic chemicals such as DDT, herbicides and pesticides. Scientists estimate that some eight million items of marine litter enter the sea every day. This waste threatens marine health by ensnaring and poisoning marine mammals, and threatens human health by contaminating the food chain and polluting local waterways like beaches and lakes. A rising population and coastal development are expected to further exacerbate the problem. (earthjustice.org)
- Wind energy development on U.S. public lands has significant potential. In fact, an estimated 20.6 million acres of public lands in 11 Western states have wind energy development potential, according to the federal Bureau of Land Management (BLM). (awea.org)
- Intense short-term fluctuations in temperature can seriously affect health – causing heat stress (hyperthermia) or extreme cold (hypothermia) – and lead to increased death rates from heart and respiratory diseases. Recent studies suggest that the record high temperatures in Western Europe in the summer of 2003 were associated with a spike of an estimated 70,000 more deaths than the equivalent periods in previous years. (who.int)