The UK’s oil and gas industry is in a state of turmoil. The price of oil plummeted from a high of roughly $115 per barrel in 2014 to just below $30 per barrel at the start of the year.
It is an issue we have discussed in great depth at Process Engineering.
Admittedly, the low prices have recovered slightly, with oil currently hovering around the $50 per barrel mark, but that doesn’t mask the industry’s other major concerns – the biggest of which being the ongoing jobs cull.
Such is the severity of this cull, industry trade body Oil & Gas UK has predicted that by the end of the year, 120,000 jobs in the offshore sector will have been lost since 2014.
It’s a terrifying statistic, and one that serves as a reminder of the fragility of the process industries.
However, these industries are resilient. For instance, North Sea operators are beginning to see the benefits of collaborating with one another more effectively. Our July/August cover story looks at this issue, and talks about what the industry must do to keep its head above water.
Industry trade body Oil & Gas UK has predicted that by the end of the year, 120,000 jobs in the offshore sector will have been lost since 2014
But it’s not just the offshore sector that is attempting to break new ground. Onshore, industry experts are developing more environmentally-friendly fracking technologies.
According to these experts, if the onshore sector can successfully implement technologies that make the fracking process cleaner, the industry will become more commercially viable.
Fracking will also create jobs. Some of these jobs will go to new engineers, but many will go to engineers from the offshore sector, whose skills are invaluable.
Yes, the UK’s oil and gas industry is in a state of turmoil, but glimmers of hope are clearly evident.