New research shows Middle East oil and gas markets still highly dependent on expats

Mark Guest

The Middle Eastern oil and gas industry is still highly dependent on foreign workers with over half of the industry’s labour force coming from the expatriate community according to latest research released by international jobs board OilCareers.com.

The research, commissioned by OilCareers from leading oil and gas analysts Douglas-Westwood, indicates that the trend is unlikely to change in the short to medium term as the region looks to meet project demand, despite various educational initiatives by the UAE to increase the proportion of nationals entering the private sector.

OilCareers managing director, Mark Guest said: “These latest findings are certainly exciting for job seekers.  For those already based in the Middle East, it opens up wide ranging possibilities for career progression and change. For those looking to experience work in an area with attractive employment packages and stable prospects, this is an excellent time to capitalise on the available opportunities.”

The research also indicates that recent new investment and developments in the region, most notably from brownfield projects in Iraq and the exploration of the deep water Tamarfield offshore in Israel, are having a major impact on the number of jobs in the Middle East with new projects like these expected to contribute 58% of the total jobs market.

Data from this new research would appear to back up the findings of the Global Oil & Gas Workforce Survey conducted in the second half of 2013 when 88% of respondents said they expected total hires in the region to either increase or stay static.

The workforce survey, which is produced in collaboration with Air Energi and released twice a year, offers insight into job related trends in the oil and gas industry.

Mr Guest added: “The level of activity in the Middle East remains strong with recent developments only adding to the region’s prospects as a hydrocarbon producer and employer. Iraq continues to open its door to foreign investment to improve its lagging downstream infrastructure and increase production from its significant reserves.  Overall, the employment outlook for the region remains positive with high levels of demand for construction and operational roles.”

He concluded: “The requirement for construction and operations and maintenance roles is predicted to be the highest, with over 90% of future vacancies in the region expected to relate to these job functions.”

 

 

 

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