Consultants currently working in the exploration and production sector are earning on average 5% more than they did in 2016. This was one of the key findings of the OPC E&P Consultant Market Report 2018.
The report from OPC obtained data from nearly 500 consultants throughout the world in April/May 2018, and provides a detailed insight into the current state of professional consulting in the sector.
The average day rate of consultants still able to find work is now $1,146 compared to their average day rate of $1,088 in 2016. The majority of consultants surveyed hold professional qualifications and have a minimum of 20 years' experience.
This rate increase comes as no surprise to OPC Chief Operating Officer Barry Shaw. "The research mirrors our experience of the market. Labour rates continued to drop in 2017 but then levelled off in the last quarter of the year. In the first half of 2018 there has been a noticeable upward pressure on rates and we have seen some increases of 10% last month – reflecting the demand for specific skills.”
The increased demand for skills is shown in the survey results. In 2016, 37% of consultants were out of work, whereas only 28% are actively looking for work now. 20% have retired or moved to another industry, demonstrating a worrying loss of skills to the industry.
Despite the increase, labour rates are still well below their peak in 2013 when the average day rate was $1,465. Those not currently working would accept an average day rate of just $984, which is nearly a third lower than 2013 rates.
These rates mean that using consultants is an attractive proposition for many oil and gas companies. However, with the oil price continuing to climb, we anticipate demand for certain skills increasing this year, and companies need to move quickly to secure experienced resources at these rates.
Established in 1988, OPC is a specialist petro-technical consultancy providing integrated geoscience, subsurface engineering and production technology expertise to the global E&P sector. OPC has offices in London, Aberdeen, Stavanger, Atyrau, Astana, Doha, Dubai, Lagos and Houston with OPC staff, consultants and software technology working either in-house at OPC or externally at our clients' offices, rig sites and installations around the world.
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