Exploration and production spending within the oil and gas industry in the US and Canada are expected to increase at a rate four times higher than the worldwide average this year.
With an average of 125,000 barrels a day added to US oil production since September 2016, analysts are expecting a seven percent boost in capital expenditures this year. And Goldman Sachs has predicted the oil and gas industry would need to add between 80,000 and 100,000 jobs to meet the needs of growing production by 2018.
The end of the $100+ barrel of oil more than two years ago saw employment in the industry fall into sharp decline with up to 50 percent of workers forced to find jobs elsewhere. More than three-quarters of the 440,000 oil jobs eliminated globally by end-2016 were oilfield service providers, drilling contractors and equipment makers.
But even as many jobs are being replaced with automation, the industry is struggling to fill open slots.
Experts say oil workers who left to pursue jobs in other industries, like construction and renewable energy, are likely not planning a return to oil-related work. Even with an annual salary of $80,000, it’s hard to fill positions for truckers to haul fracking sand, the CEO of Agility Energy told Bloomberg.