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28.06.2013 Personnel shortages

Deepwater drilling growth to outstrip personnel within the next decade, warns report

The amount spent on deepwater drilling will almost double over the next decade, a new survey has claimed. However, the report warns that the number of new jobs created by the growth of deepwater drilling will outstrip the number of available workers in the field.

The growth of the deepwater sector has already increased by 41% in the last decade, with Wood Mackenzie now predicting it will rise from $43billion spent last year to $114billion in 2022.

The Future of Global Deepwater Markets report found the deepwater sector had onshore and shallow water drilling in the last decade in terms of both discovered volumes and value created – $351 billion). In addition,the survey found a 39% growth in deepwater and Arctic net acreage licensed by the top twenty companies in the sector.

The report predicts an annual deepwater drilling growth rate of 9% over the next ten years, with arctic drilling also predicted to increase by the end of the decade. The number of exploration and development wells is predicted to rise by as much as 150%, to 1250 wells per year. “To meet the forecasted well demand the fleet will require 95 additional deepwater rigs to be constructed between 2016 and 2022, representing US$65 billion of investment,” explained Forbes–Cable. “This will require the longest period of deepwater rig construction to date, representing a change for the deepwater sector from cyclical to sustained growth.”

Existing rig orders and new-builds required to meet demand suggest that the rig contractors will need an additional 37,000 workers over the next decade to operate the fleet, though Forbes-Cable warned this would not be met with existing personnel and the historical rate of recruitment.