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A poll of delegates at the Offshore Northern Seas (ONS) conference has revealed concerns that a shortage of skilled professionals could prevent Norway from taking advantage of large oil reserves recently discovered in the North Sea.
68% of participants said they felt skills shortages would result in the country struggling to realize the potential of its recent Aldous and Avaldsnes discoveries (recently named the Johan Sverdrup field), while only 32% of participants felt that there were enough professionals available to develop these reserves.
The Johan Sverdrup field marks one of the largest ever discoveries in the North Sea and could help reverse declining oil production in the region.
The industry snapshot poll was conducted on the second day of the ONS conference in Stavanger, by global independent technical advisor, GL Noble Denton. Senior professionals from across the industry also took part in the poll online.
Tore Lea, GL Noble Denton’s managing director for Norway, said, “The growing shortage of skilled oil and gas professionals in not unique to Norway – it is endemic across the world.
“The result of this poll indicates that this issue is far from being resolved, and could become a major barrier to Norway reversing a decline in oil production through the development of some of the North Sea’s most significant finds on time and on budget.
“As the global skills shortage becomes more acute, industry leaders are facing increasing difficulties in filling key roles from an ever-shrinking pool of qualified candidates. But there is also concern among some oil and gas professionals that fast-tracking the development of young engineers could, in the long term, prove damaging to the industry.”