Gary Benson, COO for Orion Group Americas, talks oil prices, jobs and diversification in a challenging economic climate.
There’s no doubting that those of us in the energy industry are facing tough times. With oil prices slashed in half over the last 6 months to sub $50 a barrel, we are already seeing a noticeable impact on investment in major capital projects. Combine this with OPITO’s recent report
suggesting as many as 35,000 job cuts in the UK energy sector alone, and you’d be forgiven for thinking that we’re currently in very murky waters.
As a leading international recruitment company, we will be focusing our commercial initiatives to meet any challenges the industry throws at us in 2015 - and the falling price of oil is certainly one of them.
Despite this, we continue to grow as an organisation and we will be looking to add to that growth this year in key strategic locations wherever our clients need us. Despite the deferment of many major energy projects in 2015 as a result of oil prices, a number of major projects will continue to be funded, and will be going ahead as planned this year. The deepwater ‘Stampede Project’ in the Gulf of Mexico is one such project, expected to require an investment of $6bn. We are supplying resources to this project throughout 2015 from our Americas base in Houston
Our Brazil office became operational in 2014 and will remain a key area of growth for the business this year. We’ve recently expanded our operations in North America also with the launch of hubs in New Orleans
and most recently in Edmonton. A Halifax office will be our next strategic location in the region.
Meanwhile at the opposite side of the world, projects in both the Africa and Asia Pacific regions give us great optimism in what is a tough economic climate.
A key attribute during this tough economic period will be that our business is not dependent solely on oil and gas. In 2015 we will continue to diversify our company via investment in the Renewable
, Rail and Nuclear sectors with a focus on the UK and European markets in particular. The Group currently have over 1000 live vacancies across a number of engineering sectors on our website and traffic continues to increase month on month.
History tells us that the price of oil is cyclical, and that the oil and gas industry will recover over time. Over the last 5 - 10 years the market has been relatively buoyant, but look further back and the peaks and troughs become evident. The price of oil may drop further and will undoubtedly continue to have an impact on the sector, but the demand for talented people will remain consistent. As far as Orion is concerned we remain committed to providing the very highest quality of service to our multi-sector clients that has seen the business become the largest independently owned recruitment and service provider worldwide.