In 2014, when investment levels in the UK Continental Shelf were at record levels, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), in partnership with industry, commissioned EY to undertake a study of the UK upstream oil and gas workforce. This was published under the title “Fuelling the next generation”. At that point it was estimated that industry supported some 375,000 jobs1, 1 in every 80 UK jobs. 90% of these jobs were in the supply chain providing essential services to the sector, as well as providing services internationally from a UK base.
The total workforce number of 375,000 breaks down into 281,0008 jobs across Tier 1 and supply chain companies; a sizeable proportion (26%) of these jobs support overseas projects with the UK serving as one of the global hubs for the oil and gas supply chain. A further 94,000 jobs are induced as a result of local activity generated by Tier 1 and supply chain companies. Average salaries are estimated to be two and a half times the national average. The study also found that there are around 57,000 contract personnel, i.e. personnel working through personal service companies or agencies, representing approximately 20% of the workforce.
The UK upstream oil and gas industry, together with its extensive supply chain, is spread throughout Britain. Nearly 60 per cent of jobs in the industry are in England and around 40 per cent are in Scotland, largely in and around Aberdeen.
In England there are a number of key energy hubs, often located near historic ports:
10 per cent of jobs in the sector are in South East England
North West England accounts for 6 per cent and West Midlands and Eastern England each account for 5 per cent of jobs in the sector.
The UK upstream oil and gas industry supports employment throughout the life cycle of operations from exploration all the way through to decommissioning. Highly skilled roles include: Investing in the UK
In 2017, capital investment in the UK offshore oil and gas industry was £5.6 billion.
The industry spent £7 billion operating its assets.
In the face of lower oil prices, average unit operating costs have halved from around $30/boe in 2014 to $15/boe in 2017.
The sector is working with the government and Oil and Gas Authority to maximise economic recovery of the UK’s substantial remaining oil and gas reserves.