Oil Companies Pony Up To Hold Onto Older Workers Longer

Even with nearly 1 million Texans unemployed, the oil and gas industry is still having trouble attracting new workers as older ones prepare to retire.

David Vaucher looks at workforce issues in oil companies all over the world, in his role as an associate director for economic research firm IHS CERA. He lists a lack of technical expertise and drug abuse as two factors that thin the ranks of potential recruits.

“On the top of that, there has to be motivation on the side of the employee to handle the conditions in the field, which can be very harsh. So it’s long times away from home, very extreme conditions, that could be the cold or the heat, and so there could be a turnover problem there.”

As they struggle to find qualified younger workers, oil companies are trying to convince older ones to stick around longer.

“There are a lot of people who are very experienced who have gone on as consultants, and they tend to stay around because the compensation is good or just enjoy doing what they’re doing.”

The average age of an oilfield worker is 60 years old. Roughly half the workforce in the industry is expected to retire over the next decade.



Andrew Schneider

Andrew Schneider

Business Reporter

Andrew Schneider joined News 88.7 in January 2011. Since arriving in Houston, he has reported on the many changes wrought on the region’s economy by the revolution in domestic oil and gas production. His non-energy reporting runs the gamut from white-collar crime to cattle ranching. His work has aired on...

More Information