Maxwell Drummond completes annual worldwide trends survey of energy executives

Source: Maxwell Drummond

Maxwell Drummond a global retained executive search firm that caters specifically to the energy and natural resources sector, has completed its third annual worldwide trends survey of energy company executives. Through this qualitative study, Maxwell Drummond explored a wide spectrum of issues from the evolving energy mix to recession impacts, from financial and operational strategies, to people management and skill development.

“The results were illuminating on many different levels, but one discovery particularly interested us. Companies may be shifting from using mergers and acquisitions to acquire the technological resources they need to meet the demands of an evolving industry, to strategies based on hiring the right people with the right skills, at the right time. The results also revealed the impact of poor public perception of the oil and gas industry and subsequent workforce resource gaps. This seems to have fuelled a desire for increased collaboration amongst energy industry sectors,” said Kevin Davidson, CEO of Maxwell Drummond International.

Regarding workforce skills sets, almost 60 percent of respondents believe that hiring new personnel with specific skills is the best way to capitalize on the evolving energy mix. Additionally, from 2010 to 2011, there was a 12 percent decline of the use of M&A to acquire the technological and regional resources necessary to capitalize on the evolving energy mix.

Last year’s 44 percent who indicated it would take a full year to emerge from the recession were validated as more than half of this year’s respondents believe the energy industry has successfully rebounded from the global recession.

More than 60 percent of respondents believe that the current workforce resource gap is a result of poor public perception. Furthermore, almost 60 percent of respondents believe it would be ‘very’ beneficial for oil & gas companies to actively collaborate with other sectors in the energy industry, as demonstrated by the recent formation of industry consortiums like the Helix Well Containment Group (HWCG) and the Marine Well Containment Company (MWCC).

Other top line findings:

• 90.6 percent of respondents believe that by 2025, renewables will be the most substantial energy source, as opposed to oil and gas in the 2010 survey.

• 90.3 percent of respondents expect demand for oil and gas from emerging economies to dominate industry debate in 2011.

• 70.2 percent of respondents in 2011 forsee Australasia as a dominant producing region in the next ten years, compared to only 22 percent in 2010, and this year, 80 percent believe Antarctica will be a key region by 2025.

• 57.6 percent believe hiring new personnel with the specific skill sets they lack will be the best way to capitalize on the evolving energy mix.

• Expectation of North America and Europe as global energy centers has decreased between 2010 (63 percent) and 2011 (57.5 percent).

• China (24 percent in 2010 and 36 percent in 2011) has surpassed Eastern Europe (30 percent in 2010 and 26.3 percent in 2011) as the next main focus for unconventional resources.

• Focuses on energy industry debate include security of supply (61.1 percent) and environmental issues (42.2 percent), although ecological concerns have decreased in prominence in the past year (50 percent in 2010).

• 98.2 percent would encourage students and graduates to consider a career in energy.

• 63.1 percent cited the ability to attract and retain the right people is the main barrier to accessing experienced staff. 50.5 percent said a lack of knowledge transfer is also a barrier.

The survey analyzed more than 100 responses from business leaders within major oil and gas operators and contractors in the Europe, USA, Canada, Asia, Africa, Australasia and the Middle East.

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