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Oil Worker Shortage Hits Canada

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There is a shortage of oil and gas workers in Canada, according to the Canadian Association of Energy Contractors (CAOEC).

“After years of sector instability and a recession many workers pivoted to careers outside the oil and gas industry,” a CAOEC spokesperson said.

“In some cases, workers moved back home to other jurisdictions such as central Canada and Eastern Canada,” the spokesperson added.

When asked about a solution to the problem the CAOEC representative said Canadians “need to hear our good news story and ESG achievements”.

“Signals of long-term recovery and positive messaging from leaders would help potential workers understand the many options and career prospects available in Canada’s energy sector,” the spokesperson added.

CAOEC was founded in 1949 and is the oldest oil and gas trade association in Canada, according to its website, which notes that the organization’s members provide contract drilling and well servicing for explorers and producers on land and offshore.

According to a release in August 2021 by Statistics Canada, the country’s statistical office, the Canadian oil and gas industry employed over 72,800 workers in 2019. This was said to be down from approximately 89,600 workers in 2012, “when jobs in the industry peaked”.

Last month, Hunter Kornfeind, the leader of Rapidan Energy Group’s US crude production forecasting and analysis, noted that labor availability was tight and in short supply following the downturn due to Covid and said the US oil and gas industry was not immune from those macro challenges.

“The shortage is likely primarily due to workers not returning to the industry following the recession and crash in crude prices in 2020,” Kornfeind said in March.

According to the Texas Independent Producers and Royalty Owners Association’s latest state of energy report, which was published in February, the US oil and gas industry supported a total of 832,869 direct jobs in 2021.

This figure was said to represent a net decline of 55,214 direct jobs compared to 2020.

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