Hui Shan

Job Steward at NrgEdge. If you are an Energy Professional (Oil, Gas, Energy) contact me for opportunities
Last Updated: September 28, 2018
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Human Resources
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The Oil and Gas industry is at crossroads today owing to the impact of technological advancements. The energy industry has seen a surge in technological advancements, which is disrupting the traditional style of working. Automation is replacing workers on a large scale and productivity is increasing manifolds. As a result, new job roles have emerged that require more human-machine interaction and operation.

To conceptualize, manage, and handle the new upcoming projects and reviving the existing ones, every company will require highly ingenious and professional experts who can drive innovation and productivity and hence the role of recruiters has taken the center spot and is the most significant function.

To attract the right talent at the right spot, it is important to have a right recruitment strategy in place. Here are the recruitment trends you can make use of to hire successful candidates:

1. Look within your system- Internal Recruitment

As a recruiter, the first source of hiring potential candidates can be the existing employees. Look for the potential candidates who can be promoted to fill the requirements. You can also shortlist candidates who can be trained and upskilled to the positions available. You can opt for transferring candidates within or outside the department they are currently operating in. Upskilling in the oil and gas industry can be accomplished via on-job training program, or specific programs intended for different roles.

2. Conduct an employee referral program

Launch an employee referral program where the existing employees can refer to a high potential candidate for the job requirements in the company. Link the program with monetary or social incentives to increase participation. This will considerably reduce the hiring cost and time for recruiters and will provide them with a bigger and better talent pool. However, make sure you monitor the effectiveness of the referral program by analyzing the cost of referral program vis-à-vis the other recruitment channels.

3. Track outsourcing opportunities

Analyze the job functions that can be outsourced to a vendor to save cost, time, and effort. For instance, for work requirement in the overseas market, analyze the cost of recruitment and transfer of full-time employees vis-à-vis the cost of outsourcing the project to another vendor. Include the indirect cost like management, training, and infrastructure to ascertain the total cost of hiring versus outsourcing. In most cases, outsourcing will be a cheaper and better alternative and thus the recruiters can look for outsourcing certain tasks like rig workers, technicians, maintenance staff at the offshore project.

4. Recruitment drive at educational institutions

University recruitment has many benefits. A large number of potential candidates are available in one spot, as they are freshers they can easily adapt to the company culture and over the period can become an asset to the organization. You can sign a formal collaboration with the educational institution so that the talent is readily available. Additionally, you can design a course curriculum or workshop for providing practical training to students before hiring for a specific job role. This will improve the perception of the oil and gas industry in the minds of the young talents and will prepare them to perform highly skilled technical work after joining.

5. Seek help from recruitment specialists

Recruitment agencies have a database of the prospects with different skill sets, experience, and expertise. They even perform a background check and might provide you a better fit at a reasonable cost. Some recruitment specialists know the oil and gas industry well and can look for candidates in other industries who can be an ideal match. This approach is especially suited for hiring in senior positions or to fill up the vacancy for highly technical or proficient staff who are rare in the oil and gas industry.

6. Connect to Online Job Boards

Job boards are an online platform where you can post your job requirement and advertise your company. There are two types of job boards, one which is generic and has the job listings from all the industries and the other that has a specific job listing for oil and gas industry. We suggest tapping both the options with more focus on the dedicated oil and gas job boards like NrgEdge. This will help you in hiring the potential candidates who are willing to work in the energy sector.

7. Use Social Media

Social media has become business-oriented and there are dedicated social media sites that focus on professional networking like LinkedIn. Additionally, Facebook and Twitter are also being used for professional purposes. You can use a social media post to publish your job openings. There are companies who have already adopted social media into their recruitment process, for example, ExxonMobil launched #BeAnEngineer campaign to attract engineers and highlight opportunities for the STEM. It also highlighted the stories of engineers from the field. Even Shell recruitment team accepted that they are using social media for hiring talented workforce and it is proving beneficial for them.

Additionally, you can manage the database of prospects via ERP or SAP system so that when you have a requirement, you can refer your internal system to choose the right candidate. As a recruiter, stay aware of the changing needs and expectation of the new workforce. Learn what keeps them motivated and how you can hire and retain the right talent. Make sure you draft the job benefits/perks in a way that highlights the key expectations of the prospects.

 If you feel the entire hiring process looks cumbersome, you can connect with us for any recruitment related assistance.

Recruitment in Oil and Gas Internal Recruitment Online Job Boards Recruitment Specialists Employee Referral
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High Oil Prices and Indonesia’s Ban on Oil Palm Exports

Supply chains are currently in crisis. They have been for a long time now, ever since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic reshaped the way the world works. Stressed shipping networks and operational blockages – coupled with China’s insistence on a Covid-zero policy – means that cargo tanker rates are at an all-time high and that there just aren’t enough of them. McDonalds and KFCs in Asia are running out of French fries to sell, not because there aren’t enough potatoes in Idaho, but because there aren’t enough ships to deliver them to Japan or to Singapore from Los Angeles. The war in Ukraine has placed a particular emphasis on food supply chains by disrupting global wheat and sunflower oil supply chains and kicking off distressingly high levels of food price inflation across North Africa, the Middle East and Asia. It was against this backdrop that Indonesia announced a complete ban on palm oil exports. That nuclear option shocked the markets, set off a potential new supply chain crisis and has particular implications on future of crude oil pricing and biofuels in Asia.  

A brief recap. Like most of Asia, Indonesia has been grappling with food price inflation as consequence of Covid-19. Like most of Asia, Indonesia has been attempting to control this through a combination of shielding its most vulnerable citizens through continued subsidies while attempting to optimise supply chains. Like most of Asia, Indonesia hasn’t been to control the market at all, because uncoordinated attempts across a wide spectrum of countries to achieve a similar level of individual protectionism is self-defeating.

Cooking oil is a major product of sensitive importance in Indonesia, and one that it is self-sufficient in as a result of its status as the world’s largest palm oil producer. So large is Indonesia in that regard that its excess palm oil production has been directed to increasingly higher biodiesel mandates, with a B40 mandate – diesel containing 40% of palm material – originally schedule for full implementation this year. But as palm oil prices started rising to all-time highs at the beginning of January, cooking oil started becoming scarcer in Indonesia. The government blamed hoarding and – wary of the Ramadan period and domestic unrest – implemented a Domestic Market Obligation on palm oil refineries, directing them to devote 20% of projected exports for domestic use. Increasingly stricter terms for the DMO continued over February and March, only for an abrupt U-turn in mid-March that removed the DMO completely. But as the war in Ukraine drove prices even further, Indonesia shocked the market by announcing an total ban on palm oil exports in late April. Chaotically, the ban was first clarified to be palm olein only (straight refining cooking oil), but then flip-flopped into a total ban of crude palm oil as well. Markets went haywire, prices jumped to historical highs and Indonesia’s trading partners reacted with alarm.

Joko Widodo has said that the ban will be indefinite until domestic cooking oil prices ‘moderate’. With the global situation as it is, ‘moderate’ is unlikely to be achieved until the end of 2022 at least, if ‘moderate’ is taken to be the previous level of palm oil prices – roughly half of current pricing. Logistically, Indonesia cannot hold out on the ban for more than two months. Only a third of Indonesia’s monthly palm oil production is consumed domestically; the rest is exported. An indefinite ban means that not only fill storage tanks up beyond capacity and estates forced to let fruit rot, but Indonesia will be missing out on crucial revenue from its crude palm oil export tax. Which is used to fund its biodiesel subsidies.

And that’s where the implications on oil come in. Indonesia’s ham-fisted attempt at protectionism has dire implications on biofuels policies in Asia. Palm oil prices within Indonesia might sink as long as surplus volumes can’t make it beyond the borders, but international palm oil prices will remain high as consuming countries pivot to producers like Malaysia, Thailand, Papua New Guinea, West Africa and Latin America. That in turn, threatens the biodiesel mandates in Thailand and Malaysia. The Thai government has already expressed concern over palm-led food price inflation and associated pressure on its (subsidised) biodiesel programme, launching efforts to mitigate the worst effects. Malaysia – which has a more direct approach to subsidised fuels – is also feeling the pinch. Thailand’s move to B10 and Malaysia’s move to B20 is now in jeopardy; in fact, Thailand has regressed its national mandate from B7 to B5. And the reason is that the differential between the bio- and the diesel portion of the biodiesel is now so disparate that subsidy regimes break down. It would be far cheaper – for the government, the tax-payers and consumers – to use straight diesel instead of biodiesel, as evidenced by Thailand’s reversal in mandates.

That, in turn, has implications on crude pricing. While OPEC+ is stubbornly sticking to its gentle approach to managing global crude supply, the stunning rebound in Asian demand has already kept the consumption side tight to match that supply. Crude prices above US$100/b are a recipe for demand destruction, and Asian economies have been preparing for this by looking at alternatives; biofuels for example. In the past four years, Indonesia has converted some of its oil refineries into biodiesel plants; in China, stricter crude import quotas are paving the way for China to clamp down on its status of a fuels exporter in favour of self-sustainability. But what happens when crude prices are high, but the prices of alternatives are higher? That is the case for palm oil now, where the gasoil-palm spread is now triple the previous average.

Part of this situation is due to market dynamics. Part of it is due to geopolitical effects. But part of it is also due to Indonesia’s knee-jerk reaction. Supply disruption at the level of a blanket ban is always seismic and kicks off a chain of unintended consequences; see the OPEC oil shocks of the 70s. Indonesia’s palm oil export ban is almost at that level. ‘Indefinite’ is a vague term and offers no consolation to markets looking for direction. Damage will be done, even if the ban lasts a month. But the longer it lasts – Indonesian general elections are due in February 2024 – the more serious the consequences could be. And the more the oil and refining industry in Asia will have to think about their preconceived notions of the future of oil in the region.

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Market Outlook:

  • Crude price trading range: Brent – US$110-1113/b, WTI – US$105-110/b
  • As the war in Ukraine becomes increasingly entrenched, the pressure on global crude prices as Russian energy exports remain curtailed; OPEC+ is offering little hope to consumers of displaced Russian crude, with no indication that it is ready to drastically increase supply beyond its current gentle approach
  • In the US, the so-called NOPEC bill is moving ahead, paving the way for the US to sue the OPEC+ group under antitrust rules for market manipulation, setting up a tense next few months as international geopolitics and trade relations are re-evaluated

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