Deloitte: Oil industry faces high retirement numbers

Oil and gas companies are on the cusp of an unprecedented number of retiring workers, and the ranks of suitable replacements remain thin, speakers said during the 2013 Deloitte Oil & Gas Conference in Houston on Nov. 19.

In a paper released at the conference, Deloitte said the industry is looking to improve its workforce planning, talent acquisition, and retention rates.

Bruce Culpepper, executive vice-president of human resources for Shell Americas, said Shell is evaluating how it might better measure the effectiveness of employee training programs.

“Are people learning anything from the investment?” Culpepper questioned. “There is a lot of opportunity there for us to get sharper on that.”

Currently, the number of job openings for the North American oil and gas industry exceeds the number of qualified applicants, said Michelle Seale, a principal with Deloitte Consulting LLP.

“There is an uptick in retirements,” Seale said. A 2011 survey by Schlumber Ltd. estimated that industry likely will lose a net of 5,000 experienced geoscientists and petroleum engineers by 2014.

Contact Paula Dittrick at

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