Oil companies in Norway, as well as their suppliers, will hire more employees in the coming years as the country's oil and gas sector recovers from the downturn in the wake of the oil price crash, Norway's Minister of Petroleum and Energy, Terje Søviknes, told Reuters on Tuesday.
"All evidence points to a significant increase in employment in the oil industry," Søviknes told Reuters on the sidelines of an event.
The oil and gas industry accounts for 14 percent of Norway's GDP, 14 percent of state revenues, 19 percent of total investments, 39 percent of total exports, and 7 percent of employment in the country with population of 5.3 million residents.
Between 2013 and 2016, Norway lost 47,000 oil and gas jobs, but the tide may now be turning. Minister Søviknes warned, however, that not all jobs may be recovered, due to automation and efficiency gains in productivity.
"It's hard to imagine that all the 50,000 jobs that disappeared during the industry's downturn will be brought back," Søviknes told Reuters today.
Last month, a number of project developments on the Norwegian Continental Shelf were submitted, the biggest being Statoil's Johan Castberg oilfield, which is expected to take capital expenditures of US$6 billion (49 billion Norwegian crowns) and become the northernmost oilfield development on the Norwegian Continental Shelf.
Also in December, Aker BP submitted Plans for Development and Operation (PDOs) for three projects, with total investments of some US$1.9 billion (15.5 billion Norwegian crowns); VNG filed plans to develop Fenja in the Norwegian Sea; Repsol submitted a new plan for the Yme field in the North Sea; and a Statoil-led consortium submitted a revised plan for the Snorre oil field expansion project.
Norway's economy is back on track, and the 2017 unemployment fell to 2.4 percent, according to the country's central bank—the lowest since 2012. The central bank now believes that job creation will continue, and that unemployment will continue to shrink.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com