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55% of consultants who were working in the exploration and production sector in 2013 are no longer working in the oil industry. This was one of the key findings of the OPC Consultant Market Report 2016.

The report from OPC obtained data from nearly 500 E&P consultants and provides a detailed insight into the current state of professional consulting in the sector.

workingpieOf those that were working as consultants in 2013 (prior to the oil price drop in 2014), only 27% are still working as consultants in E&P. Another 18% have taken permanent or staff positions in the oil industry (not necessarily in E&P).

11% have found work in another industry and the largest percentage in our survey, 44%, are not currently working in paid employment at all.

This indicates a very large drop in the utilisation of professional consultants within E&P. Of the 55% that are currently not working in the industry, 68% hope to return when the sector recovers but 32% say they will not return.

These 32% have either found new professions, are retraining for another career or have retired. The most common industries for those leaving oil and gas are:

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  • Construction
  • Marine
  • Education
  • Energy
  • Farming
  • Business Services

Some are contributing to society in other ways. For instance, Fred Rittelmeyer is helping to drill fresh water wells in Madagascar (see photo).

We asked consultants how the downturn has affected their views of the industry. Many now have a more negative view, for example:

“It has only made me even more cynical, because I am old enough to have seen it all before. Short term hemorrhaging of talent to satisfy stockholders, then panic as the upturn arrives and all the people have gone, leaving only graduates to carry the load. It happened before, and it will happen again. The industry never learns.”

Click here to see the full report which is freely available for everyone to view