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June 10-12, 2025
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The Importance of Oil and Gas Workforce Trends - Global Energy Show

Top 5 Oil and Gas Workforce Trends

As the oil and gas sector continues to adapt, innovate, and grow, it’s imperative that oil and gas organizations stay on top of trends within their industry. 

In our latest 5x5 series interview, Carol Howes, Vice President at PetroLMI, sat down with Rachel Gregory, Digital Host at The Global Energy Show, to discuss the top 5 oil and gas workforce trends in 2022 and why it’s important for companies to be aware of these trends so that they can adapt accordingly. 


Global Energy Show - Trends Edition with Carol Howes, Vice President, PetroLMI

Trend #5: Getting Workers Back to Work

Rachel: PetroLMI specializes in the labour market. You are the expert when it comes to the workforce and the skills that people need to navigate this growing and widespread industry. Let's count down our top five trends, starting with number five.

Carol: We would define number five as getting oil and gas employees back to work through site reclamation. In April 2020, the federal government created a $1.7 billion program to support the decommissioning, closure and reclamation of inactive well sites across Canada.

The program is geared towards getting oil and gas service workers back to work, but it also is really focused on accelerating a high volume of work that is supporting and enhancing the environment.

Some of that funding is also targeted at indigenous communities. A lot of these wells are on indigenous lands, and the funding will provide employment and business opportunities. About a billion of that funding is actually coming through the government of Alberta, and already we've had 36,000 companies apply for some of that funding. 

What it's really doing is helping provide some certainty for the industry, which we haven't had for several years in terms of some of the available work for at least the next couple of years.

Trend #4: Skill and Labour Shortages

Carol: We are starting to see some skill and labour shortages. The oil and gas workforce declined 26% between 2014 and 2020. Oil and gas prices have started to recover, and they are starting to have trouble finding people.

Many experienced oil and gas professionals left the industry, and they've gone to other industries, and they're hesitant to come back. There are also some other bigger issues that we're starting to look at as an industry. How do we appeal to new younger workers that have become very discouraged working in the industry? Another big one is contributing to the skills gap. Companies are adopting a lot of new technologies. The talent we need is changing, and the skills are looking different. The types of occupations are starting to change. 

Trend #3: Liquid Natural Gas Development

Carol: The third trend is liquid natural gas development. The development of LNG is a game-changing opportunity for Canada's natural gas industry. It's a real ability for Canada to tap into international markets with our natural gas. Right now, we have at least five LNG projects that have been proposed. It really bodes well for Canada in terms of a new industry that will really support what we already are very good at. Another benefit to this LNG sector is that a lot of the skills and the jobs are not that dissimilar.

Trend #2: Digital Transformation

Carol: The second trend is technology advancements, new digital technologies, digitization, and automation; they're all changing. Our industry and companies are really embracing these new technologies. PetroLMI was involved with a study that looked at how these technologies are impacting jobs. We determined in that study that a lot of these technologies, like machine learning, natural language processing, artificial intelligence, and robotics, could actually reduce the oil and gas workforce by up to 30% and automate 50% of job competencies, which is not the jobs, but competencies over the next 20 years. 

Trend #1: The Energy Transition in Oil and Gas Companies 

Carol: I think the number one trend is the energy transition. Oil and gas companies are getting on board in a big way to support moving Canada towards a lower carbon future. They're focusing on managing their own emissions, their environmental footprint and adopting lower-carbon fuels. Canadian companies spend about $1.4 billion a year on clean-tech investments. 75% of that is from bringing on new oil and gas workers and companies.

Learn More About the Growing Trends in the Oil and Gas Industry

As these trends continue to evolve with the ever-changing oil and gas industry, it's important that each oil and gas organization focuses on using advanced technology, adapting to innovative processes, and reducing environmental impact to stay up-to-date with important trends.

If you're interested in learning more about the energy sector workforce from industry leaders actively changing the game in the global energy industry, register for the next Global Energy Show today.

The Importance of Oil and Gas Workforce Trends - Global Energy Show

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