India: Oil & Gas Industry Faces a Significant Talent Shortage


India’s economic growth, as with all other countries, is closely linked to energy demand. But the ability to meet India’s energy demand is threatened as its oil and gas companies are facing a severe talent gap due in part to an aging workforce. As the workforce continues to move closer to more retirements, the talent pool with specialized expertise and local corporate knowledge will continue to tighten.

At the same time, the Indian government has stepped in and initiated several policies designed to drive further growth in the Indian oil and gas industry. Most importantly, the Indian government allows 100% foreign direct investment in petroleum products, natural gas, pipelines and refineries – resulting in multiple new projects requiring more staffing. The combination of an aging talent pool with increased investment in Indian energy projects has created a very competitive hiring environment for Indian oil and gas companies looking for qualified talent.

Among the issues facing Indian oil and gas companies:

  • 50% of oil and gas hands-on technical workforce will need to be replaced in the next decade
  • 68% of oil and gas employees are over 40 years of age
  • 33% of oil and gas employees are expected to retire by 2020

Additionally, the labor shortages and the expansion of exploration and production and refining activities are causing the demand–supply gap in the job market to widen resulting in increased wages and rising cost per employee.

Indian oil and gas companies continue to struggle finding qualified talent across all job categories from management to engineers to marketing professionals. As a result, it is imperative for Indian oil and gas companies to develop hiring strategies that allow them to stay ahead of their competitors and continue to meet the growing demands of the Indian energy market.