While clients are being restricted by the current skills shortage, contractors themselves are enjoying the benefits of increasing demand seeing their rates rise.

The 20th Aberdeen and Grampian Chamber of Commerce (AGCC) Oil and Gas Survey, which looks at various aspects surrounding the industry centered around the Scottish city, also found that North Sea activity may fall unless the changes suggested in the Wood Review are not brought in.

The lack of staff itself is generally causing problems for activity levels already, although clients also said this was a problem in regards to their international activities as well.

This, unsurprisingly, is benefiting contractors who are already working in the sector. In the current climate they are able to push for higher wages, while clients are interested in developing their staff. Employee training is second only to developing new markets for client investment.

The survey also looked at how clients and moving forward with technology and how contractors should be aware of this. 80% of companies are investing in research and development in an effort to increase their extraction yields. The survey suggests contractors should be enhancing their expertise in the areas clients are moving towards.

Along with concerns that the Wood Review will not be brought in, there are worries about the economic uncertainty caused by the Scottish Referendum. Despite these worries, confidence and investment are remaining at high levels.

The chief exectuive of AGCC, Robert Collier, said: “More stable trading expectations are returning after rapid growth in recent years. 30% of all firms were more confident about their UKCS [UK Continental Shelf] activity than they were a year ago. It is positive to see that firms are continuing to invest in the UKCS and are looking to increase spend over the next two years.”

Photo by Rachel Docherty.