Oil, gas salaries fall as price slump forces cost cuts

LONDON (Reuters) – Oil and gas workers saw their salaries fall 1.4 percent over the past year after a sharp decline in oil prices forced their employers to trim costs, but their average global salaries remain high at more than $80,000 (£56,057) a year.

Oil and gas companies are facing a steep decline in revenues because oil prices have declined nearly 75 percent since the middle of 2014, leading to billions of dollars of budget costs.

As a consequence, those employed in the sector, used to rising bonuses and commission pay, saw average salaries decline to around $81,000 a year, according to an annual salary survey published by recruitment firm Hays.

The percentage of employees receiving bonuses, cited by respondents as the most important factor when considering a new job, fell to 38 percent from 44 percent in 2014, the survey showed.

“The ongoing downturn has been reflected in this year’s survey with salaries having declined and 44 percent of employers conducting restructuring initiatives in order to cut costs, protect profits and ensure their futures,” said John Faraguna, managing director of Hays’ oil and gas unit.

More pain is expected in 2016, the survey of 28,000 from 78 countries showed.

As many as 41 percent of respondents expected salaries to decrease or remain the same this year, the highest percentage in at least six year.

Additionally, 62 percent of respondents said they expected staffing levels to either decrease or remain the same in 2016, also the highest percentage since at least 2010.

Nevertheless, oil and gas sector salaries remain high.

Those earning most are workers employed in the liquefied natural gas (LNG) sector at an average salary of $233,300, closely followed by geoscientists at $225,600 and petroleum engineers at $210,100, the survey showed.

 

(Reporting by Karolin Schaps; Editing by Katharine Houreld)

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