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美国油气行业今年已裁员10万余人

美国油气行业今年已裁员10万余人

Katherine Dunn 2020年10月12日
咨询机构德勤称,油价每涨跌1美元,便会影响到3000个石油行业的工作岗位。

如今,油气行业不仅面临价格下滑的问题,其就业市场也在萎缩。

德勤于10月5日发布的一份有关美国石油、天然气与化工行业就业前景报告显示,今年3月至8月,美国石油、天然气与化工行业已经裁员10.7万人。报告称,如此“裁员速度创下了油气行业的历史纪录”,即便油气行业向来以“其兴也勃、其衰也忽”著称,这一速度依然令人瞠目。

实际上,这还并非问题的全部。该项研究发现,为保护市场份额不受页岩气革命影响,沙特阿拉伯自2014年起便发动了价格战。时至今日,这种价格战对油气行业工人造成的影响正在日益加大。

德勤称,2014年至2019年期间,油价每涨跌1美元就会影响到3000个勘探、生产和油田服务方面的工作岗位。而在20世纪90年代,同样幅度的油价波动只会影响到1500个工作岗位,而且当时在油价上升时还会新增许多工作机会。德勤的报告指出,在本世纪的头15年,就业岗位数量也非常容易受到价格的影响。但由于当时油价处于上涨周期,工作岗位数量不断增加,而非减少。

但这次情况可能有所不同,许多遭到裁撤的岗位短期内可能无法得到恢复。如果油价维持在每桶45美元左右(当前油价远低于这一水平),那么明年年底前,70%的就业岗位将无法得到恢复。

对油价构成打压的既有眼前因素(美国经济增长及政局稳定性方面的风险)也有长期因素。两周前,标普全球预计,疫情造成的消费模式变化(居家办公的情况)以及对经济的影响,意味着在很长时间内,石油日需求量将减少250万桶。甚至各大油气公司高管也都警告说石油需求可能即将见顶,甚至可能已经见顶。

此外,油气行业自身也在进行变革,欧洲尤其如此。壳牌、英国石油、道达尔、Equinor等欧洲主要的老牌能源公司均承诺到2050年要实现“净零”排放。这一过程必须迅速推进,截至目前,仅英国石油公司和壳牌公司两家在推进这项工作的过程中就将减记数十亿美元资产,并宣布裁员近2万人。(如此情形是否纯因净零转型,还是仅因油价下跌,亦或是两者共同作用的结果仍然有待讨论。)

退休在即

净零转型并不像乍看起来那样仅仅意味着大幅裁员。德勤的研究还提出了一个问题,即上述公司将对招聘流程做出哪些调整,以便转型能够落到实处。一般来说,新招募的员工都比较年轻,掌握相应的技术与数学方面技能,可以胜任伴随低碳转型出现的大规模数字化工作。(正如英国国家电网在封城期间发现的那样,从本质而言,可再生能源网络的数字化程度更高,也更加复杂。)

油气行业还面临着其他一些问题,比如许多现有员工即将退休就是其中一个。德勤援引了一项去年发布的油气行业求职研究报告,该报告估计,油气行业约有50%的员工属于“终身”员工,而其中大多数将于未来5到7年内退休。裁员、退休将使油气行业在未来几年面临严重的系统性知识流失问题。

与此同时,“传统”油气行业工作的人才供应也日渐减少。该报告援引的数据显示,2015年至2019年,地质学和石油工程等专业的大学毕业生人数下降了15%至21%。

而吸引新型油气员工也殊非易事,一方面要面临科技公司对同类人才的激烈竞争,另一方面还要解决员工对“可持续性”的担忧。换句话说,在气候变化的时代,年轻人并不十分愿意为能源公司工作。

对企业而言,培训现有员工、帮助员工适应新工作,同时控制住令人心力交瘁的失业潮或许是其最好的选择。有证据表明,壳牌等企业一直在进行此类工作。

但要想推进相关工作就要进行投资,而在利润收缩时期,其他方面的需求也会对资金流向构成竞争。例如,油气企业对清洁能源的投资基数依然低得令人难以置信:据德勤估计,2019年,清洁能源投资仅占企业总投资资本的1%至2%,国际能源署也在国际上引用了这一数据。而且能否进行这种低水平投资还要看企业是否有足够的营收。就像壳牌首席执行官范伯登在上周早些时候承认的那样,即便转型中的石油公司也对油价十分依赖。

对产油区的影响

这是一种恶性循环,不仅会影响到油气公司,还会影响到从休斯顿、卡尔加里到艾伯塔的各个产油区。

该报告的作者表示:“(石油、天然气与化工)行业时常沦为残酷价格周期的受害者,深陷产能过剩、产能不足再到产能过剩的循环,周而复始,无法自拔。”而这种情况显然会对行业的长期发展构成伤害。

作者补充说:“令人震惊的是,虽然油气化工行业一直在朝着可持续性、运营敏捷性和劳动力升级的方向努力,但依然难逃上述周期的束缚。”

报告还指出,持反对观点的人士可能会忽视油气行业周期的“新常态”。换句话说,他们可能认为此次萧条与往常一样,不过是下一次繁荣的序幕。

但这份报告警告称,这种转变或将最终演变成为一场全行业的竞赛,而那些现在就能够看到挑战并切实推动转型的企业或将在这场竞争中占得致胜先机。(yabo88ios)

译者:梁宇

审校:夏林

如今,油气行业不仅面临价格下滑的问题,其就业市场也在萎缩。

德勤于10月5日发布的一份有关美国石油、天然气与化工行业就业前景报告显示,今年3月至8月,美国石油、天然气与化工行业已经裁员10.7万人。报告称,如此“裁员速度创下了油气行业的历史纪录”,即便油气行业向来以“其兴也勃、其衰也忽”著称,这一速度依然令人瞠目。

实际上,这还并非问题的全部。该项研究发现,为保护市场份额不受页岩气革命影响,沙特阿拉伯自2014年起便发动了价格战。时至今日,这种价格战对油气行业工人造成的影响正在日益加大。

德勤称,2014年至2019年期间,油价每涨跌1美元就会影响到3000个勘探、生产和油田服务方面的工作岗位。而在20世纪90年代,同样幅度的油价波动只会影响到1500个工作岗位,而且当时在油价上升时还会新增许多工作机会。德勤的报告指出,在本世纪的头15年,就业岗位数量也非常容易受到价格的影响。但由于当时油价处于上涨周期,工作岗位数量不断增加,而非减少。

但这次情况可能有所不同,许多遭到裁撤的岗位短期内可能无法得到恢复。如果油价维持在每桶45美元左右(当前油价远低于这一水平),那么明年年底前,70%的就业岗位将无法得到恢复。

对油价构成打压的既有眼前因素(美国经济增长及政局稳定性方面的风险)也有长期因素。两周前,标普全球预计,疫情造成的消费模式变化(居家办公的情况)以及对经济的影响,意味着在很长时间内,石油日需求量将减少250万桶。甚至各大油气公司高管也都警告说石油需求可能即将见顶,甚至可能已经见顶。

此外,油气行业自身也在进行变革,欧洲尤其如此。壳牌、英国石油、道达尔、Equinor等欧洲主要的老牌能源公司均承诺到2050年要实现“净零”排放。这一过程必须迅速推进,截至目前,仅英国石油公司和壳牌公司两家在推进这项工作的过程中就将减记数十亿美元资产,并宣布裁员近2万人。(如此情形是否纯因净零转型,还是仅因油价下跌,亦或是两者共同作用的结果仍然有待讨论。)

退休在即

净零转型并不像乍看起来那样仅仅意味着大幅裁员。德勤的研究还提出了一个问题,即上述公司将对招聘流程做出哪些调整,以便转型能够落到实处。一般来说,新招募的员工都比较年轻,掌握相应的技术与数学方面技能,可以胜任伴随低碳转型出现的大规模数字化工作。(正如英国国家电网在封城期间发现的那样,从本质而言,可再生能源网络的数字化程度更高,也更加复杂。)

油气行业还面临着其他一些问题,比如许多现有员工即将退休就是其中一个。德勤援引了一项去年发布的油气行业求职研究报告,该报告估计,油气行业约有50%的员工属于“终身”员工,而其中大多数将于未来5到7年内退休。裁员、退休将使油气行业在未来几年面临严重的系统性知识流失问题。

与此同时,“传统”油气行业工作的人才供应也日渐减少。该报告援引的数据显示,2015年至2019年,地质学和石油工程等专业的大学毕业生人数下降了15%至21%。

而吸引新型油气员工也殊非易事,一方面要面临科技公司对同类人才的激烈竞争,另一方面还要解决员工对“可持续性”的担忧。换句话说,在气候变化的时代,年轻人并不十分愿意为能源公司工作。

对企业而言,培训现有员工、帮助员工适应新工作,同时控制住令人心力交瘁的失业潮或许是其最好的选择。有证据表明,壳牌等企业一直在进行此类工作。

但要想推进相关工作就要进行投资,而在利润收缩时期,其他方面的需求也会对资金流向构成竞争。例如,油气企业对清洁能源的投资基数依然低得令人难以置信:据德勤估计,2019年,清洁能源投资仅占企业总投资资本的1%至2%,国际能源署也在国际上引用了这一数据。而且能否进行这种低水平投资还要看企业是否有足够的营收。就像壳牌首席执行官范伯登在上周早些时候承认的那样,即便转型中的石油公司也对油价十分依赖。

对产油区的影响

这是一种恶性循环,不仅会影响到油气公司,还会影响到从休斯顿、卡尔加里到艾伯塔的各个产油区。

该报告的作者表示:“(石油、天然气与化工)行业时常沦为残酷价格周期的受害者,深陷产能过剩、产能不足再到产能过剩的循环,周而复始,无法自拔。”而这种情况显然会对行业的长期发展构成伤害。

作者补充说:“令人震惊的是,虽然油气化工行业一直在朝着可持续性、运营敏捷性和劳动力升级的方向努力,但依然难逃上述周期的束缚。”

报告还指出,持反对观点的人士可能会忽视油气行业周期的“新常态”。换句话说,他们可能认为此次萧条与往常一样,不过是下一次繁荣的序幕。

但这份报告警告称,这种转变或将最终演变成为一场全行业的竞赛,而那些现在就能够看到挑战并切实推动转型的企业或将在这场竞争中占得致胜先机。(yabo88ios)

译者:梁宇

审校:夏林

The oil and gas sector isn’t just facing a price crunch—it’s facing a jobs bust, too.

The oil, natural gas, and chemicals industry in the U.S. eliminated 107,000 jobs between March and August of this year, according to a report released on October 5 by Deloitte on the future of work in the sector. It’s the “fastest rate of layoffs in the industry’s history,” the report says—a remarkable pace even for a sector famed for its sky-high booms and punishing busts.

In fact, that’s part of the problem. Since 2014, the year Saudi Arabia unleashed a price war to try to protect market share from the shale boom, the impact on sector workers has become more extreme, the study found.

Between 2014 and 2019, a single dollar swing in oil prices affected 3,000 exploration, production, and oilfield services jobs, Deloitte said. That’s up from 1,500 jobs throughout the 1990s, when rising oil prices also largely added jobs. In the years between—the first decade and a half of the 2000s—jobs were highly price-sensitive, too, the report notes. But because oil prices were rising, those jobs were being added, rather than taken away.

But this time around, many of the jobs lost aren’t expected to come back quickly. If oil stays around $45 per barrel—at the moment, it’s well below that—70% of those jobs will not return before the end of next year, the report predicted.

The forces weighing on oil prices are both immediate—the risks to economic growth and to political stability in the U.S.—and long term. Two weeks ago, S&P Global estimated that changing consumer patterns spurred by the pandemic (think working from home), and the economic impact of the pandemic means 2.5 million barrels per day of oil demand has likely been lost long-term. That builds on warnings even from oil and gas CEOs themselves that oil demand may be on the verge of peaking—or that it has already peaked.

Add to that the transformational change the oil and gas sector, particularly in Europe, is embarking on. Shell, BP, Total, Equinor, and other major European legacy energy companies have committed to reaching “net zero” emissions by 2050. That process has to happen quickly, and so far, it’s come with billions of dollars in write-offs and announcements of nearly 20,000 job losses from BP and Shell alone. (Whether that’s truly because of the net-zero transformation, or a matter simply of sinking oil prices—or, more likely, both—is a matter of debate.)

Nearing retirement

That transformation doesn’t just mean, as seems initially clear, huge job cuts. The Deloitte study also raises questions about how the companies’ recruitment efforts will also adapt to make these transformations work. Those employees look, generally, like relatively young people, with the kinds of technical and mathematical skills that can help guide the mass digitization that will need to occur alongside the low-carbon shift. (Renewable energy networks, by their very nature, are more digital and complex, as the U.K.’s National Grid found out during lockdown.)

There are a few problems here. Many of the sectors’ existing workers are, for one, nearing retirement. An oil and gas job search study from last year that Deloitte references estimated that about 50% of the workforce is “tenured,” with the majority retiring within the next five to seven years. Whether through job cuts or retirement, the sector faces a huge loss of institutional knowledge over the coming years.

Meanwhile, even for “conventional” oil and gas jobs, the skills pipeline has narrowed. University graduates from fields like geology and petroleum engineering dropped between 15% and 21% between 2015 and 2019, according to data cited in the report.

And attracting a new kind of oil and gas employee runs up against both stiff competition from tech companies vying for many of the same skills, but also employee concerns about “sustainability”—in other words, resistance from young people to working for energy companies in an age of climate change.

Training the existing workforce to adapt to these new kinds of jobs—and limiting those punishing waves of job losses—may be the most obvious option, and there’s evidence that companies like Shell have been doing this.

But that takes investment, in a time of crunched profits, with plenty of competing demands for where the money should be put. Clean energy investment by oil and gas companies, for one, is still at an incredibly low base: Deloitte puts it at 1% to 2% of capital investment in 2019, a figure also cited internationally by the International Energy Agency. Such an investment still rests on having the revenue to do so. Even a repositioning oil company is still reliant on oil prices, as Shell CEO Ben van Beurden admitted earlier last week.

The impact on oil towns

It’s a vicious cycle that doesn’t just affect oil and gas companies, but whole regions, from Houston to Calgary, Alberta.

“The [oil, gas, and chemicals] industry is often held to ransom by brutal price cycles and painful successions of over- and under-capacity periods,” the report’s authors said—and that hurts the sector long-term.

“Appallingly, these periods come in the way of the industry’s progressive efforts toward sustainability, operational agility, and workforce improvement,” the authors added.

Naysayers may brush off the “new normal” part of the sector’s cyclicality, the report notes: in other words, just another bust before the boom.

But companies that see the challenge now, it warned, and push to actually embrace the shift, may get a critical head start in what will eventually be an industrywide race.

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