The last five years’ oil price trends have taken a toll on the global oil and gas industry, significantly dropping rig utilization and rig hire day rates. Only now is the sector beginning to recover with the recent price improvements.
For instance, the Brent Crude is now at $73 per barrel, and although it’s still well below $110 per barrel, the continuing price improvements is showing positive outlook no matter how slow. And in any optimistic industry forecast comes the expectation of many oil and gas companies.
As oil prices recover, offshore oil and gas activities are slowly picking up from the end of 2017 up to the first quarter of 2018. Latest global news includes:
- More well exploration activities
- Successful oil discoveries and high production output
- New rig purchase orders
- Continuous controlled production rate by OPEC
- Increased contracts awarded
- More job opportunities in the O&G industry
According to estimates, the NDT inspection services market growth will reach $76 million in revenue in 2020 from $64 million in 2017, through a steady CAGR of 3.7%.
Despite the low demands in NDT equipment industry due to fluctuating oil prices, inspection and maintenance activities in the existing oil fields and aging plant equipment continue to manifest strong revenue and market share growth.
Large-scale market adoption of non-destructive testing (NDT) methods such as Phased Array Ultrasonic (PAUT) and Eddy Current has been evident in the last few years, especially in countries such as China, Brazil, India and South Africa. Not only are these methods faster, more reliable, cleaner and safer, they are also suitable for various applications such as weld verification and complex structural mechanics.
ADDRESSING SKILLS SHORTAGE
The common challenge confronting the industry, however, is the lack of certified technicians as the demand for NDT inspection services increases. This skills deficit is endemic around the world due to the wave of labour layoffs in the last 4 years, as well as the aging workforce of the NDT community.
The unique problem faced by the offshore industry is bed space–limited accommodation for trainees onboard as clients demand only fully qualified technicians to be in their teams. To address the lack of structured trainee program, NDT companies absorb the specialist apprenticeships training costs to upskill their existing workforces.
Strategic partnerships among training providers and various government agencies who are willing to provide workforce development have also emerged and will continue in the coming years. Many organizations have also started their initiatives in addressing the shortage of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education programs, which could potentially boost the capabilities of young talents entering the oil and gas industry.
Axess Group’s commitment towards individual career development accounts for the highest possible standard of services and solutions delivered to our clients. Enhancing the skills and confidence of Axess personnel through specialized training not only aids in the growing industry skills gap, it also allows us to align with the productivity goals of our clients.
This article was inspired from the presentation of Mr. Ray Liversidge, Axes North Sea’s Technical Support, at the UK Conference on Certification and Standardisation in March 2018. A broad range of NDT / NII methods are important tools in the holistic Asset Integrity Management approach by the Axess Group.
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