Three smart new ways oil companies are using contract consultants

Three smart new ways that oil companies are using contract consultants

The improvement in the oil price throughout 2018 has led to oil companies re-assessing the development of their asset portfolio and, as a result, the demand for engineering and technical skills is beginning to grow again.

Rather than increase their fixed cost base and full-time head-count, several companies within the oil industry are choosing to use contract labour to resource their new projects, and finding that it is more cost-effective, efficient and productive.  The use of temporary/contract labour in the oil industry is nothing new.  Indeed 30 years ago in 1988, OPC was created to provide well testing engineers on contract in the North Sea.

However in 2018, we are seeing new models of contracting which are being driven in the most part by smaller, independent and more innovative oil businesses.  They are looking to access the best possible expertise quickly and cost effectively, and we are seeing examples of newer “smart” resourcing models including:

A contract technical department

A European oil operator has kept its investors happy by having no full-time technical department.  Instead it uses contract geoscience and engineering professionals provided by OPC on an “as and when required” basis.  The work is overseen by OPC full-time technical staff but delivered by day-rate contractors.

Bypass the PSL manpower route

Having waited more than 5 weeks and received no suitable candidates from its global preferred manpower supplier, a project manager at an IOC asked OPC to provide 3 contract consultants on 12-month contracts on an oilfield development project.  We had the specific knowledge of the sector and have been able to provide suitable candidates within three days.

Remote contractor + software + resources

An oil and gas portfolio management company based in the Middle East had significant seismic data and required an expert geoscientist to interpret the data, expertise that was not readily available in-house.  OPC was able not only to provide an expert consultant working remotely from an OPC office but also the software that would be needed for the project. The client has kept overheads low by not having to invest in labour, software, equipment or office space whilst efficiently and effectively achieving their technical objectives.

Piers Johnson, Managing Director of OPC said;

“It is no surprise to see VC backed companies as well as mainstream operators adopting a flexible approach to their staffing and resourcing models.  It is also refreshing to see that large international oil companies are becoming far more flexible in their procurement and realizing that, for specific engineering, geoscience and technical professionals, it is faster and more cost effective to contract in an expert provider to source, provide and manage the resources for them.”

OPC is in a unique situation to be able to supply these smarter contracting models to our clients.  We have the legal agreements enabling us to provide individuals on a flexible basis in most countries throughout the world.  In addition we have our own full time engineering team which can oversee the selection and management of contractors and supply software and equipment when required.

Companies interested in taking a flexible approach to their technical staffing should contact Piers Johnson or Ryan Corbett (UK) on +44 20 7428 1111, Sylvia Garcia (USA) on +1 713 973 2151 or Riley Smith (Dubai) on +971 4 559 8008.

OPC Consultant Services – a broad range of skills and countries

OPC Consultant Services is adapting to the new demands within the market.  We now provide a broader range of skills to clients and have legal agreements enabling us to provide individuals on a flexible basis in most countries throughout the world.  As well as our more traditional subsurface skills, we have been successful in providing the following skills on contract to our clients over the last 12 months:

  • Mechanical Engineer
  • NDT Inspectors
  • Planning Engineer
  • Technical legal counsel
  • Risk manager
  • Controls Engineer
  • Health & Safety Manager
  • Facilities Engineer
  • Procedure Writer

We have Consultant Services staff in our offices in London, Houston and Dubai and have the ability to provide local and expat expertise in most countries around the world.  Please view our dedicated Consultant services page

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