Saudi’s Hiring Away US Oil Workers Amid Mass Layoffs
Saudi Arabia’s state-owned oil company is offering jobs to recently laid-off U.S. oil workers who lost their jobs because of low oil prices.
Crude oil prices have dramatically fallen since last summer, meaning that oil companies have tightened their belts and made huge layoffs — about 75,000 since the fourth quarter of 2014, according to Forbes. Most of these layoffs have happened in the oil service sector, and Saudi Aramco is happy to offer them jobs developing Middle Eastern oil instead.
The Saudi’s have traditionally hired away U.S. workers to develop their oil fields, but in recent months the Kingdom has been aggressively hiring away former shale oil workers — a growing oil source competitor to Arabia’s black gold.
Saudi Aramco posted new ads on the employments sites Rigzone and LinkedIn in February targeting former shale workers, according to Bloomberg. Since the start of 2015, Saudi Aramco has advertised for dozens of jobs that require shale experience.
One ad said “[c]onsider the opportunity to join our team and help shape the future of key global unconventional resource development.”
“Soon, Saudi Aramco will be known not just for conventional oil and gas production, but as a leader in full life-cycle unconventional gas development,” Aramco said in another ad.
But it’s not just that Saudi Aramco is ramping up its U.S. headhunting, it’s that U.S. workers seem to be jumping at the opportunity. And why wouldn’t they? These guys want to work. One LinkedIn listing for a petroleum engineer with shale experience got a whopping 160 applicants in a month.
“We’ve seen people who have historically been reticent to look at Saudi Arabia who are now more accepting of a job there,” head-hunter Tobias Read told Bloomberg in an interview.
For the Saudis, it not only serves as a way to basically buy out the competition, it’s also a way for them to gain experienced shale workers without having to educate them.
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