Report: Downturn May Have Lasting Impact On Oil, Gas And Chemicals

Oct. 9, 2020
COVID-19 and the oil downturn make workforce and business transformation a strategic imperative.

Seventy percent of industry jobs lost during the pandemic may not return by the end of 2021, according to a newly-launched Deloitte report, “The Future of Work in Oil, Gas and Chemicals: Opportunity in the Time of Change.” The study discusses how this downturn is “different” and how it may have profound and lasting impacts on the industry. The report also explores the opportunities today’s changed environment could present organizations to transform themselves and build an OG&C organization of the future.

Key takeaways from the report include:

  • The U.S. OG&C industry slashed 107,000 jobs from March to August 2020, the fastest rate of layoffs in the industry’s history.
  • Heightening employment cyclicality and layoffs are challenging the industry’s reputation as a reliable, long-term employer.
  • The sensitivity of U.S. OG&C employment to oil prices is extremely high, with a dollar change in oil price potentially affecting 3,000 upstream and oilfield services jobs.
  • In a business-as-usual scenario of waiting and responding to oil price cycles, about 70% of jobs lost during the pandemic may not return by the end of 2021 at $45 per barrel.
  • This downturn or the “great compression” is like no other, challenging fundamental and deeply interconnected dimensions of the industry’s work, workforce and workplace.

"The oil, gas and chemicals industry was built on human ingenuity; innovation and grit; and it is that same spirit that will forge the industry’s next reboot and revitalization. Companies that choose to see the coming decade as an opportunity for transformation will likely not just outlive this compression but may even lead the industry into the future of work,” says Duane Dickson, vice chairman and U.S. oil, gas and chemicals leader, Deloitte LLP. “By putting people at the core of business transformation strategies, the industry may hopefully regain its appeal and position itself for what’s expected to be a much different landscape in the future.”

Kate Hardin, executive director, Deloitte Research Center for Energy & Industrials, Deloitte Services LP, adds, “While extremely challenging, this downturn presents an opportunity for companies to reposition. This is the time for strategists to make bold choices today that affect the work of tomorrow; and to adopt redesigned, cyber-physical teams and embrace a digital workplace culture as a basis for future innovation.”

For the full report, visit:

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