Oil & Gas Compensation Rebounds on Higher Oil Prices and Stable Market

 — Oil and gas industry compensation is beginning to make a comeback driven by higher oil prices and rig counts according to Rigzone, a leading online resource for the oil and gas industry.

Worldwide industry compensation has risen nearly seven percent from 2010 to average $103,000, according to data collected in the first two months of 2011 from thousands of oil and gas professionals in an ongoing industry salary survey. This is the first substantive, positive gain since average annual industry compensation was shaved by approximately $10,000 from its peak in the first half of 2008.

Despite the contraction in the Gulf of Mexico, the U.S. land rig count is increasing rapidly. That increase in activity means North American oil and gas professionals are once again taking home six-figures with average salaries of $103,000, in the first two months of 2011. That’s up seven percent from average compensation of $96,000 in 2010.

Outside of North America, the Asia-Pacific region is leading the way with sharp gains of eight to 14 percent in average salaries in early 2011. Compensation ranges from $103,000 in southern and central Asia to $131,000 in Australia/Oceania. Likewise, the number of rigs contracted in the region has increased 10 percent year/year thus far in the first quarter.

“With oil prices having hovering around the $100 mark, average compensation worldwide should continue to move up this year,” said David Kent, President of Rigzone. “While salaries are still not back to the levels seen in 2007 and 2008, demand for experienced and knowledgeable oil and gas professionals is solid with more and more oil and gas projects getting greenlighted.”

Salary information collected from tens of thousands of oil and gas professionals during 2010 shows that when oil prices improved and the market stabilized, oil and gas compensation levels halted their decline and inched up slightly. For 2010, worldwide oil and gas industry compensation averaged just over $97,000, marking a small recovery.

Rigzone’s survey data shows that worldwide oil and gas compensation peaked in late 2007 and the first half of 2008, pushing the worldwide average for yearly compensation above $109,000. However, as the worldwide financial crisis set in during late 2008 and oil prices dropped rapidly through the first quarter of 2009, oil and gas industry compensation levels began retracting as well.

Worldwide average oil and gas industry compensation had dropped to $96,700, down more than 11 percent from its earlier peak.

Data on general oil and gas industry compensation trends can be found on the Rigzone website at salary.rigzone.com. From its worldwide audience of more than half a million unique visitors each month, Rigzone gathers compensation data that provides a continuously updated view of the oil and gas market.

With Rigzone’s vast pool of users providing a constant flow of new responses, recruiters can harness the Rigzone Compensation Tracker tools to generate several different types of reports on more than 90 different job functions across every region of the world. More detailed data focused on specific job functions, regions, and experience levels can be obtained from the Rigzone Compensation Tracker system. This new system provides employers and recruiters with real time access to the latest salary survey data as well as more than 100,000 compensation responses from previous years.

About Rigzone

Rigzone, a Dice Holdings Inc. service, is a leading online resource for the oil and gas industry delivering content, data, advertising and career services. Dedicated to bringing upstream oil and gas news and data, including in-depth information on exploration, drilling and production markets to organizations tackling the energy challenge, its online community of highly-skilled and experienced energy professionals is unmatched. www.rigzone.com


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