Oil and Gas Economic Influence Literature Review

Oil and Gas Economic Influence Literature Review Order Instructions: The introduction had been written and corrected by my project supervisor.

Oil and Gas Economic Influence Literature Review
Oil and Gas Economic Influence Literature Review

Oil and Gas Economic Influence Literature Review Sample Answer




The global oil and gas sector has a significant and imperative influence in the world’s economy today. This is attributed to the fact that, oil and gas directly influences every other commodity produced in the international market (Krane, 2015). Therefore, it is essential to critically evaluate the impacts of declining oil and gas prices on workforce needs and the subsequent performance and productivity of employees because they are also directly linked to the production of these commodities, so that a global economic need and balance can be maintained (Breunig & Tse-Chern, 2015; Marais, 2016). The global energy business is undoubtedly the largest economic sector in the world (Milmo, 2016). IRENA (2016) reported that the hydrocarbons industry contributes about 8.2% of global economy GDP which is equivalent to $5 trillion annually, and the largest share of this proportion, $4.4 trillion is directly derived from oil, natural gas, and coal.

Due to the dependence of other economic sectors on the il industry, this has been attributed to the reason why there is always an increase or decrease in the costs of other commodities with an increase or decrease in the global prices of oil and gas respectively (Killian & Vigfusson, 2011; Kulkarni, 2015). Consequently, this makes the regulation of oil and gas prices a very important undertaking because it consequently ensures that the costs of other commodities and services are kept optimal or reduced (Nusair, 2016). As a result, it is inevitable for any modern society to run smoothly in absence of oil and gas since alternative sources of energy have not yet been fully embraced making oil and gas industry a fundamental driver of today’s economy (Bowler, 2015; Milmo, 2016).

Essentially, the oil and gas demand globally surpasses the rate of production. This is provides an explanation of the reason why among the richest countries in the world are mostly those with huge deposits of crude oil and natural gas (Killian & Lewis, 2011). Since the reliance of a modern society’s functionality is hugely anchored on crude oil and natural gas because of their high demand in industries as well as for domestic and commercial purposes; it is important to ensure that the prices of these products remain relatively constant without frequent fluctuations in order to guaranteed the stability of the industry, which subsequently lead to taping and nurturing of skilled manpower or personnel (Jaffe & Elass, 2015).

In 2014, the UK’s oil and gas sector produced 1.42 barrels per day, of which 59 per cent was oil or hydrocarbon liquids (Oil & Gas UK, 2015). Alternatively, in 2013 the United Kingdom consumed 2.735tcf of natural gas as well as 1.508 million barrels of oil per day, which made the country an importer of hydrocarbons, especially oil and natural gas despite the fact that the in 1the 980s and 1990s the country was a significant exporter (Oil & Gas UK, 2015; Energy Information Administration, 2016). However, the strengths of UK in financial services have ensured that the country has continued to play a leading and an imperative role in oil and gas trading particularly through markets (Energy Information Administration, 2016).

For instance, according to Macalister (2012), the prices of Brent Crude which is produced in the UK remains a leading benchmarking measure for the global oil trade, and for most the gas traded across European countries, the major benchmark remains the National Balancing Point market. However, despite the potential, the UK is still a high-cost producer of oil and gas because of the difficult offshore conditions; for example, in 2014 the industry spent £14.8 billion on capital investment, £1.1 billion on exploration, as well as £9.6 billion on operating costs (Oil & Gas UK, 2015). In addition, additional corporation taxation on profits is the method used to tax oil and gas fields developed since 1993 in the UK; and in 2014, £2.8 billion were generated from the industry through direct taxes (Oil & Gas UK, 2015).

Oil and gas industry is a major employer and a significant economic contributor (Oil & Gas UK, 2016a). In particular, over the last 50 years, the UK’s oil and gas sector has significantly expanded and evolved. As a result, to date the industry is among the leading tax payers compared to most other industrial sectors and it has created numerous skilled jobs, led to formation of a vibrant supply chain at home and abroad to service oil and gas activity as well as making a key contribution to security of the UK’s energy supply (Oil & Gas UK, 2016a). The industry has significantly invested in the UK; for instance, in 2005, the capital investment was £11.6 billion in the country’s oil and gas sector and also £8.2 billion were spent by the industry in operating its assets (Oil & Gas UK, 2016a). However, in the face of declining oil and gas prices, the industry has decreased unit operating costs by almost 45% from about $30 in 2014 to about $16 by the end of 2016. In addition, the oil and gas industry has been working with Oil and Gas Authority and the government for the maximisation of UK’s economic recovery of its substantial oil and gas reserves that are remaining (Oil & Gas UK, 2009; Oil & Gas UK, 2015; Oil & Gas UK, 2016a).

Moreover, since 1970 the oil and gas industry has paid production taxes to a tune of more than £300 billion. In 2014/15, £2.2 billion were paid by the industry in production tax in addition to several billion more in payroll and corporate taxes through the supply chain (Oil & Gas UK, 2015; Oil & Gas UK, 2016a; Oil & Gas UK, 2016b). Furthermore, the 40% tax rate charged on oil and gas production doubles that charged on other industrial sectors in the UK (Oil & Gas UK, 2016a). The industry is also a major employer providing hundreds of thousands of jobs directly and indirectly (Oil & Gas UK, 2009; Oil & Gas UK, 2016a; Oil & Gas UK, 2016c). For instance, in 2016, the oil and gas industry in the UK ensured that over 330,000 jobs were directly delivered or indirectly supported. It is estimated that around 200,000 employees are recruited in the supply chain in projects within the UK oil and gas sector as well as in the exportation of oilfield goods and services (Oil & Gas UK, 2016c). Furthermore, the supply chain across the UK generates about £30 billion in revenues annually from domestic sales as well as exportation of goods and services derived from oilfields overseas. Throughout the UK, the supply chain of oil and gas industry goods and services is active through contracts offered to entrepreneurs across the UK (Oil & Gas UK, 2016c).

According to Bowler (2015), global oil and gas prices have declined sharply over the past few months, and this has led to significant revenue shortfalls across all the oil and gas exporting countries, while in many importing nations the consumers are likely to pay less to drive their cars or heat their homes. Global oil and gas prices had remained fairly stable from 2010 until mid-2014, with a barrel selling at $110 but since June 2014 the prices have continued to persistently decline and have more than halved (PwC Report, 2015). In particular, for the first time since May 2009 t,he price of Brent crude oil which is produced from the British North Sea has now dipped below $50 per barrel (Bowler, 2015; PwC Report, 2015). The reasons attributable to this decline in oil and gas prices are two fold: weak demand for oil and gas in many countries mainly because of insipid growth of economies, coupled with surging production of oil and gas by the United States (Bowler, 2015).

According to the PwC Report (2015), the UK economic outlook showed that there are significant impacts caused by the declining prices of oil and gas industry products on the economy in UK. The report emphasises that, the significant decline in oil and gas prices across the globe since mid-2014 should be coupled with an overall increase in the UK’s economic activity due to the decreased costs of production for businesses, especially the ones greatly rely on or are heavily dependent on oil and gas inputs to run (Bowler, 2015). This will play an imperative role in boosting both capital investment and the creation of employment. Although, there is an envisaged negative effect on the oil extraction sector by the dropping prices of oil and natural gas, other sectors such as transportation, agriculture, manufacturing sectors that are oil-intensive as well as sectors of refined petroleum manufacturing will benefit from this decline in the prices of their key inputs (PwC Report, 2015). However, the positive impact of this decline in oil and gas prices on water transport as well as other service-based sectors will be small. Moreover, oil and gas intensive sectors are probable towards benefiting from capital and resources re-allocation at the expense of other sectors that are less oil-intensive (PwC Report, 2015).

The PwC Report (2015) used a UK economy’s model for the quantification of these effects envisaged to arise from the decline in the prices of oil and gas in three alternative scenarios. For instance, in a case where there is a permanent reduction in the oil and gas prices, the price of around $50 per barrel was settled at and the UK economy in terms of GDP increased by approximately 1% on average relative to between 2015 and 2020 baseline (PwC Report, 2015). The same report indicated that by 2020 employment levels would increase by around 90,000, while a peak boost to levels of employment would be realised in 2016 by around 120,000. In contrast, smaller impacts are observed where there is a temporary decline in the prices of oil and gas: depending on how fast and far oil and gas prices rebound, there could be variations in the boost to GDP from 0.25 to 0.5 per cent and the increase in job creation levels by 2020 could also vary between 3,000 and 37,000 (PwC Report, 2015).

Furthermore, as oil and gas prices decline, an increase in real household incomes will be realised, which in turn leads to increased consumer spending. This is attributed to two factors such as the increase in real wages due to rise in labour demand within the aforementioned sectors that are fast-expanding as well as an overall decrease in prices of consumer goods because the cost-savings are passed over to the households across the country (PwC Report, 2015). As a result, the growing economic activity subsequently results to rising government tax revenues because of the increased taxes taken from personal and corporate income revenues, which can increase at a rate that eventually offset decreasing revenues from the declining prices in the UK’s oil and gas sector. Moreover, the decline in oil and gas prices is envisaged to have a small impact in the UK trade deficit’s narrowing (PwC Report, 2015).

2.1 HRM and Manpower Needs in the UK Oil and Gas Industry

HRM is an abbreviation that stands for human resource management. HRM is undoubtedly considered to be one of the most imperative functions (Rotich, 2015). In particular, this applies because the productivity and performance of other departments in an organisation depend on the HRM decisions. Therefore, contemporary managers are usually required to make strategic decisions with regards to the manner in which effective utilisation of labour can is realised (Yuan-Cheng et al. 2011). Nonetheless, most managers refer from various schools of thoughts in their attempt to develop optimal labour utilisation choices (Yoon et al., 2004). For example, they can use the motivation school of thought in order to seek to understand the particular needs of their workforce (Cascio, 2015). Consequently, managers tend to embark on the creation of working systems corresponding with those demands and needs, especially through innovative benefit packages, an offering of competitive salaries, as well as interactive work processes and conditions (Cascio, 2015).

According to Webb, Jeffrey and Schulz (2011), employees are undoubtedly the most imperative resource for an organisation and need proper remuneration and compensation in order to ensure the goals of an organisation are attained. Thus, in the HRM approach development, it is vital to ensure that it is based on approaches aimed at utilising employees and treating them as resources in order for the realisation of an organisation’s objectives to be achieved (Webb, Jeffrey & Schulz, 2011; Lin, 2011). As a result, this clearly reiterates the functional role played by HRM within these organisations through strategic efforts to initiate high performance work systems, especially by linking the organisation’s workforce across different departments (Fedor & Rensvold, 2012). Thus, oil and gas companies incorporate effective utilisation of HRM systems with an intention of increasing their market competitiveness by investing in career and professional development of their employees.

2.2 Oil and Gas Price Decline and Employees’ Performance Factors  

As a result, the dramatic drop in the prices oil and gas, Das et al. (2013) noted that there are five internal HRM practices with a potential of affecting the employees’ performance. These practices include organisations efforts towards establishing attractive recruitment packages, providing training and development programs, formulating personal appraisals, ensuring fair layoff of staff members as well as competitive compensation levels with the aim of stabilizing the functions of these organisations. Consequently, Hu and Kaplan (2015) noted that organisations are forced towards restructuring their functions and systems during such periods in order to maintain their market competitiveness. Several oil and gas companies have tipped to recession because of the sharply declining prices of oil and natural gas, which has subsequently slumped investment levels within the oil and gas industry. As a result, some employees have been laid off because of this slump, and this has affected functions of HRM within their respective organisations (Hu & Kaplan 2015).

The decline in prices of oil and natural gas has led to oil and gas industry employees in the UK to experience various external issues that have a direct impact on their performance. Jaffe and Elass (2015) reiterated that the drop in oil and gas prices has resulted to the cancellation of numerous projects within the industry, which has subsequently led to significant job cuts. In essence, oil and gas companies in the UK have embarked on steps to downsize their workforce as well as cancelling of various projects as an approach to cushion the workforce on the impacts of declining oil and gas prices. Hu and Kaplan (2015) pointed out that some organisations in the UK demurred on the renewal of their contracts with other companies worldwide, which indicates that they support these views.

Additionally, the decline in the prices of oil and natural gas has also caused suffering of oilfield service companies as well as their sub-contractors from huge drops in their organisational activities, which subsequently impact employees’ performance. There are numerous instances of reductions in organisations’ expenditure on staffs on pertinent activities such as motivation, empowerment training, and development, as a result of the declining income levels (Salehi et al., 2015). The drop in oil and gas prices has also seen several employees in companies within the oil and gas industry encounter increased financial pressures resulting from swelling prices of products and services within the UK economy, something which has immensely affected these employees. As a result, the scope of staff cuts has led to many UK citizens who work in these companies to be rendered jobless (Kilian, & Lewis, 2011). Once there is a drop in the prices of oil and natural gas, there is a corresponding decrease in prices of other commodities to levels that make them available for consumers subsequently cutting down on the production levels (Kilian & Vigfusson, 2011). A drop in production levels and this makes prices to be fixed on the concept of affordability, which consequently cuts back on a variety of aspects including housing, food, and cars among the people employed in the sector of oil and gas in the UK.

Human capital resources or employees are undoubtedly the most fundamental resource in a company. Hence, proper and effective utilisation of employees in an organisation could significantly improve its bottom line (Richard et al. 2012). Employee performance is of significant imperativeness given that, an organisation’s success is directly related to employees’ job performance (Richard et al. 2012). Human resource managers in oil and gas companies in the UK region need to first hire people who possess the right or appropriate qualifications and skills for the job. Upon completion of the hiring or recruitment process, HRM professionals are required to ensure that there is an alignment of employees’ work closely with the company’s objectives and goals. In order to achieve improved employee performance, HR managers should embark on carrying out employee performance evaluations, executing training and development programs, and choosing when to reassign and/or promote employees (Hsin-His, 2012).

Employees’ job performance within an organisation is affected either in a negative or positive way by a variety of factors. Examples of these factors as pertains to oil and gas industry include organizational culture, training and development, style of leadership used, the personality trait of employees, workplace environment, motivation, job satisfaction, job stress, as well as organization structure among others. Therefore, managers in oil and gas companies need to be conversant with diverse factors that affect employees’ performance and strive to ensure required improvements are achieved (Dutton & Kleiner, 2015). According to Ewenstein, Hancock and Komm (2016), it is critical for HRM managers to carry out the working environment for their employees because their performance can be affected by both external and internal factors.

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