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Adriatic Oil Drilling and the Great Jobs Myth

OilBy Clean Adriatic Sea Alliance

‘Oilman Becomes Milkman as Norway’s Best Jobs Disappear’

That headline from today’s bloomberg.com article says it all. With the drop in the oil prices and Norway’s aging wells and decreasing production, Norway is anticipating further job loss in the oil industry where “As many as 40,000 jobs could disappear out of about 250,000 nationwide.” Workers in the UK and France are also experiencing the pains of this cyclical industry. The worldwide jobs toll in the oil industry has already topped 30,000.

Will this give Minister Ivan Vrdoljak and Barbara Dorić something to think about as they continue to promote black gold as the economic saviour of the Croatian economy turning it into a “Little Norway”. Is their optimism even realistic?

Recently Barbara Dorić stated that the contractors for the oil exploration and exploitation will be giving preference to hiring a ‘local workforce’. The truth (the actual contracts) state that job preferences is to be given to EU and Croatian workers, same for any required equipment.

So what jobs will be available for 20% of Croatia’s unemployed population, or 50% of the unemployed youth? None sadly.

According to Commodity Appointments, a staffing agency that caters to the oil industry commenting for Energy World, Oil & Gas is also one of the few industries where people in their 50’s are highly sought after. You don’t entrust a 35-year-old with a project costing billions of dollars.

Most employers take a degree of comfort hiring someone who has begun their career in a supermajor such as Shell, Exxon, BP, Conoco, etc.

Even taking into consideration the next 30 years of exploitation, how can Croatians expect to fare when competing against other European nationals. Again, low expectations. According to this European Engineering Report Croatia has one of the lowest rates of engineering graduates. And when Croatia’s youth are measured against the rest of the world for aptitude in science and engineering, there scores are also well below the European average.


With thousands of experienced oil professional being let go by the big players in Europe, it seems there will be more than enough experienced workers to staff the rigs. The likelihood of “two drilling rigs constructed for each exploration block and built by Croatian shipyards” as claimed by Ivan Vrdoljak, also hovers around a less than 1 percent chance of actually happening.

While optimism can be an admirable trait in some cases. The promises of the politicians that fail to factor in reality, should be considered completely unethical. They are purposely misleading the public with their false claims, and the news organizations and political organizations that continue to repeat these statements without performing any type of verification should be shamed as well.

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