The index, which charts the number of jobs posted on nine oil and gas portals around the world, stood at 1.60 in September – a shade off the all-time peak in May 2012 of 1.63.

“While European debt worries continue to weigh on markets, it is the relative slow pace of growth in China that’s had the biggest impact,” says Matt Underhill, Managing Director of Hays Oil & Gas.

“But at this stage, the main impact has been an easing of the acute skill shortages that existed coming into the quarter. The fall of other commodity prices has also taken the edge off many skills shortages.

The local Australian index has maintained its level above 1.5 for six consecutive months. The index over the quarter from July to September fluctuated between 1.57 and 1.69, reflecting high demand.

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According to Hays this was due to the major development this year has seen several new projects come to construction in Queensland. This has seen recruitment activity on the East Coast rise to match the elevated levels seen in the West over the last few years

Project execution staff are in most demand as EPCM’s ramp up their headcount for the construction phase, according to the index.