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Australians are the second highest paid workers in the global oil and gas industry, according to the Hays Oil and Gas Global Salary Guide 2012.
According to the report workers in Australian oil and gas earn an average $164,000, second only to Norway, where workers earn an average $180,300.
The survey found imported labour in Australia’s industry earned even more, at an average of $173,100.
Hays said while the skills shortage has seen a rise in foreign labour in Australia, it had also seen more Australians living abroad return home to take advantage of high salaries.
"This was going against the trend elsewhere that saw a general drift overseas in search of better remuneration," it said.
Hays said the combination of limited workers, multiple mega-projects, and the coal seam gas industry were driving Australian wages "to the top of the global league table".
It said Australia and Brazil were the two nations most short of workers and were "the two hotspots in the world where local resources are most stretched".
It said it was "no coincidence" Brazil and Australia had seen the highest increases in wages since last year.
Hays said while the oil and gas industry had contributed to Australia’s "quick exit" from the global downturn economic stability remained a big concern for most of the world.
"It is only in Australasia with its booming market where this appears to be of lesser concern," it said.