HOUSTON, November 15, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- The first major study of oil and gas workforce perceptions since the start of the global downturn has revealed which operators and service companies are rated highest by oil and gas professionals based on key issues including values, performance and pay rates. Shell, Chevron, ExxonMobil, BP and Halliburton make up the top five in the wide-ranging Ideal Employer Survey 2016, undertaken by Rigzone, which attracted responses from 8,400 people in more than 100 countries. More than 3,000 oil and gas industry companies were named in the survey, published today, and despite the challenges faced by the sector through the depression in the oil price, no companies from other industries were ranked in the top 30. The research, the first of its kind in the sector, was carried out between July and September this year, ranking companies based on 19 questions focussed on their qualities and rating their ideal employers. Commitment to health and safety is the single most important attribute (securing 90%) for people in the upstream, midstream and downstream sectors worldwide. Competitive salary, interesting and challenging work, and corporate integrity (all 88%) were equal second, with workplace culture, and training and development programs (87%) joint third. Regionally, only respondents in North America and Europe chose factors other than safety as their top priority. Salary, and manages business with integrity were joint top for North America, and the focus was on 'interesting/challenging work' for Europe. James Bennett, Rigzone managing director said: "The results are revealing as this is the first major survey to be conducted with the global workforce, and against a background of continuing challenging economic circumstances for the sector. "That the largest companies in the sector complete the top 30, the majority having undergone significant change due to the effects of the downturn in the past 18 months, will give them confidence that the workforce remain committed to the sector.