Job Losses in the Texas Oil and Gas Industry Were Even Worse Than Previously Reported

Job Losses in the Texas Oil and Gas Industry Were Even Worse Than Previously Reported

December 10, 2020

The Houston Chronicle reports:

Nearly 60,000 oil drilling, production and services workers have lost their jobs between February and August, 20 percent higher than the 50,000 layoffs previously reported, according to a new report from the Texas Alliance of Energy Producers. The new job analysis from the statewide trade group comes after the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas revised its employment data, which showed that more jobs were cut in the oil-field services sector than previously thought.

“The revised employment estimates clearly suggest that COVID-19 has cut into the upstream oil and gas sector to a deeper extent than previously thought – and those numbers were bad enough to begin with,” Karr Ingham, petroleum economist for the Texas Alliance of Energy Producers, said in a statement.

Due to crude demand and prices plummeting during the coronavirus pandemic, Texas’ oil and gas industry lost nearly 30 percent of its jobs.

Job losses hit bottom in August, and between August and October, the industry added about 1,500 jobs. While it doesn’t help all 60,000 Texas energy workers who are now out of work, any jobs added to the sector come as welcome news. However, economists expect a slow recovery, and recent output paints the same picture.

Texas saw an average of 122 rigs in operation during October, down 71 percent compared to the year-earlier average of 419 rigs. The rig count, tabulated by oil-field services firm Baker Hughes and energy research firm Enverus, is a leading indicator of future oil and gas production.

“It will be a long climb back, and indeed time will tell whether or not the industry will ever return to the pre-downturn levels reached in late 2018,” Ingham said.

If anything these past few months have taught us is that the oil and gas industry is resilient and despite the extreme hardships the industry has faced, American energy workers have continued to keep the lights on and our homes heated. We hope the eco-left takes note of that comfort this winter.