Plagued with challenges, including COVID-19 and a downturn, the energy sector has witnessed positive growth. Identified as the 3rd month of gains, November experienced an increase in drilling and production activity with the addition of 2,665 jobs.
According to the Petroleum Equipment & Services Association’s interpretation of the Bureau of Labor Statistic data, oil-field service jobs increased by approximately 9,254 from September to November of this year. Based in Houston, the group represents service companies who specialize in drilling and completion work and those who manufacture equipment.
According to the Beaumont Enterprise, the oil-field sector has seen a decrease in jobs by 101,000 since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in March. Because of exercising precautions, a large number of oil exploration and production companies halted operations, therefore, diminishing the need for service work. Simultaneously, crude and petroleum goods demand drastically plummeted.
Showing signs of improvement
Fighting back, crude ascended to approximately $40 a barrel during the summer of 2020. Many oil and gas companies resumed production activity on current wells. Additionally, they are also completing pre-pandemic drilled wells. Oil-field services employment resultantly rose .4% in November, which indicates a slower pace than taken in October.
Published last Thursday, the Texas Independent Producers & Royalty Association (TIPRO) released its “Texas Oil & Natural Gas Industry Hiring and Workforce Trends Report.” The document addresses Texas employment trends within the upstream, midstream and downstream divisions. Trending September and October information, skill sets, job postings, education, job qualifications and professional experience were reviewed.
“Despite an unprecedented array of challenges facing the Texas oil and natural gas industry this year, the sector continued to provide significant economic support to the state and will continue to do so for decades to come,” said Brent Hopkins, chairman of TIPRO and CEO of Suemaur Energy. “As the energy continues to recover, ensuring access to a qualified workforce will be essential to its future, as the industry will have to overcome two significant hurdles from an employment perspective.
“First, the combination of an ill-conceived price war followed by the market destruction of the COVID-19 pandemic has driven a large number of the baby boomer generation out of the industry, many of which will not return, thus expediting the ‘great crew change’ that was already underway. Secondly, the perception of a hydrocarbon-free future has driven enrollment at the university level in disciplines critical to our industry to new lows. Just to recover to the levels of production Texas achieved at the end of 2019 will require a lot of additional manpower, and more importantly, grey matter,” stated Hopkins.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Texas’ upstream employment saw a rise of approximately 1,500 jobs in September after a six-month consecutive decline. The wave continued with an additional 600 job positions reported in October. Paralleling this development, the global demand for oil and natural gas saw an increase along with the rig count in Texas.
“As the state’s leading association representing independent producers and royalty owners, TIPRO will continue to support legislative and industry-led efforts to examine labor needs within oil and gas to identify workforce gaps and the resulting effects on industry expansion post-COVID-19, economic growth, and increasing population,” said TIPRO President, Ed Longanecker. “Our work is also intended to identify other challenges facing employees and how we can effectively overcome those issues through collaboration, funding and training at the local and state levels to prepare, attract and retain talent.
“TIPRO focuses on workforce development efforts by promoting existing training programs, facilities and related resources, and working with the Texas legislature and state agencies to advance policy initiatives that will help support long-term workforce needs. With the right policies in place, Texas can prepare the workforce of the future to allow the continued success of the oil and gas industry and other key sectors in the state that heavily rely on it,” said Longanecker.
According to the Panola Watchman, TIPRO data indicated a total of 58,280 job postings for the oil and natural gas sectors of the state of Texas in September and October. Texas upstream saw 26,922 job postings of its own.
Statistical data trended indicated that 7,917 of the oil and natural gas industry job postings were deemed unique. Additionally, 3,429 of the upstream job postings were classified in the same fashion. These numbers pinpoint an increased posting rate representing an employer’s increased desire to staff positions found in the industry.
Nick Vaccaro is a freelance writer and photographer. Besides providing technical writing services, he is an HSE consultant in the oil and gas industry with eight years of experience. He also contributes to Louisiana Sportsman Magazine and follows and photographs American Kennel Club field and herding trials. Nick has a BA in Photojournalism from Loyola University and resides in the New Orleans area. 210-240-7188 [email protected]