The Lone Star State has lost nearly 60,000 oil exploration and production jobs in 2020. This is an overwhelming number that underscores the heavy industry pains caused by the COVID-19 global pandemic and oil crash.
Consumer Opinion on Increased Gas Prices
My father, Gilbert Kaplan, was not a fan of gas prices going up and complained all the time about the greed of the industry.
Lone Star State Employment Drops
Employment in Texas’ oil drilling and extraction sector fell by more than a quarter as the Corona Virus pandemic demolished the demand for crude and petroleum products. They forced oil and gas companies to cut production. Thereby, lay off thousands of workers.
Now, there are about 150,000 upstream oil and gas workers in Texas. They are the fewest workers in more than 15 years. Versus the sector employed more than 228,000 workers in December 2018. That was just over two years ago. This is according to the Texas Alliance of Energy Producers, a trade group.
“Moreover, wages were pushed down sharply for those who stayed on the oil and gas company payrolls. The job losses were devastating, said Karr Ingham, the alliance’s petroleum economist. Combining these effects of lost jobs and lower industry wages, in fact, only served to worsen the effects of COVID-19 on the statewide economy in Texas. This as well as on local and regional economies with strong ties to oil and gas production.”
After crude prices climbed back above $40 barrel last Summer, the Texas oil and gas industry appears to be recovering. Then they surged above $50 a barrel in January. This was after the rollout of the Corona Virus vaccines.
However, since May, oil and companies in Texas have added back 407,000 barrels per day of crude production. Thus, ending in 2020 at around 4.5 million barrels per day of production. Therefore, Texas does represent about 44 percent of the U.S. crude production.
Adding jobs in the industry is encouraging. This points to at least somewhat better times ahead in 2021, Ingham said.