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Texas adds 2,300 oil exploration and production jobs in October

Texas oil exploration and production companies added 2,300 jobs in October, the sixth consecutive month of gains.

The state has 183,400 drilling and extraction workers, about 17% less than the 220,300 before the pandemic began in January 2020. Texas has reclaimed 25,900 – 43% – of the 60,000 upstream jobs lost during the pandemic, according to data from the Texas Workforce Commission. and analyzed by the Texas Independent Producers and Royalty Owners Association, an industry trading group.

“After a tumultuous year for energy markets in 2020 and the lingering effects of a global pandemic, the law of supply and demand has driven up commodity prices this year, with a growing consensus around of a new multi-year super cycle for oil and natural gas. “said TIPRO President Ed Longanecker.

Oil companies laid off tens of thousands of workers statewide last year after oil demand and prices fell due to economic lockdowns and travel restrictions. Demand and oil prices are picking up as vaccines have helped businesses reopen and boost travel.

West Texas Intermediate, the benchmark for U.S. crude, settled in New York on Friday at $ 76.10 a barrel, down $ 2.91 from Thursday but up from $ 48 in January.

Texas oil and gas companies posted 9,503 new job openings in October, an increase of more than 1,200 from September, according to TIPRO. Houston had the most job offers: 3,101; followed by Odessa with 707 and Midland with 697.

Some of the companies with the most job openings include Halliburton with 727, National Oilwell Varco with 604 and Baker Hughes with 593, according to the trade association. Job openings include tractor-trailer operators, maintenance and repair workers, and industrial engineers.

Oil executives and business groups expect their industry to experience a multi-year boom as demand for oil recovers from the pandemic and outstrips supplies after years of underinvestment in new wells.

The number of drilling rigs operating in U.S. oil fields this week jumped from seven to 563, according to Baker Hughes, an oil services giant. Although drillers have added 253 rigs over the past year, the number of operating rigs remains well below the peak of nearly 1,100 at the end of 2018.

So far, oil producers have kept capital spending on new projects at historically low levels, with executives promising investors to focus on paying down debt and increasing shareholder returns to attract capital to the energy sector.

However, oil companies may be eager to get off the sidelines. The first federal oil and gas lease sale under the Biden administration saw the most activity since 2014. More than 30 oil and gas companies paid $ 191.6 million in the federal auction held Wednesday to lease over 300 drill blocks covering 1.7 million acres in the Gulf of Mexico.

The administration had tried to postpone federal lease auctions to conduct a climate review and as environmental groups lobbied to ban drilling on federal lands and waters altogether to avoid the worst consequences of climate change. However, a federal judge in June ordered the Home Office to continue selling leases after a lawsuit filed by state attorneys general in Texas, Louisiana and 11 other states.

Longanecker said the administration should pursue policies that encourage greater domestic production of oil and gas, despite growing public and investor concerns about the risks of climate change.

“Growing global demand for our product and rising commodity prices will continue to drive industry activity and increased employment in Texas,” said Longanecker. “The greatest risk to this positive dynamic and the energy security of our country are the anti-oil and natural gas policies pursued in Washington, DC”

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