Oil & Gas News

Texas Oil Sector Achieves Historic Job Growth in March

Oil, Texas, Jobs

In March, the upstream sector of the Texas oil and natural gas industry achieved unprecedented growth, setting a new record for job creation. This sector, which is primarily focused on oil and natural gas extraction and supportive mining activities, added an impressive 4,500 jobs—the highest monthly increase since June 2011. This sector does not include the myriad other jobs related to the industry such as refining, petrochemicals, fuels wholesaling, equipment manufacturing, pipelines, and gas utilities.

According to recent data from the Texas Workforce Commission, over 195,500 individuals were employed in the upstream sector as of March. Todd Staples, president of the Texas Oil & Gas Association, emphasized that this significant job growth reflects the industry’s strong commitment to maintaining America’s energy leadership, particularly in Texas. He highlighted the multiple benefits of these job gains, including economic expansion in local communities, enhanced energy security for the nation, and increased stability for global trading partners.

Mineral RightsSince the downturn experienced in September 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the employment trend in the upstream oil and natural gas sector has shown remarkable resilience. Over the subsequent period, there have been 33 months of employment increases compared to just nine months of declines. In total, the sector has added 39,500 jobs, averaging about 940 jobs per month. These positions are among the most well-paid in Texas, with an average salary exceeding $124,000 in 2023.

Ed Longanecker, president of the Texas Independent Producers and Royalty Owners Association (TIPRO), commented on the state’s critical role amid growing global demand for oil and natural gas and escalating geopolitical conflicts. He noted that Texas continues to be pivotal in supporting the economy, assisting allies, and safeguarding national security through its substantial energy contributions.

According to TIPRO’s analysis, the Texas oil and natural gas industry had 11,524 active unique job postings last month, the highest number in the nation. This is significantly more than the next highest states, with California recording 4,394 job postings, followed by New York, Florida, Louisiana, and Pennsylvania.

Job availability and workforce numbers in the industry are on the rise, correlating with increasing production levels. Data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) predicts that oil production in the Permian Basin, spanning west Texas and southeast New Mexico, will grow next month by 12,000 barrels per day (bpd) to reach 6.17 million bpd. Additionally, in the Eagle Ford Shale region of Texas, oil output is expected to increase by approximately 5,000 bpd to over 1.16 million bpd.

While national natural gas production is anticipated to decrease slightly in May, the EIA expects an increase in Texas, where production is forecasted to rise to 25.24 billion cubic feet per day (bcfd) from 25.1 bcfd in April.

This growth follows a year of multiple record-breaking achievements for the Texas oil and natural gas industry, as reported by The Center Square. Last year, the industry reached all-time highs in production, exports, refining outcomes, crude oil supply, and made a significant tax revenue contribution to the state, amounting to over $26.3 billion.

March saw continued trends with Texas energy producers paying $473 million in oil production taxes, an increase from the previous month and 11% more than in March 2023. They also paid $212 million in natural gas production taxes, which was more than the collections in February.

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However, Longanecker expressed concerns over the sustainability of production levels, particularly in light of federal policies that he perceives as antagonistic towards the industry. Since January 2021, the Biden administration has implemented over 200 policies that impact the industry. Longanecker criticized these policies as being politically motivated, which not only jeopardize the livelihoods of millions of Americans but also compromise the primary energy source driving modern society. He argued that such policies could lead to increased consumer costs, fuel inflation, and weaken America’s energy dominance, potentially favoring states with poor environmental and humanitarian standards. Despite these challenges, Texas operators remain dedicated to responsible energy production and advocating for sound energy policies at all levels of government.

As the Texas oil and natural gas industry continues to break records, so too does the state in terms of job growth. March marked yet another record-breaking month for Texas, achieving the highest total job count, the greatest number of employed Texans, and the largest labor force in the state’s history. With more than 15.1 million individuals currently employed, the workforce in Texas exceeds the populations of every U.S. state except for four, underscoring the substantial impact of this thriving sector on the state’s economy.

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