Texas Upstream Natural Gas, Oil Industry Direct Jobs Top 200K

The number of jobs directly upstream in Lone Star state surpassed 200,000 in August for the first time since the 2020 pandemic-induced employment free fall, the Texas Independent Producers and Royalty Owners Association (TIPRO) reported last week.

Based on the Trade Group’s analysis of US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data, Texas Upstream added 2,600 jobs from July through August for a direct employment count of 201,700.

“The continued growth of the Texas oil and natural gas industry and its critical role in strengthening energy security for our country and allies abroad is truly extraordinary,” said Ed Longanecker, CEO of TIPRO.

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According to TIPRO, the figure of 201,700 in August corresponds to an increase of 33,400 y/y in direct upstream employment. The trade group found that 25,000 of the additional jobs would be in Oilfield Services (OFS) and the remaining 8,200 in oil and gas exploration.

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The Railroad Commission of Texas reported earlier this month that state-issued drilling permits rose 26% annually in August, with even higher annual growth rates for the gas-rich Haynesville Shale and the oil-rich Permian Basin.

The most recent Baker Hughes Co. (BKR) rig count showed a 51% annual increase in Haynesville rigs and a 32% increase in the Permian.

Since bottoming out in September 2020, the state’s direct upstream workforce has grown by 44,700 jobs, the Texas Oil and Gas Association (TXOGA) found. Prior to August, the number of upstream direct jobs was last north of the 200,000 threshold in March 2020, according to TXOGA.

“Upstream employment is steadily increasing, along with global demand for affordable, reliable energy,” said TXOGA President Todd Staples.

Almost 4,000 new job offers

Across the state’s oil and gas value chain, TIPRO had a total of 11,909 active unique job postings in August. Analysts said 3,906 of those listings were added this month.

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TIPRO, which describes the Texas oil and gas industry into 14 unique sectors, said support activities for oil and gas operations featured the most unique vacancies in August, with 3,115 job postings. Crude oil production (1,486 entries) and petroleum refineries ranked second and third, respectively.

TIPRO said the top three categories indicate “a continued emphasis on increasing exploration and production activity in the state.”

Houston, the state’s leading oil and gas hub, saw the highest number of August job openings with 4,344 openings. The next two places went to the neighboring Permian cities of Midland (1,225) and Odessa (549).

OFS Major Baker Hughes topped the list of companies with unique job postings in August, with 714 listings nationwide, TIPRO reported. KBR Inc. took second place with 481, followed by midstream giant Energy Transfer LP with 412.

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“Of the top 10 companies ranked by unique job postings over the past month, five were service sector companies, followed by three oil and gas exploration companies and two midstream companies,” the researchers said.

TIPRO also found that heavy-duty truck drivers made up the most popular vacancies among the oil and gas industry occupations, with 648 unique job postings. Managers (344 positions) and maintenance and repair workers (268) complete the top 3 occupations.

According to the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC), the Lone Star State added a total of 16,400 nonfarm payrolls in August, bringing total nonfarm payrolls to 13,530,100.

“Private industry jobs are up more than 6% from this time last year and Texas employers continue to expand their workforce,” said TWC Chairman Bryan Daniel.

As of last month, Texas added 726,900 jobs year over year and had a seasonally adjusted unemployment rate of 4.1%, TWC officials said.

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