Texas Oil and Gas Jobs See Biggest Leap in 10 Years, Historic Growth Due to ‘Strong Demand’

Texas Oil and Gas Jobs See Biggest Leap in 10 Years, Historic Growth Due to ‘Strong Demand’
Flared natural gas is burned off at Apache Corporations operations at the Deadwood natural gas plant in the Permian Basin, Garden City, Texas on Feb. 5, 2015. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
Naveen Athrappully

Jobs related to oil and gas in Texas have seen the biggest monthly increase in a decade, and the second-highest increase in at least 32 years, the Texas Oil and Gas Association (TXOGA) said citing data from the Texas Workforce Commission.

Upstream oil and gas jobs in the state grew by 5,100 in February 2022 compared to a month earlier. The previous highest growth was 5,600 jobs added in June 2011. On a yearly basis, the 181,900 upstream jobs in February 2022 are up by 12.8 percent from February 2021, an increase of 20,700 jobs, the association said in a March 25 press release.

Since September 2020, a low point in employment, the industry added 24,900 jobs. During this period, there were 15 months of job growth as against just two months of declines.

“A year ago, many people were questioning the future of oil and natural gas and, today, people are questioning if they have a future without it. Our nation has an opportunity to reshape American energy policy that recognizes oil and natural gas as an asset rather than a liability,” said Todd Staples, president of TXOGA.

“News of this historic job growth in Texas’ upstream sector is encouraging for all Americans, because Texas continues to lead the way in meeting our energy needs, fortifying our national security, and assuring continued environmental progress.”

There has also been “strong job posting data” for upstream, midstream, and downstream sectors for February, the Texas Independent Producers and Royalty Owners Association (TIPRO) said in a March 25 news release.

Such job posting growth is “in line” with increasing employment and shows “strong demand” for talent in the Texas oil and gas industry, the organization noted. There were 9,985 active unique job postings in February 2022, which is up by 20 percent when compared to January.

Ed Longanecker, president of TIPRO, pointed to an “urgent need” to boost domestic oil and gas production given rising demand, global supply chain strains, and geopolitical conflicts.

He called for an “immediate action” on all applications for U.S. LNG export facilities and gas pipelines, ending the moratorium on new leases on federal lands, and “putting a stop to the political rhetoric against our industry.” It’s time to develop “real strategies” to address the energy challenges facing the United States and its allies, Longanecker said in the report.

After President Joe Biden came to power, he issued an executive order on Jan. 27, 2021, that suspended oil and gas lease auctions so as to review the climatic impacts of fossil fuels on public lands. More than a year later, this moratorium still remains in place, frustrating domestic oil and gas producers.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki defended Biden’s policy in early March by stating that over 9,000 approved oil and gas fields remain “unused.” She also claimed that 60 percent of the 37 million acres of federal land leased to the industry isn’t generating any output. However, oil and gas producers point out that such leases are often secured several years before exploration and development activities take place.