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Oil and gas ventures in the United States supported 10.3 million jobs and added $1.3 trillion to the national economy in 2015, the year after the oil price crash, according to a new report by PricewaterhouseCoopers and the American Petroleum Institute (API).
Oklahoma, Wyoming, North Dakota, and Texas held the highest proportion of jobs directly related to the oil and gas supply chain. The industry’s operations supported 8.1 million jobs nationwide while its capital investment added 2.3 million jobs in 2015, the report read.
The report also lists the economic impact of the fossil fuel sectors by state, as compiled by local chapters of the API.
Hundreds of thousands of oil industry professionals lost their jobs after the oil price crash in 2014, but this year’s reports from the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicate a sector with renewed labor vigor. Last year, the sector was shedding 18,000 jobs per month after a second major dip in oil prices in January.
An upswing in active rigs across the nation has triggered mass rehirings in recent months. The turn-around comes as prices slowly edge above $50 a barrel. There are hopes that federal changes to environmental regulations, the opening up of federal land for fossil fuel extraction and improving price forecasts will all support a new boom in domestic oil and gas production.
While many firms went bankrupt as prices fell, other companies stayed online through improved efficiency, cost-cutting and automation. Upstream actors and oil service companies cut jobs through automation, allowing them to stay in business. Now, with prices ticking back up and demand improving, it’s possible that many of the old energy jobs are gone for good.
The API is well-known for its weekly predictions of U.S. crude inventories every Tuesday, the day before the Energy Information Administration (EIA) releases an official account of the nation’s fuel levels.
By Zainab Calcuttawala for Oilprice.com
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Zainab Calcuttawala is an American journalist based in Morocco. She completed her undergraduate coursework at the University of Texas at Austin (Hook’em) and reports on…