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The Texas oil and gas industry has added 12,000 new jobs in the past six months, according to a new report from the Texas Petro Index.
The spike in job creation came from the rise in active oil and gas rids in the Permian – the basin of choice in the current market downturn.
Marginally increasing barrel prices, supported by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries’ (OPEC) deal to cut production by 1.2 million units through March 2018, have jumpstarted American shale oil output. The development carries on to the chagrin of the bloc’s leaders, who see the effectiveness of their cuts fail as American oil adds to the supply glut.
"Producers in Texas and across the U.S. will gladly take the market share given up by nations that attempt to manage oil markets and prices by centralized decisions to manipulate production,” Karr Ingham, an economist with the Texas Petro Index, said in a release.
Current estimates put U.S. exports at 1.3 million barrels per day.
"Texas producers are responding to higher wellhead prices that have resulted from coordinated efforts by OPEC, Russia and others to curtain oil production," he added. "But in large part, production growth in Texas and the U.S. is keeping a lid on crude oil prices, which continues to frustrate parties to that agreement."
The total number of upstream energy jobs in Houston rose to 204,500 in April – or three percent higher than the same month last year. But the workforce remains one-third smaller than it was in December 2014, just a couple of months after the first price crash.
During the last serious oil price downturn in the 1980s, Texas suffered significantly. Since then, oil and gas extraction and refining has become half as important to the state as it was in the ‘80s, because other aspects of the economy—especially the medical sector—have grown so strongly.
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…