Signs of a rebound? Job growth may top 100,000

Industry analysts see job growth on the horizon for the oil and gas industry, which has started to stabilize after oil prices fell more than 75% in 2014, but recruiting workers may be an issue for some companies.

By Bob Vavra, CFE Media July 19, 2016

The oil and gas industry has taken baby steps forward since the 2014 oil price collapse, but industry analysts see growth on the horizon, including the potential to reclaim some of the jobs lost when drilling and pumping halted. The issue now is, who will be willing to work in those jobs?

CNN Money reported July 14 that Goldman Sachs is suggesting that up to 100,000 U.S. oil jobs could come back on-line if growth projections for the industry hold to current form. While that’s just more than half of the 170,000 jobs lost when prices tanked from $100 bbl to $26 bbl two years ago, the recent stabilization of prices at around $45 bbl and increased global demand could get the industry restarted. Whether workers are willing to come back is another issue. CNN quoted Jeff Bush, president of oil and gas recruiting firm CSI Recruiting, as saying, "When we get back to a reasonable level of activity, there’s going to be a supply crisis of experienced personnel. I just don’t see any way around that."

Bush noted the job loss hit workers hard. "It’s been brutal. You’ve seen a lot of good people get handed their walking papers, with really no option as far as other employment opportunities," Bush said.

Still, any optimism around jobs in the oil and gas industry is welcome, as it also signals growth in pumping, drilling and refining, which would signal growth for the suppliers who were hit equally hard when the downturn emerged.

Bob Vavra is Content Manager for Oil & Gas Engineering, bvavra@cfemedia.com.

Original content can be found at Control Engineering.