Over the course of 2018, the United States oil and gas industry has recovered handily from a rough few years of low demand and harsh regulations. Even as the US active rig count reaches highs not seen in a year or more, oil and gas jobs haven’t grown quite as quickly as some might have hoped. With a little patience, however, the energy industry aims to get more people on the job than ever before.
The Louisiana Downturn
“If you would have told me when oil was at $30 we get it back up to $70, I would have told you we would have a booming energy industry here in Louisiana and unfortunately we haven’t seen that,” says president of the Louisiana Oil and Gas Association Gifford Briggs.
The reason for the slow job growth is due mainly to the constant lawsuits flung at companies attempting to develop along the Louisiana coast. As the climate becomes more oil and gas friendly, however, those jobs are due to return in higher number. That said, in spite of the downturn, Louisiana’s oil and gas community has persevered and continues to directly employ nearly 50,000 people.
Moving Past the Iran Deal
The president’s decision to exit the Iran deal and impose sanctions on the country should bring with it a boom in domestic productivity as well as all the oil and gas jobs that come with it. On hearing the news that Trump chose to end the Iran Nuclear Deal, Texas A&M Professor of Economics Dr. Jim Lee was quick to celebrate.
“We are talking about more drilling, more jobs related to the oil and gas industry,” said Lee, adding. “Oil and gas activities are responsible for 40 percent of all the jobs in the area. One way or another, we are tied to the fortunes in the oil and gas industry.”
It would appear as though those fortunes look promising moving forward.
The Ever-Evolving Oil and Gas Industry
“As the industry emerges from the downturn, it is crucial that we take a longer-term look at the future,” says CEO of UK-based firm Opito John McDonald. Though he’s referring specifically to the United Kingdom, the expert’s sentiment offers clear insight into the mindset of the international oil and gas industry.
As the oil and gas industry gains traction, the people steering its growth are working double time to ensure that they’re not adding temporary positions. Slow growth is sustainable growth, which means that when the oil and gas jobs return, they’ll be here to stay.