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Texas oil and gas industry sees continued growth in June

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(The Center Square) – The Texas oil and natural gas industry saw continued growth in June.

Last month, the upstream oil and natural gas sector added 2,500 jobs, surpassing the 200,000-employee mark for the first time in over three years.

“The continued, positive job growth is a healthy reminder of the role of oil and natural gas in providing the energy that powers modern life,” Todd Staples, president of the Texas Oil & Gas Association, said. However, he warned that policies in Washington, D.C. could directly impact Texas, something Gov. Greg Abbott has also warned about and pushed back against several times this year already. Working with the legislature, he also signed bills into law to ensure energy freedom in Texas.

“We should exercise caution as the global demand picture and domestic monetary policy continues to introduce uncertainty, which has led to a continual decline in the rig count,” Staples said. “It is important that domestic policy encourages infrastructure build out and promotes local production so that Texas can continue to meet not only our needs, but help provide energy stability for countries across the globe.”

Since the COVID low point of September 2020, more than 51,000 upstream jobs were added in Texas. With a total of 208,000 upstream jobs last month, that’s an increase of 13.5%, or 24,800 more people employed in the sector than in June 2022.

Months with upstream oil and natural gas job increases outnumbered months with decreases by 29 to 4, TXOGA points out. The upstream sector includes oil and natural gas extraction and excludes other industry sectors like refining, petrochemicals, fuels wholesaling, oilfield equipment manufacturing, pipelines, gas utilities, and some types of mining, which support hundreds of thousands of additional jobs in Texas, TXOGA notes. These jobs pay among the highest wages in Texas with an average salary of roughly $115,000 in 2022.

The industry has contributed to Texas employers leading the U.S. in job growth for 12 consecutive months. Texas, leading among other southern states, has also added more to the national GDP than the entire Northeast, according to a recent report. And Texas continues to lead in natural gas production, setting an annual record high last year.

According to an analysis of the employment data by the Texas Independent Producers & Royalty Owners Association (TIPRO), there were 13,696 active unique jobs postings in the industry last month, including 4,692 new job postings. By comparison, TIPRO notes, there were far less jobs available in other oil and gas producing states. California had 4,655 unique job postings in the industry last month, followed by Louisiana’s 2,328, Oklahoma’s 1,982 and Pennsylvania’s 1,666. There were roughly 62,700 unique job postings in the oil and natural gas sector last month nationwide, TIPRO notes.

In Texas, Support Activities for Oil and Gas Operations continue to lead in job openings; the three top cities with the most available jobs in the industry continue to be Houston, Midland and Odessa.

And as Texas energy producers continue to hire more workers, they are also paying the lion’s share of taxes into state coffers. Last month, they paid $456 million in oil production taxes and $184 million in natural gas production taxes.

“Oil and gas employment in Texas is strong and our state remains the undisputed leader for oil and gas production by a significant margin, generating economic prosperity and fortifying our energy security,” TIPRO president Ed Longanecker said.

Despite projections of a decline in crude and natural gas production next month nationwide by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), natural gas production output in the Permian Basin in West Texas and southeastern New Mexico is expected to increase to 23.389 bcf/d, “with the highest growth in production of natural gas anywhere in the country,” TIPRO said.

If Texas were its own country, it would be the world’s third largest producer of natural gas and fourth largest producer of oil. In the first half of 2022, the U.S. became the world’s largest liquid natural gas exporter, led by Texas, according to EIA data.

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