Texas oil and gas

An American and Texas flag fly off the tip of cranes by an oil rig near the Double Eagle Energy Oil Rig in Midland, Texas.

(The Center Square) – The Texas oil and natural gas industry continues to add jobs, helping to fuel Texas’ record-breaking job growth. In December, Texas broke it’s previous all-time record for job growth, as it has for 14 consecutive months.

Similarly, since the COVID-19-related shutdowns in 2020 and a low point in September 2020, job gains in the upstream oil and gas industry have outnumbered months of losses by 24 to 3.

In December, the upstream industry added 1,300 jobs, bringing total new jobs added in 2022 to 36,100. This includes an additional 7,000 jobs in oil and natural gas extraction and 29,100 jobs in the services sector. The average monthly gain in Texas upstream employment last year was 3,127; total upstream employment in 2022 was 211,200.

Upstream includes oil and natural gas extraction and excludes other sectors like refining, petrochemicals, fuels wholesaling, oilfield equipment manufacturing, pipelines, and gas utilities. It includes a small certain type of mining.

"It is encouraging to see upstream employment end the year on a positive note, particularly as jobs seem to be contracting in the high-tech industry," Todd Staples, president of the Texas Oil & Gas Association, said. "As the new year progresses, we are hopeful that demand for oil and natural gas remains strong and that policies for growth are supportive so that job creation and capital deployment remains positive."

The Texas Independent Producers and Royalty Owners Association (TIPRO) said the continued growth showed strong demand for available talent throughout the industry. According to the association, the industry posted 14,482 active unique available jobs, including 6,953 new jobs, in December.

The Support Activities for Oil and Gas Operations Sector had the most unique jobs available of 4,526, followed by Crude Petroleum Extraction’s 1,982 and Petroleum Refineries’ 1,418. The greatest number of available jobs are in Houston, Midland and Odessa.

Of the 10 companies with the most unique job postings last month, six were in the services sector, two were in oil and natural gas extraction and two were in midstream operations.

Based on TIPRO’s analysis of 2022 employment data, the average annual wage in the Texas oil and natural gas industry was $139,000, with average wages in the upstream sector exceeding $145,000 last year.

TIPRO’s evaluation of the industry’s Gross Regional Product, the Gross Domestic Product for a region, was $315 billion in 2022, or 14% of Texas’ economy, with the upstream industry’s direct GRP exceeding $157 billion last year.

Indirect employment tied to the industry also increased last year, it notes. “When calculating direct, indirect, and induced employment for the upstream sector,” it explains, every one Crude Petroleum Extraction job created eight jobs in other industries, seven in Natural Gas Extraction, two in Drilling Oil and Gas Wells and two in Support Activities for Oil and Gas Operations.

The oil and natural gas industry also generated $887 million in tax revenue in December, according to the state comptroller’s office. Texas oil producers paid $516 million in production taxes, up 15% from December 2021; natural gas producers paid $371 million.

“The oil and natural gas industry continues to have a tremendous impact on our state economy, providing high paying jobs and billions of dollars annually in taxes to support infrastructure investments, education and other essential services,” TIPRO president Ed Longanecker said. “We look forward to working with policymakers during the 88th Texas Legislative Session to fund programs that will help drive further growth in our sector for the benefit of our state, including road repair and maintenance in energy producing areas, seismicity research and produced water pilot projects.”

The healthy jobs report comes as production and demand are expected to increase this year. The U.S. Energy Information Administration projects that crude production in west Texas in the Permian Basin will hit 30,000 barrels per day (bpd) and a record 5.635 million bpd in February. It also projects natural gas production in the Permian will increase by 109 million cubic feet per day (Mmcf/D) and hit record highs in January of 21.72 billion cubic feet per day (bcf/d).