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Demand for Talent Remains Strong in Texas Upstream Sector

Austin, Texas – Citing the latest Current Employment Statistics (CES) report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the Texas Independent Producers and Royalty Owners Association (TIPRO) today highlighted new employment figures showing a decline in upstream employment for the month of November. According to TIPRO’s analysis, direct Texas upstream employment for November 2023 totaled 210,700, a decrease of 800 jobs from revised October employment numbers. TIPRO notes that monthly fluctuations are normal and that annual employment trends overall remained strong in the industry throughout 2023. Texas upstream employment in November 2023 represented the addition of 14,700 positions compared to November 2022, including an increase of 2,200 jobs in oil and natural gas extraction and 12,500 jobs in the services sector.


TIPRO’s new employment data yet again indicated strong job postings for the Texas oil and natural gas industry during the month of November. According to the association, there were 11,907 active unique jobs postings for the Texas oil and natural gas industry in November, including 3,740 new job postings added during the month by companies. In comparison, the state of California had 3,255 unique job postings last month, followed by Oklahoma (1,376), Louisiana (1,819) and Pennsylvania (1,334). TIPRO reported a total of 51,187 unique job postings nationwide last month within the oil and natural gas sector.


Among the 17 specific industry sectors TIPRO uses to define the Texas oil and natural gas industry, Support Activities for Oil and Gas Operations led in the ranking for unique job listings in November with 2,840 postings, followed by Gasoline Stations with Convenience Stores (2,778) and Crude Petroleum Extraction (1,165). The leading three cities by total unique oil and natural gas job postings were Houston (3,364), Midland (862) and Odessa (485), said TIPRO.


The top three companies ranked by unique job postings in November were Cefco (1,212), Zachry Brands (624) and Love’s (561), according to TIPRO. Of the top ten companies listed by unique job postings last month, six companies were in the services sector, followed by two in the gasoline stations with convenience stores category, one midstream company, and one in oil and natural gas extraction. Top posted industry occupations for November included first-line supervisors of retail sales workers (795), maintenance and repair workers (486) and heavy tractor-trailer truck drivers (366). The top posted job titles for November included assistant store managers (302), customer service representatives (275), and store managers (237)


Top qualifications for unique job postings included valid driver’s license (1,740), commercial driver’s license (CDL) (241), and Master of Business Administration (MBA) (155). TIPRO reports that 39 percent of unique job postings had no education requirement listed, 36 percent required a bachelor’s degree, and 27 percent required a high school diploma or GED. There are 1,464 advertised salary observations (12 percent of the 11,907 matching postings) with a median salary of $62,100. The highest percentage of advertised salaries (30 percent) were in the $90,000 to $500,000 range. TIPRO also notes that the current average annual wage of $122,000 for all Texas oil and natural gas industry sectors has increased by 17 percent since 2013.


Additional TIPRO workforce trends data:

  • A sample of 500 industry job postings in Texas for November 2023 can be viewed here.
  • The top three posting sources in November included (5,019), (2,327) and (1,553).
  • Average annual wages for the Texas oil and natural gas industry can be viewed here.
  • Leading industry positions in Texas with median hourly earnings, education, work experience and typical on-the-job training is available here.


TIPRO also highlights recent data released from the Texas comptroller’s office showing tax contributions provided by the Texas oil and natural gas industry in November. Texas energy producers last month paid $575 million in oil production taxes and contributed $211 million in natural gas production taxes. Oil and natural gas severance taxes remain an important source of revenue for state and local governments and continue to be used help to support and pay for road and infrastructure investments, water conservation projects, schools and education, first responders and other essential public services across the Lone Star State.


Oil output from the Permian Basin – the nation’s top shale-producing region – is forecasted to expand slightly in January 2024, with producers pumping a record 5.99 million barrels per day (bpd), according to new production estimates published by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). Natural gas production in the Permian is expected to total 24.36 billion cubic feet per day (bcf/d). Oil and gas output in other leading basins around the country, with the exception of the Bakken, meanwhile, is expected to slow in January, noted the EIA, with U.S. oil production forecasted to dip slightly to 9.692 million bpd in January from an estimated 9.693 million bpd in December. Total natural gas production in the nation’s biggest shale basins also is projected to decline this month by 0.2 bcf/d to 99 bcf/d, EIA projections show. TIPRO notes that Texas continues to lead in meeting growing global demand for energy, with the International Energy Agency (IEA) noting that global gas demand is on course to grow by an average 1.6% per year between 2022 and 2026.


Increased pipeline takeaway capacity is also enabling producers to transport excess product, while reducing emissions in the Permian Basin. According to a recent Texan’s for Natural Gas report, the Permian reached its lowest methane intensity yet, and did so during a record production year. The industry has been successful in reducing methane emission intensity by nearly 85 percent between 2011 and 2022.


TIPRO notes that U.S. energy infrastructure plays a critical role in meeting growing energy demand, providing the safest, most reliable means to transport oil and natural gas, while also lowering emissions by helping take trucks off the road. As producers work to provide reliable energy for our country and trade partners, new pipeline projects are coming online to ensure production from basins like the Permian Basin and Eagle Ford can make it to export terminals, municipalities, and storage. In 2022 and 2023, the Texas Railroad Commission issued 150 new intrastate pipeline permits to pipeline operators, signaling how important this infrastructure is.


Additional energy infrastructure is needed in Texas and across the United States, as are policies and regulations that support the build out of this critical transportation system,” said Ed Longanecker, President of TIPRO. “In its 2023-2024 Winter Reliability Assessment, the North American Reliability Corporation (NERC) flagged the need for additional pipeline capacity across several areas in the U.S. in order to avoid a lack of fuel supplies for natural gas-fired generation, specifically in the Midwest, Mid-Atlantic and Northeast regions,” concluded Longanecker. 

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