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Texas Upstream Employment Increases With Record Permian Basin Production

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 an increase in upstream employment for the month of October. According to TIPRO’s analysis, direct Texas upstream employment for October 2023 totaled 212,900, an increase of 2,200 jobs from September employment numbers. Texas upstream employment in October 2023 represented the addition of 19,200 positions compared to October 2022, including an increase of 2,500 jobs in oil and natural gas extraction and 16,700 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 October. According to the association, there were 10,843 active unique jobs postings for the Texas oil and natural gas industry in October, including 3,965 new job postings added during the month by companies. In comparison, the state of California had 3,066 unique job postings last month, followed by Oklahoma (1,512), Louisiana (1,409) and Pennsylvania (1,041). TIPRO reported a total of 47,517 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, Gasoline Stations with Convenience Stores led in the ranking for unique job listings in October with 2,824 postings, followed by Support Activities for Oil and Gas Operations (2,008) and Crude Petroleum Extraction (1,178). The leading three cities by total unique oil and natural gas job postings were Houston (3,208), Midland (818) and Odessa (446), said TIPRO.


The top three companies ranked by unique job postings in October were Cefco (1,151), Love’s (954) and Baker Hughes (332), according to TIPRO. Of the top ten companies listed by unique job postings last month, five companies were in the services sector, followed by two in the gasoline stations category with convenience stores, two midstream companies, and one in oil and natural gas extraction. Top posted industry occupations for October included first-line supervisors of retail sales workers (686), maintenance and repair workers (512) and heavy tractor-trailer truck drivers (252). The top posted job titles for October included store managers (230), assistant store managers (203) and customer service representatives (188).


Top qualifications for unique job postings included valid driver’s license (1,758), commercial driver’s license (CDL) (204), and Master of Business Administration (MBA) (147). TIPRO reports that 40 percent of unique job postings had no education requirement listed, 36 percent required a bachelor’s degree, and 25 percent required a high school diploma or GED. There are 1,156 advertised salary observations (11 percent of the 10,843 matching postings) with a median salary of $55,200. The highest percentage of advertised salaries (26 percent) were in the $85,000 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 October 2023 can be viewed here.
  • – The top three posting sources in October included (4,400), (1,939) and (1,751).
  • – 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 October. Texas energy producers last month paid $586 million in oil production taxes, up from the prior month and 8 percent higher than October 2022. Producers also in the month of October contributed $192 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 leading up to the end of the year, with producers pumping a record 5.98 million barrels per day (bpd) in the Permian in December, according to new production estimates published by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). In recent months, the EIA had projected declines in oil output in the Permian, but now experts at the agency have revised their forecasting, indicating production volumes in the region will in fact rise. Natural gas production in the Permian is also expected to grow in December, totaling 24.86 billion cubic feet per day (bcf/d), higher than the anticipated 24.75 bcf/d produced in the basin during November. Oil and gas drilling in other leading basins around the country, meanwhile, is expected to slow before the end of 2023, noted the EIA, with U.S. oil production forecasted to dip to 9.653 million bpd in December from an estimated 9.654 million bpd in November. Total natural gas production in the nation’s biggest shale basins also is projected to decline next month by 0.3 bcf/d to 99.6 bcf/d, EIA projections show.


“We are pleased to see continued growth in employment, production and direct economic contributions from the Texas oil and natural gas industry,” said Ed Longanecker, president of TIPRO. “Market volatility will continue due to competing factors, including inflationary pressures and geopolitical tensions, but we expect global supply to remain tight and demand growth to continue, supported in large part by the state of Texas,” added Longanecker.


TIPRO also commented that investors are currently more focused on a slower demand outlook than the impact geopolitical conflicts will have on supply. EIA’s recent Short Term Energy Outlook for November notes that despite expected increases in oil production in 2023 and 2024 and geopolitical issues in the Middle East and Iran, ongoing cuts from OPEC+ will keep global production growth lower than consumption, contributing to upward oil price pressure in early 2024.


Overall, despite geopolitical issues in the Middle East, Iran and Russia, EIA expects global oil production to remain largely the same. If there is an escalation in conflict in the Middle East because of the recent attacks on Israel, production may drop. However, TIPRO expects crude oil supply in the region to remain unchanged in the short-term.


TIPRO added that Russian and Iranian supply will largely remain flat in 2024, with Russia expected to maintain its mid-2023 production despite facing new U.S. sanctions over price cap violations. Iran may see a small increase in crude production as it continues to export to China. However, with insufficient upstream investment, sanctions on their crude oil and limited oil consumption growth in China, production in Iran will also remain limited.


TIPRO expects the price of WTI to remain in its forecasted range of $75-$80 for the remainder of 2023 with no meaningful reduction in oil exports. However, the association emphasized continued uncertainty in the market due to stubborn inflation, poorly conceived U.S. energy policy and federal fiscal policy having its desired economic dampening effect on consumer spending, which will continue to play out in early 2024.


TIPRO also noted that LNG demand in Asia and Europe is rising, but supply, especially from the U.S., is being viewed as more than adequate by investors, coupled with European gas storage reaching capacity, thus avoiding a typical bump in price this time of year. U.S. natural gas futures saw an increase due to higher, weather-related demand, which could be short-lived with above-normal temperatures expected across most of the U.S. Regardless, TIPRO remains bullish on natural gas demand in the U.S. and rising LNG exports in the long-term, with EIA noting natural gas future prices remain high enough to encourage robust LNG exports to both Europe and East Asia.


“We would like to express our sincere gratitude to the hundreds of thousands of hardworking men and women in the Texas oil and natural gas industry for providing the critical energy needed to meet growing demand here and abroad and the outsized contributions from an economic and national security perspective,” concluded Longanecker.

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