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Texas Upstream Employment, Permian Production and Energy Infrastructure Expand

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 December 2023. According to TIPRO’s analysis, direct Texas upstream employment for December totaled 211,700, an increase of 3,100 jobs from revised November employment numbers. Texas upstream employment in December 2023 represented the addition of 15,300 positions compared to December 2022, including an increase of 2,000 jobs in oil and natural gas extraction and 13,300 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 December. According to the association, there were 10,928 active unique jobs postings for the Texas oil and natural gas industry in December, including 3,622 new job postings added during the month by companies. In comparison, the state of California had 2,970 unique job postings last month, followed by Louisiana (1,680), Oklahoma (1,406), and Pennsylvania (1,349). TIPRO reported a total of 49,895 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 December with 2,962 postings, followed by Support Activities for Oil and Gas Operations (2,532), and Crude Petroleum Extraction (1,010). The leading three cities by total unique oil and natural gas job postings were Houston (2,881), Midland (815) and Odessa (488), said TIPRO.


The top three companies ranked by unique job postings in December were Cefco (1,148), Love’s (780), and Zachry Brands (581), 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 December included first-line supervisors of retail sales workers (771), maintenance and repair workers (542) and heavy tractor-trailer truck drivers (333). The top posted job titles for December included store managers (260), customer service representatives (197), and maintenance people (142).


Top qualifications for unique job postings included valid driver’s license (1,333), commercial driver’s license (CDL) (189), and National Center for Construction Education & Research Certification (156). TIPRO reports that 41 percent of unique job postings had no education requirement listed, 33 percent required a bachelor’s degree, and 28 percent required a high school diploma or GED. There were 1,391 advertised salary observations (13 percent of the 10,928 matching postings) with a median salary of $58,200. The highest percentage of advertised salaries (26 percent) were in the $90,000 to $500,000 range. TIPRO also notes that the average annual wage of $122,000 in 2023 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 December 2023 can be viewed here.
  • The top three posting sources in December included (4,770), (2,567) and (1,271).
  • 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 December. Texas energy producers last month paid $501 million in oil production taxes and contributed $171 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 February 2024 compared to January, with producers pumping a new record 5.974 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 also projected to increase in February compared to January for a total 24.393 billion cubic feet per day (bcf/d).


Oil and gas output from the other six leading basins around the country, with the exception of the Hayneville that remains flat, meanwhile, is expected to slow in February, noted the EIA, with total U.S. oil production forecasted to dip slightly to 9.680 million bpd from an estimated 9.682 million bpd in January. Total natural gas production in the nation’s biggest shale basins is also projected to decline by 0.187 bcf/d to 98.889 bcf/d, EIA projections show. EIA’s Drilling Productivity Report does not incorporate any weather events into its estimates.


Thanks to the leadership of Texas producers, EIA projects that U.S. crude oil production will reach 13.2 million barrels bdp in 2024 and more than 13.4 million bpd in 2025, both new records, while global petroleum consumption will increase by 1.4 million bpd in 2024 and 1.2 million bpd in 2025. Natural gas supply, including production and imports, will increase by more than 1.5 bcf/d in 2024, while demand, including domestic consumption and exports, increases by almost 2 bcf/d, driven by growth in exports.


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. 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.


In 2022 and 2023, the Texas Railroad Commission issued 178 new intrastate pipeline permits to pipeline operators, signaling the importance of adding additional energy infrastructure. This year, numerous pipelines with an estimated 51 mtpa in total capacity are expected to be approved within the Gulf Coast region – helping deliver cost-effective, reliable energy resources at home and abroad. In its 2023-2024 Winter Reliability Assessment, the North American Reliability Corporation (NERC) also 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.


Liquified natural gas (LNG) is a vital fuel source for the U.S. and its allies. The continued buildout and expansion of terminals in the U.S. reflects how important this energy source is for our economy and national security. Citing climate goals, environmentalists are eager to halt any new LNG project, while failing to acknowledge the emission reductions that natural gas has delivered as new production records are met. In response, the Biden Administration is considering expanding climate change assessments for LNG exports, which would negatively impact the Texas economy and energy security for U.S. allies abroad.


“Texas continues to lead in the production of oil and natural gas by a wide margin to meet growing global demand for our product,” said Ed Longanecker, President of TIPRO. “Additional energy infrastructure is needed in Texas and across the U.S., as are policies and regulations that support domestic production and the build out of this critical transportation system. 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,” added Longanecker.

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