A recent upstream oilfield job growth report bodes well for the Permian Basin, but Congressman August Pfluger, Sen. Kevin Sparks, State Rep. Brooks Landgraf and the Texas Oil & Gas Association say serious challenges remain.
Citing the Texas Workforce Commission’s recent report, TXOGA President Todd Staples said upstream exploration and production employment grew by 2,200 jobs in October with 16,500 jobs added to that point so far this year.
“In spite of turbulent economic times and increasing geopolitical tensions, Texas’ oil and natural gas industry continues to grow,” Staples said from Austin. “Since the COVID low point of September 2020 the industry has added or recovered 55,900 jobs, averaging growth of 1,511 jobs a month.
“At 212,900 upstream jobs compared to the same month in the prior year, October 2023 jobs were up by 19,200 or 9.9 percent over October of 2022. Months with an increase in upstream employment have outnumbered months with a decrease by 32 to 5.
“Oilfield jobs pay among the highest wages in Texas with employers paying an average salary of $115,000 in 2022.”
Pfluger said from Washington that the energy industry “is stronger than ever, thanks to the resilience and innovation of producers in the Permian Basin.
“Despite relentless attacks from radical climate leftists, American-made energy is here to stay,” he said.
Sparks, a Midland Republican who represents Ector County in Austin, said the industry “continues to be a driving force in the positive Texas employment numbers.
“The biggest threat to the health of this industry remains the over-regulation by the Biden Administration’s Environmental Protection Agency,” Sparks said. “There are numerous proposed emissions regulations that would needlessly add extensive costs to production operations.
“Texas is not immune to the tendency to over-regulate. Therefore, it is critical that we carefully monitor any new legislation that might bring additional burdens to businesses.”
Landgraf said the TWC data “unequivocally affirms that the Permian Basin continues to be a powerhouse for oil and natural gas production, bolstering our state’s economy and providing crucial jobs for hardworking Texans.
“The report’s revelation of an additional 2,200 jobs in upstream oil and natural gas employment in October is a testament to the resilience and vitality of our energy sector,” the Odessa Republican said. “Amidst global challenges and economic uncertainties it is undeniable that Texas remains a leading contributor to affordable, reliable energy on both the national and global stages.
“However, while we should rightfully celebrate this report I remain vigilant against potential challenges that could impede our quest for energy independence. The Biden Administration has its cross-hairs aimed at the Permian Basin, weaponizing federal agencies like the EPA in attempts to slow down or even stop production.
“That is why Gov. Abbott, Texas House Speaker Phelan, Congressman Pfluger and I continue standing shoulder to shoulder to advocate for policies that safeguard energy production in our state and send a clear and resounding message to the federal government,” Landgraf said. “Texas will uphold its energy independence and keep standing by the hardworking men and women in the oil patch.
“And my fight for the Permian Basin will continue. In the upcoming legislative session, I plan to reintroduce Texas STRONG, a comprehensive package aimed at securing severance tax revenue for the purposes of supporting transportation infrastructure, workforce and economic development, public education, healthcare and public safety needs in regions of the state with the highest oil and gas production.
“This pragmatic approach is about ensuring that the communities that have long been the backbone of our energy production receive the support they deserve. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. When the Permian Basin thrives, America thrives.”