Oil and gas jobs in America may reach pre-pandemic levels by 2027 (report) - Energy

America’s oil and gas jobs are set to rise in the coming years, but they will not return to pre-coronavirus levels until 2027, amid challenges facing the industry, as well as the energy transition.

In a recent report, energy research firm Rystad Energy expects US oil and gas sector jobs to increase by 12.5% ​​this year, bringing the total to 971,000 jobs.

Simultaneously with the increase in oil and gas jobs; Industry wages are expected to grow by a meager 2.9 percent in 2022, with the effect of accelerating inflation on corporate balance sheets, before accelerating to 10 percent in 2024.

Recovering from the effects of the Corona epidemic

The oil and gas sector lost nearly 200,000 jobs during the pandemic; With the collapse of oil prices, the labor market in this industry has suffered a huge loss of jobs.

Between June 2020 and May 2021, oil and gas jobs fell by about 100,000 jobs, led by the drilling equipment and services sector.

With the drilling activity halted, the oil and gas sector lost another 20,000 jobs, along with more than 68,000 jobs from the operational support, construction and installation sectors.

While the maintenance sector remained largely unaffected, after operators gave priority to maintenance over other sectors.

From May 2021 to April 2022, the industry has regained more than 100,000 jobs, nearly half of the jobs lost during the pandemic, on the back of high oil prices.

Oil and gas jobs are expected to continue rising in the coming years, reaching 1.09 million jobs by 2027, compared to 1.07 million jobs in 2019, before the outbreak of the pandemic.

As for wages; Its average growth in the oil and gas sector increased by 6.3% in 2021, compared to an increase of only 2.9% the previous year.

Oil and gas wages are expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 7.13% between 2022 and 2027, according to the report.

Oil and Gas Industry Jobs

Oil and gas job growth

The employment forecast is based on Rystad Energy’s oil price scenarios, which forecast an average WTI price of $106 a barrel this year, $70 in 2023, and $50 by mid-decade.

The price of US crude is currently trading at levels near the $110 per barrel mark, amid swings between ups and downs.

Rising oil prices are the main factor behind the job gains, as they spur American companies to increase investments to about $90 billion annually by 2027, an increase of 40% from the lowest levels of 2020.

This comes in addition to supporting government policies; The US administration has announced its plans to lease 145,000 acres of public land to explore for fossil fuels across 9 states, in addition to studying the punishment of producers who do not take advantage of the permits granted to them.

The new policy aims to increase oil and gas production to enhance domestic energy security, and boost exports to help Europe reduce its dependence on Russian imports.

However; The full recovery of the US labor market hinges on operators facing significant challenges, including securing financing amid accelerating inflation and rising interest rates, as well as competition with renewable energy.

With all these factors, Rystad Energy expects oil and gas jobs in America to increase by about 120,000 jobs between 2022 and 2027, to witness a compound annual growth rate of 2.3%.

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