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10/30/13 at 09:47 AM

It is no secret that horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracking have given a significant boost to oil production in the United States in recent years. What might not be fully appreciated, however, is the affect that the energy industry has had on job growth, particularly in some areas of the country.  

Because of the multiplier effect associated with energy-sector jobs, which tend to be well-paying, each new industry job creates another 2.3 new jobs in some other part of overall economy, according to 2012 Employment Requirements data tables by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

The oil and gas industry continued to pace the overall economy in workforce hires for the first six months of 2013, according to a new report by the Texas trade association Texas Independent Producers & Royalty Association (TIPRO). During the period of January through June, the oil and gas sector added nearly 24,000 jobs, resulting in a net growth rate of 2.4 percent.

Over the one-year period from June 2012 to June 20 2013, the number of oil and gas jobs increased by more than 26,000 for a growth rate of 2.6 percent. That was significantly more than the 2-percent average of overall job growth in the U.S. economy, according to BLS. And for the 18-month period of January 2012 through June 2013, the oil and gas industry added nearly 55,000 jobs, generating a growth in employment of 5.7 percent. 

The U.S. oil and gas industry was broken into nine sectors. Most of the growth in the industry in 2013 was in Drilling, Oil and Gas Extraction and Support Activities. Only the Equipment sector failed to show growth.  From June 2012 to June 2013, oil and gas jobs in the Support Activities sector increased the most at 4.7 percent, followed by the Petroleum Refineries sector at 3.9 percent.

Texas is continuing to lead the country in new job growth. After adding 43,000 new jobs since 2011 – the highest number of new employees in the industry of any state in the nation, according to TIPRO – the oil and gas industry in Texas accounted for 388,000 jobs in 2012.

Texas has 55 percent of the total rig count in the United States, and produces 35 percent of the total oil production in the country. During the period of January to September 2013, there were 6,935 new drilling permits issued in Texas in the Permian Basin, and 3,069 drilling permits issued for the Eagle Ford formation, according to the Texas Railroad Commission.

Exploration in shale formations in the Permian Basin and Eagle Ford have created “hundreds of thousands” of new jobs, TIPRO said it its report.

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