Houston adds over 1,000 upstream oil and gas jobs in April, according to latest employment report

May 23, 2022Updated: May 23, 2022 9:38 a.m.

A worker during construction on Shell’s Vito offshore platform in the Gulf of Mexico. Houston added 1,100 upstream oil and gas jobs in April 2022 compared to March. 

Brett Coomer, Houston Chronicle / Staff photographer

Houston added 1,100 oil and gas jobs in April related to exploration, drilling, and production, known as the upstream sector, according to federal data analyzed by the Texas Independent Producers and Royalty Owners Association. 

Statewide, 5,200 upstream jobs were added compared with March, according to the association. Since April of 2021 upstream employers have added 26,700 jobs in Texas. 

Demand for petroleum products continues to go up as the global economy recovers, albeit unevenly, from COVID-19 shutdowns. Sanctions on Russian oil for Moscow’s war against Ukraine is also contributing to tight oil and gas supplies. Together these things have helped push the price of West Texas Intermediate crude to more than $100 per barrel.

RELATED: Soaring crude prices will drive more than 100K new oil and gas jobs after staggering pandemic losses

It was a different story two years ago: During the 2020 pandemic downturn the oil and gas sector lost more than 100,000 jobs. Throughout 2021 employment began to slowly build back up, and data out last week from Norwegian research firm Rystad Energy shows U.S. oil and gas employment is likely to increase by 12.5 percent or 108,000 jobs to 971,000 by the end of the year.

“Fueled by a rapid rise in oil prices amid a better-than-expected demand recovery and the supply constraints brought on by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the U.S. labor market seems poised to benefit and continue on a growth trajectory,” Rystad analyst Sumit Yadav said.

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