TIPRO: Oil, Gas Employment and Production Up in Texas, US
In yet another sign of robust growth in the U.S. oil and gas industry, the number of industry employees increased by 3 percent to 1,012,800 in 2013, according to a new report by the Texas Independent Producers and Royalty Owners Association (TIPRO). The figures were part of the association’s second annual “State of Energy Report,” which was developed to capture the impact of the country’s oil and gas industry on the overall economy.
The increase in employment carried more weight than equal employment numbers in most other industries would, since the $103,400 national average salary of an oil and gas worker is significantly higher than the average salary for workers in most other industries, according to TIPRO.
Within the industry, Texas leads the nation in both production and the number of oil and gas workers, accounting for 75 percent of all new job growth in the industry, while producing 923 million barrels of oil during 2013 – 198 million barrels above 2012 figures – and 8.3 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, compared with 8.2 trillion cubic feet of natural gas in 2012.
TIPRO credited the “pro-business environment and progressive, yet sensible approach from a legislative and regulatory perspective” for the growth in employment and production in Texas, while noting that the reverse was equally true.
“States that adopt overreaching regulations targeting oil and gas development will inevitably experience a progressive, or even dramatic decline in these high-paying jobs and all associated benefits, Ed Longanecker, TIPRO president, said in a release.
Oil and gas royalties and taxes provided $13.6 billion in state and local taxes, TIPRO noted. That was $1.5 billion above the 2012 figure.
While employment and production figures reveal a robust and vital industry, TIPRO noted possible challenges to continued growth in the form of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and other agencies, “onerous regulations,” and state and federal regulatory activity. TIPRO also mentioned groups at the local level that use zoning bans and other moratoriums against fracking as potential threats to the industry.
“Smart energy policies will grow our economy, create jobs, establish America as a global energy leader and help keep us secure for generations to come,” Raymond Welder, TIPRO chairman and Welder Exploration & Production, Inc. president, added in the statement.