New TPI Points to Lower Texas Upstream Employment

New TPI Points to Lower Texas Upstream Employment
The latest Texas Petro Index points to lower upstream oil and gas industry employment than other sources have published, the Texas Alliance of Energy Producers has revealed.

The latest Texas Petro Index (TPI) points to lower upstream oil and gas industry employment than other sources have published, the Texas Alliance of Energy Producers (TAEP) has revealed.

Compared to the Texas Workforce Commission’s primary monthly estimates, the July TPI shows 9,000 fewer jobs, according to Petroleum Economist Karr Ingham, the executive vice president of TAEP and creator of the TPI. The July TPI increased for the fourth straight month, and for the fifth time in the last six months, improving to 150.5 up from a revised 146.2 in June. However, it is still down by 1.9 percent from the July 2020 TPI of 153.4. 

“We believe our methodology provides a more accurate picture of statewide employment,” Ingham said in an organization statement. “The latest Texas Petro Index incorporates … revised employment estimates, along with updated statewide production data for crude oil and natural gas,” he added.

Upstream oil and gas employment in Texas declined by over 83,000 jobs between December 2018 and September 2020, over 63,000 of which were lost from February to September 2020, according to TAEP. Since then, only about 8,800 of those jobs have been added back through July 2021, Ingham outlined, pointing to industry employment recovery that is occurring more slowly than the Texas Workforce Commission monthly estimates would suggest. 

“The primary Current Employment Statistics Texas Workforce Commission estimates show total upstream employment of about 175,100 as of July 2021, and the addition of 17,600 jobs since the 2020 low point,” Ingham said in a TAEP statement. “In actuality, however, Texas oil and gas exploration and production employment is not that high, and we estimate statewide upstream employment at 166,100, some 9,000 below the monthly data published by the Texas Workforce Commission,” he added.

TAEP noted that rising Covid numbers and the Delta variant are clearly cause for concern. It warned that the possibility remains that a new surge of Covid nationally and internationally could weigh on petroleum energy demand and slow the recovery underway in 2021. 

“The post-Covid recovery has been somewhat tepid thus far compared to previous post-downturn expansions in terms of rig count and employment growth,” Ingham said. “The path of Covid going forward will almost certainly impact the pace of continued recovery,” he added. 

“Rising numbers are bearish for demand and prices, and improving numbers are positive for economic recovery and the improving energy demand that comes along with it,” Ingham went on to say.

Confirmed weekly Covid-19 cases in the U.S. increased from 216,433 in the week commencing July 12 to 1.29 million in the week commencing August 30, according to data from the World Health Organization (WHO). In the same timeframe, weekly U.S. Covid-19 deaths have risen from 1,923 to 11,946, WHO figures show. Global weekly confirmed Covid cases have risen from 3.5 million to 4.4 million from the week commencing July 12 to the week commencing August 30, according to WHO, which revealed that global weekly deaths in the same period rose from 57,330 to 68,096.

Petroleum economist Ingham created the TPI in January 1995 and releases it monthly. TAEP was founded in 1930 and describes itself as the most knowledgeable and effective statewide oil and gas association in the nation. It serves nearly 3,000 members.

To contact the author, email andreas.exarheas@rigzone.com


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