As Rig Workers Go Back to Work, How Does the Rest of the Industry Feel?

According to oilfield service giant Baker Hughes, the North American Rig Count has more than doubled in the past 12 months, from 449 rigs to 965. Half of that increase came from the Permian Basin located in West Texas. If you are a rig worker or work in the upstream industry, this is all good news. However, if you work in the offshore industry, the future may not look as rosy.

In a recent Houston Chronicle article, industry hiring in Houston is not as robust. According to the article, Patrick Jankowski, senior vice president of the Greater Houston Partnership, “The jobs we are adding in the oil industry are out in the field and are not in Houston.”

Jankowski went on to say that he forecasts more local energy job losses this year but it won’t be anything like the sharp cuts the industry experienced during the past two years.

While the news is much better than this time last year, there is still some uncertainty in the industry. This probably has a lot to do with the recent volatility of the price of oil. From August of last year to early February, the price of oil has fluctuated by as much as 20% in either direction in the timespan of only a few weeks. Even with these wild fluctuations, optimism abounded because the rig count was increasing, OPEC had agreed to cut its output and the overall trend in oil prices was increasing.

On May 1st of this year, a critical support level in the price of crude was broken at $48.83 and fell all the way to $45.55/bbl on May 4th and a new support level was established. Ever since, we have still experienced volatility but now the price of oil is in a downward trend.

In order to gauge the overall mood of the industry, PathFinder Staffing, a Houston based energy recruiting firm, is conducting a comprehensive survey of oil and gas hiring managers and recruiters for an upcoming article. The purpose of the survey is to take the pulse of current hiring trends and to get a sense of where we are headed.

If you are a hiring manager or corporate recruiter in the industry and would like to take part in this anonymous survey, please click here. If you are not in a hiring role, please help us by sharing this article with someone you know who is.  Don’t forget to check back on our web site for our survey results.

About the Author

Tim Cook is the Sr. Manager for the midstream/upstream division of PathFinder Staffing, an oil & gas recruiting agency located in Houston, Texas. For more information about our services, visit our web site at or call us at (281) 858-7325.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
  • 9 Jun, 2017
  • Tim Cook

Share This Story