Louisiana Projected to Add 3,500 Oil and Gas Jobs Next Year
Louisiana's Oil and Gas industry could be on the brink of a shot in the arm as opposed to a punch in the face, which is what the oil patch in The Boot has experienced over the past few years. A study published by the LSU Center for Energy Studies suggests that more than 3,500 jobs in that industry could be coming back by as soon as the second quarter of next year.
The state's oil and gas economy has taken several gut punches that have stolen jobs and money from Louisiana over the past few years. The COVID-19 pandemic was an initial cause of job losses. That was followed by what many in Louisiana consider to be a "very unfriendly" attitude toward fossil fuels from the Biden Administration.
Restrictions placed on the industry almost the minute President Biden took office have certainly helped quell any resurgence in energy jobs even though the price of oil and natural gas were soaring at the time. However, White House policy in recent months has seen some of those restrictions relaxed or rescinded via the courts.
In the recently published study, LSU's Center for Energy Studies' Gulf Coast Energy Outlook, you can read the full report here, there does appear to be a light at the end of the tunnel. With prices for natural gas remaining high our state's energy sector could recover some thousands of jobs in the next few months. But, the authors of the report stopped short of saying that oil and gas employment in Louisiana would recover to pre-COVID levels.
While prices for crude oil will continue to fluctuate it does appear as though the demand for natural gas, particularly liquified natural gas exports will not only sustain employment in the oil patch but may even bolster some of those numbers.
During COVID it was estimated the state lost some 8,700 jobs in the upstream oil and gas sector. The state has recovered about 2,500 of those jobs already and with the additional forecast of 3,500 more jobs on the horizon that would put the net job loss at 2,700.
Certainly, the recovery of these often high-paying jobs will bolster the economy of the state, not to mention the influence this kind of hiring could have on ancillary and support positions. The study did not go into detail about the potential job creation for those who make their living serving the oil and gas industry. But one could assume that if more people are going to work in the oil and gas sector then jobs supporting that industry would need to bolster their staffs as well.
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