Oil companies across Texas increased payrolls by nearly 12,000 jobs in the six months through April. Experts attribute the increase to the industry’s steady recovery along with the shale boom in the Permian basin of West Texas.
The latest gain over the last six months pushed the total number of oil and gas jobs in the state to close to 205,000, up 3 percent from the same period a year ago and the first year over year increase since February 2015, said Karr Ingham, an Amarillo economist who created the Texas Petro Index, which gathers and analyzes a vast array of data to track the state of the oil industry.
Texas has been at the epicenter of the recovery in the U.S. shale industry production upswing. The oil rich Permian Basin in West Texas accounts for about half of all oil drilling rigs in the country, according to the Houston energy services company Baker Hughes.
In May 2016, just a few months after oil prices hit bottom at just over $26 a barrel, the number of oil and gas rigs across the country sat at 404. Since then, the number of rigs in both the Permian and nationally has more than doubled to a total of 916.
For every rig put back into operation, close to 30 jobs are created, said John Graves, an energy consultant at Graves & Co. in Houston.
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