Mar 11, 2021 - Economy

The uneven plunge in global oil industry jobs

Data: Rystad Energy; Chart: Axios Visuals
Data: Rystad Energy; Chart: Axios Visuals

Speaking of the pandemic, the drop in oil-and-gas industry jobs last year was distributed unevenly worldwide, per new analysis from the consultancy Rystad Energy.

The big picture: The chart above shows jobs losses in oil-and-gas production and midstream industry jobs, which involve storage, transport and other aspects.

How it works: Differences in industry structures, government policies and regional production economics explain the varying decline levels.

  • In China, the nationalized industry means fewer job cuts as "operators must instead optimize costs by curtailing new project investments and controlling production."
  • Staying on China for a moment, they note that it has twice as many exploration, production and drilling support workers as the U.S. despite producing just 25% as much oil and gas. That's partly due to "low technology adoption."

In the U.S., the world's largest producer, "staffing fell in 2020 to about 960,000 employees, down from around 1,080,000 in 2019."

  • But in Russia, a mammoth producer that rivals the U.S., job declines were the smallest among big producers in their analysis.
  • Their workforce shed 18,000 jobs last year from 2019’s total of 1,242,500, Rystad said, citing "more resilient" operator spending.
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