U.S. OIL & GAS JOBS DOWN
The U.S. oil and gas sector bled away more jobs last month as sustained low oil prices forced energy producers to reduce spending, suggesting that further pain may be ahead for the struggling industry.
A roughly 50 percent drop in oil prices since June has pummeled the U.S. oil sector, prompting a quick drop in activity. The number of oil rigs active in the United States has fallen 40 percent since October.
The mining sector of the workforce, which includes oil and gas workers, fell by 9,300 to 844,500 last month, according to the Labor Department's February payrolls report on Friday, driven by a fall in oil and gas drilling activity.
The losses added to a 5,800 drop in January.
Jobs in the oil extraction sub-sector, which includes rig workers, dropped 1,100 to 198,300, adding to a 1,800 drop in January. Support activities for mining, which includes oil and gas workers, fell 7,400.
That made the energy sector a rare black mark in the jobs report, which showed nonfarm payrolls soaring 295,000 last month, beating expectations, and the jobless rate falling to a more than 6-1/2-year low of 5.5 percent.
Job losses in the oil and gas sector have been relatively modest since June, in part due the lag between falling crude prices and job cuts. But the last two months suggest the speed of the cuts may be increasing as prices remain depressed.
Past slowdowns suggest it takes time for job cuts to materialize. In 2008, during the financial crisis, jobs in the oil and gas extraction sector did not begin to fall until December, five months into the oil price slide. But once the rout started, it lasted for a year, wiping out over 50,000 jobs.
The signs are bleak. Oil drilling firms including Schlumberger, Halliburton and Baker Hughes already have announced plans to lay off ten of thousands of workers worldwide this year.
|October, 15, 12:30:00|
|October, 15, 12:25:00|
|October, 15, 12:20:00|
|October, 15, 12:15:00|
|October, 15, 12:10:00|
|October, 15, 12:05:00|
GAZPROM - The parties discussed relevant issues related to bilateral cooperation, including the Baltic LNG project. Emphasis was placed on the priority measures aimed at developing a joint design concept (pre-FEED).
BHGE - U.S. Rig Count is up 11 rigs from last week to 1,063, with oil rigs up 8 to 869, gas rigs up 4 to 193, and miscellaneous rigs down 1 to 1. Canada Rig Count is up 13 rigs from last week to 195, with oil rigs up 8 to 127 and gas rigs up 5 to 68.
REUTERS - Brent crude futures had risen $1.02 cents, or 1.3 percent, to $81.28 a barrel by 0637 GMT. The contract dropped 3.4 percent on Thursday following sharp falls in equity markets and indications that supply concerns have been overblown. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were up 80 cents, or 1.1 percent, at $71.77 a barrel, after a 3 percent fall in the previous session. WTI is on track for a 3.5 percent drop this week.
EIA - Brent crude oil spot prices averaged $79 per barrel (b) in September, up $6/b from August. EIA expects Brent spot prices will average $74/b in 2018 and $75/b in 2019. EIA expects West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil prices will average about $6/b lower than Brent prices in 2018 and in 2019.