Texas oil companies have hired more than 30,000 workers over the past year, a sign the industry is emerging from its most recent bust.
A third of the statewide oil workforce had been laid off, reaching its lowest level since 2009's Great Recession a year ago September.
“It is a good sign that we're starting to see the oil companies start to hire in a big way, up 16 percent from where we were just a year ago, but we still have a long way to get back to where we were,” says senior energy market analyst Phil Flynn.
Oil was roughly $26 a barrel less than two years ago. West Texas Intermediate closed just under $57 a barrel Wednesday, while Brent Crude Oil closed at $63.
“The reason why oil is going up is because gasoline demand is the strongest it's been since 2006,” says Flynn. “And gasonline demand is strong because people are feeling more confident about the economy than they have since 2000.”
Oil prices peaked at $147 a barrel in July 2008, and Flynn believes $100 a barrel is still not out of the question.
“I don't think we're going to get there tomorrow or the next day, but based off what we're seeing in the global economy and the up-and-down cycles we've seen in oil, we think there's a real possibilty that a few years down the road we will be talking