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Louisiana Oil Industry Hit by Covid-19

Since 2014, employment in Louisiana oil and gas industry has been declining and it also took another hit during the Covid-19 pandemic. As many as 7,500 employees were laid off during this difficult time. The high-paying jobs never came back even though the world oil prices have rebounded to the pre-pandemic levels.

President Joe Biden is pushing to accelerate a shift to the renewable energy source. Due to this, the oil and gas company workers from Lafayette to Houma are feeling increasingly insecure about their future. Loren Scott, an economist of the industry who does consulting work said that Louisiana gas nearly 27,000 jobs in the field or almost 7500 lesser than that in January 2020.

Scott said, “The big hit that took place is a result of COVID just dealing another blow to the industry. Even with the rebound in crude oil prices over the last few months, the South Louisiana oil patch remains one of the few sectors of the economy that did not show any improvement in jobs.” An economics professor at the University of Louisiana, Gary Wagner, said that the array of businesses that support the industry also have lost several jobs. Adding all these numbers, the total goes up to 24,000 job losses since 2014.

Crude oil prices have plunged from $106 a barrel in 2014 to $27 in 2016 before reaching more than $60 in January 2020. Patrick Courreges, the communications director at Louisiana Department of Natural Resources, said that the industry suffered last year as Americans worked from home and cut back on travel due to the pandemic.

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