While not unfamiliar territory for an industry already embattled with low oil prices and minimal production activity, job losses in oil and gas continued in February.
According to data in the jobs report released March 4 by the U.S. Department of Labor, despite the country’s increase of 242,000 jobs in February, mining jobs declined by 19,000. This brings the total number of mining jobs shed to 171,000 since the most recent peak in September 2014. Of that number, more than three-fourths of the job losses came in support activities for mining. In February, almost 16,000 jobs were lost in support activities for mining.
Investments in deepwater production have also declined during the downturn. In February, Transocean announced it was laying off nearly 200 employees and stacking two rigs in the Gulf of Mexico. Additionally, Cobalt International, which has deepwater assets with material interest in the Gulf of Mexico and offshore West Africa, announced it was cutting 50 positions from its corporate office in Houston.