Forbes magazine and others are hinting that oil and gas jobs could come roaring back as soon as the economy is opened up again.

Here's why:

Before COVID-19 there was already a glut of energy in the market. U.S. production was so high we had actually become an exporter of oil for the first time since the 1970's. Then middle eastern countries began pumping more and the market was saturated. And then, COVID-19 happened and the world stopped moving. Oil storage on land was full. Ships carrying oil anchored off shore all over the world with no place to dock and unload. 

Bill Gilmer is the Director of the Institute for Regional Forecasting (IRF) at the University of Houston's Bauer College of Business. When Gilmer surveys Houston’s oil and gas-driven economy, he sees them poised and ready to go. “This is not a hard industry to reopen,” he said.

Mr. Glimer sees that the industry will begin work again, as soon as the nation, and the world, starts moving again, as people are itching to get outside and move. He does not see this as a normal world shutdown similar to events we have seen in the past. This is different, we've just been asked to stay home.

“This is not a speculative bust like the 1980s or 2015-16, with the price of oil falling from $110 per barrel,” according to Gilmer, who expects prices to return to near $60 or $65 per barrel by 2022. “It is a severe, but relatively short-lived, virus-driven event.”

Once we start moving again, the prediction is the world will quickly burn through what has been stored and more will be needed. Those in the industry say that they will be quick to respond.

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