Demand for fracking workers exceeds current supply
Shale explorers pushing to expand oil production are struggling to find enough fracking crews after thousands of workers were dismissed during the crude rout.Many of the laid-off workers found other jobs and are reluctant to go back to the sometimes grueling schedules required of oil field workers. This time around there are fewer people out of work and looking for jobs. If I were trying to fill those jobs, I would return to focusing on veterans. They are good workers for the most part and some have had trouble breaking into the civilian job market.
Independent U.S. drillers underspent their first-quarter budgets by as much as $2.5 billion collectively, largely because they couldn’t find enough fracking crews to handle all the planned work, according to Infill Thinking LLC, a research and consulting firm focused on oilfield services and exploration. If the scarcity holds, output increases planned for this summer may get pushed into 2018, creating an unanticipated production bulge with “scary” implications for oil prices, said Joseph Triepke, Infill’s founder.
In some cases, active crews are walking away from jobs they signed up for months ago -- and paying early-termination penalties -- to take higher-paying assignments with other explorers. Workers earn anywhere from $29,000 to $72,000 a year before overtime, depending on the company and the region.