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Energy jobs struggle through oil downturn
File - Rigging equipment is pictured in a field outside of Sweetwater, Texas. REUTERS/Cooper Neill

Energy jobs struggle through oil downturn

The oil bust is more severe than any downturn in 45 years, according to the Houston Chronicle. Roughly 70,000 energy jobs have been lost so far and oil prices fell below $31 a barrel Monday.

U.S. Crude fell to $30.98 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange in morning trading. It was the sixth-straight day of losses in 2016. Brent fell to $31.33 on the ICE Futures Europe.

Crude prices have fallen further and for a longer time than the 1986 oil bust. Oil prices have yet to reach its floor, and some analysts predict oil could hit $20 a barrel.

With the dropping price of oil, consumers may benefit from lower gasoline prices. However, jobs may be lost as energy companies struggle through hard times.

The Railroad Commission of Texas issued 727 original drilling permits in December 2015.

The number is in stark contrast to permits issued last year. In December 2014, the Commission issued 1,506 permits. The Midland district leads the state with 275 permits to drill oil or gas wells.

Total well completions for 2015 are 19,503; down from 29,554 listed in 2014.

According to Baker Hughes, there were 308 active rigs in Texas, which represents 46 percent of all active rigs in the United States.

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