PJ Media encourages you to read our updated PRIVACY POLICY and COOKIE POLICY.
X

July 11, 2018

AUTOMATION: Oil’s New Technology Spells End of Boom for Roughnecks. “One of the last industries where blue-collar laborers can earn high salaries is being transformed as artificial intelligence and automation replace workers.”

The energy sector had been shielded from pressure to innovate by high oil prices. When prices fell 75% over 20 months beginning in 2014, oil and gas companies were finally forced to modernize to squeeze out profits. Many found they could use new technologies to do the work better and cheaper, with fewer people. They have invested billions of dollars on what the industry dubs “digital oil fields,” embracing artificial intelligence, automation and other technologies.

Oil prices are back up to their highest levels in more than three years. U.S. production has topped record levels, hitting 10.9 million barrels a day in the last week of June, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, compared with its high of 9.6 million in 2015. But as of May, nationwide oil and gas employment is down 21% since 2014, according to state and federal data compiled by Karr Ingham, an economist for the Texas Alliance of Energy Producers, an industry group.

That’s a huge hit.