Are Worker Bonuses Coming Back To The U.S. Oil Industry?

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Are Worker Bonuses Coming Back To The U.S. Oil Industry?

The price of WTI has recovered 60% to $72.60 from just $45.52 a year ago. And such gains in oil prices could spark a resurgence in oil worker bonuses just in time for the holidays.

In fact, one company, Devon Energy Corp, has already reinstituted worker bonuses.

Devon oil workers—all 1,600 of them below the vice president level—will be getting a bonus in the amount of $10,000 as times have improved, CEO Rick Muncrief told Bloomberg in an interview.

The bonuses were unexpected.

Now, Devon Energy has had a performance better than most in the U.S. oil patch this year, as its shares increased 185% this year.

The news of the sizeable bonus comes as the oil industry faces a talent gap as workers consider migrating to the renewables industry—or leaving the energy industry altogether.

According to a recent survey by recruitment firm Brunel and, 56% of all oil and gas workers said they would look for employment opportunities in the renewables industry—up from 38.8% last year.

Perhaps even more startling, 43% of all oil and gas workers want out of the energy sector completely within the next five years.

Oil and gas industry workers have endured trying boom-and-bust cycles, and roughly 100.000 oil and gas workers lost their jobs last year during the pandemic.

Oil and gas companies have rehired more than 30,000, but many workers have moved on to other avenues of employment.

Jobs in the oil industry are heavily dependent on oil prices and often are in a state of flux depending on oil policies such as OPEC’s.

Oil and gas companies would do well, then, to spread the wealth to their employees whenever there is wealth in order to retain top talent instead of hemorrhaging workers to other industries.

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