Oil, gas jobs on downswing

By: Amy Lipman Email
By: Amy Lipman Email

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. The oil and gas industry on the Western Slope is slowing down and bringing jobs down with it.

There are 127 less jobs in the mining, oil and gas industries now than in 2008.

Gavin Nuttall was laid off at the end of February from his three-year job servicing oil fields for RN Industries in Piceance Creek.

"There at the end there was just one other guy and me left and they let him go the same day they did me," Nuttall said.

The Mesa County Workforce Center's Suzie Miller said job layoffs seem to be a trend in the oil and gas field, while other industries are picking up.

"We're still seeing a lot of job orders come in," Miller said. "It just might not be in the same sector."

Mesa County lost four oil and gas establishments between 2012 and 2013.

Miller said some of those companies may have moved jobs out of the area, but families can't always move to follow the jobs.

"Those are a lot of good jobs that are high paying jobs," she said. "Anyway that we can sort of foster an environment where we can retain those sorts of jobs around here are definitely beneficial to the overall community."

Grand Junction's Schlumberger office is shutting down this year and has offered 70 employees the chance to transfer to North Dakota.

Schlumberger representatives said the decision to close came after activity decreased in the Piceance Basin.

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