A bust hits the Oil Patch as rest of nation enjoys cheap gas

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

HOUMA, La. (AP) — In Louisiana's Oil Patch, folks can't wait for the price of gas to go back up.

Cheap gasoline at the pump — though a welcome cash infusion for millions of American households — is a way of saying "recession" in south Louisiana, where oil wells are as common as alligators.

Louisiana's oil industry is being clobbered by an unexpected worldwide oversupply of crude oil — like states such as Texas, North Dakota, Wyoming and Alaska.

The Louisiana Workforce Commission says the state has lost about 12,000 oil and gas jobs since 2014 as gas prices have ebbed. Federal statistics show that nationwide, about 100,000 oil and gas industry-related jobs have been lost since January 2015.

Many here are left wondering when the price at the pump will rise and the oil glut will dry up.