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Officials say the oil industry is slowly but surely, coming back

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By: Lester Duhé


SOUTH LOUISIANA (KLFY) - As we first told you Monday, Halliburton is looking to fill over 500 oil field jobs across the United States.

The jobs include equipment operators, mechanics, office staff, and I.T. professionals, with roughly 20 jobs available right here in Lafayette.

Officials say this is a positive sign for the oil industry, which has been slowing picking up...

"So service companies are back in action, and they're back recruiting," said Dr. Fathi Boukadi, department head of Petroleum Engineering at University of Louisiana at Lafayette.

He knows how devastating it was 4 years ago when the oil industry crashed. He says service companies have learned their lessons.

"It's an optimization exercise. You reduce your spending, you reduce your costs, and this is how you can increase your margins of benefits and returns," said Boukadi.

He says the demand is there, because the economy is doing better right now..
It's something he notices even in the streets in Lafayette.

"Supply and demand is all to there, so I'm seeing a positive trend," he said.

During the crash of the oil industry in 2014, it also affected the enrollment of the Petroleum Engineering Department at University of Louisiana at Lafayette. But now, because there's more jobs being available to students, they're hoping this will have a positive impact on Lafayette's economy.

"If course it's going to bring in (students). Because they're recruiting, that means they're alive and of course it's going to bring in business to Lafayette.
The market is there, we're producing a lot of oil in the U.S., so there will be a need, a huge need for engineers to produce it. So we have to keep on producing engineers," said Boukadi.

The industry is also making advancements in technology, but there still are some challenges..

"The challenge is that most of the investments not here in South Louisiana, not in the Gulf of Mexico, which is so much of what Acadiana and Houma's economy is dependent on," said Gifford Briggs, President of the Louisiana OIl and Gas Association.

News 10 asked Dr. Boukadi if he predicted another crash in the industry like in 2014, he said he does not believe so.

Boukadi also confirms a number of other companies beside Halliburton are coming to recruit engineering students at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, which is a positive sign for the future of the industry in the Parish and South Louisiana.

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