Jobs, Lost Wages and Revenue Loss; COVID-19 Ravages U.S. Energy Industry

Jobs, Lost Wages and Revenue Loss; COVID-19 Ravages U.S. Energy Industry

For Immediate Release

Today, the House Energy & Commerce Subcommittee and the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee each hosted hearings focused on the ways that the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the energy industry in the U.S. In response, IADC President Jason McFarland issued the following statement:

“COVID-19 has hit IADC’s membership particularly hard. Since mid-March, more than 65% of all U.S. land rigs and 34% of offshore rigs have been idled due to loss of demand. Restrictions from COVID-19 combined with the flooding of the oil market by America’s adversaries has resulted in one of this industry’s worst periods of job and revenue loss. When you take a look at the impact on jobs and lost wages specifically, it has been a devastating spring for oil and gas workers. One land rig supports 22 direct jobs, at an average pay of $60,000. In real numbers, 520 land rigs currently sit idle. That accounts for more than 11,000 jobs and $686,400,000 in wages. Add another 1,500 offshore workers and $90,000,000 in wages to that number, along with the several thousand ancillary workers who indirectly support every rig and it becomes clear that the situation is dire for the hardworking Americans who depend on this industry to support their families and contribute to their communities.”

“We believe that a measured and data-driven reopening of the economy is necessary to return to pre-pandemic economic activity and energy demand in order to stem the tide of energy industry job and revenue losses. In the absence of that, IADC’s members are advocating for measures that would provide more liquidity to aid with cash flow.”

“We appreciate that Members of Congress are facing the crisis head on and look forward to serving as an educative resource on the unique challenges facing our industry as we get back to work.”


Since 1940, the International Association of Drilling Contractors (IADC) has exclusively represented the worldwide oil and gas drilling industry. IADC’s mission is to catalyze improved performance for the drilling industry by enhancing operational integrity and championing better regulation to facilitate safer, cleaner and more efficient drilling operations worldwide. For more information, visit the IADC website at