The recent slump in oil prices have been the reason that many Louisiana families have changed the way they earn their living. Oil jobs are high paying jobs and there is a lot of reward for the risk. Not only the risk of a dangerous job but the risk of working in an industry where job security is never guaranteed.

The President of the Louisiana Oil and Gas Association, Don Briggs, spoke to the Louisiana Radio Network about life after the prices rebound in the industry. The big question that seems to be looming is will there be enough qualified workers to fill the needs of the industry?

Losing our workforce and recovering is going to be a very difficult thing and it’s going to take time to make all of that happen.

Briggs suggested in his comments that many oil families have decided that the roller coaster ride of the past year has been enough. Some former oilfield workers have suggested that the uncertainty of the business is going to keep them from returning to the field.

The investment bank Goldman Sachs recently suggested in a published report that the expectation of higher oil prices over the next few years is a certainty. While Briggs tends to agree with that assessment he seems suggest that it won't be as quick as Goldman Sachs believes it will be.

I think that we’re going to see more layoffs and I think that recovery here in Louisiana is going to be much slower than Goldman Sachs is predicting.

Currently the rig count in the Gulf is as low as it has ever been.

We have never ever been anywhere close to the low rig counts that we have today especially in the Gulf of Mexico.

How will this recovery from layoffs and low prices compare to the recovery of the '80's oil bust? Briggs seems to think that the oil shale side of the business will play a major part in how it all unfolds. His comments to LRN indicate recovery from this downturn will be even slower than the recovery of the 1980's.