Houston: The Heart of Energy and Oilfield Services

Houston is known as the “Energy Capital of the World.” It is the largest city in Texas, home of more than 3,700 energy-related businesses and is the Permanent Secretariat of the World Energy Cities Partnership (WECP). WECP is a collaboration of more than 16 globally recognized energy cities that actively exchange industry knowledge, concerns and experiences. For more Houston energy statistics, scroll down for our “Houston, Texas by numbers” infographic.

Without a doubt, Houston is a city that embraces everything energy and oilfield services (OFS).

Transportation Hub:

The domestic oil boom has shaped the U.S. into an exporter of refined petroleum products and is overtaking the OFS industry as one of the largest oil producers in the world. As the nation’s volume of petroleum and natural gas increases, Houston has become an oil transportation hub to the nation and the world.

Houston is the headquarters for 16 of the nation’s 20 largest U.S. interstate oil pipeline companies. These companies control 69,866 miles, or 47 percent, of all the U.S. oil pipeline capacity. The city is also the headquarters for 17 of the nation’s top 20 natural gas transmission companies, and these companies control 126,085 miles of U.S. pipeline, or 64 percent, of the total U.S. gas pipeline capacity.

Port of Houston, located in the city, is a 25 mile long complex that provides access to OFS companies to distribute exports all over the world and is known as the busiest port in the U.S. with foreign cargo.


Houston recognizes the importance of technology advances in the energy industry. OFS companies are continually seeking and adopting technologies to integrate onto the oilfield. Consequently, Houston has become the center of technology innovation for the energy and OFS industries.

For example, Houston hosts the Offshore Technology Conference (OTC). OTC brings together energy professionals to foster the advancement of scientific and technical knowledge of offshore resources. The conference showcases developments in exploration and production, field development concepts, materials technology, offshore pipelines and all resources related to energy and oilfield services.

The Houston Technology Center is known as one of the top ten technology incubators in the world and supplies emerging technologies to the Houston area. Students and scholars also turn to top global university, the Rice Alliance for Technology and Entrepreneurship, for incubation. The Rice Alliance hosts Technology Venture Forums along with supporting technology commercialization.

In the Neighborhood:

Being a city full of energy expertise, OFS companies look at Houston as the future of energy and have been relocating to the city to be in the center of it all.

Recently, offshore oil company, EPL Oil & Gas Inc. (EPL) moved its headquarters from New Orleans to Houston. According to the company’s president and CEO, Gary Hanna, their decision to move to Houston was a natural transition. Houston provides EPL the accessibility to oil and gas resources. For instance, during the past 18 months, EPL has increased its workforce by 18 percent and Houston is brimming with engineering talent that enables EPL to grow.

Other industry leaders that have moved in, BP America Inc. centralized its US headquarters in Houston in 2007, GE Oil and Gas selected the city as their headquarters for the Americas in 2008 and Direct Energy moved from Toronto, Canada to Houston in 2012.

Help Wanted:

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Houston contains 28.8 percent of the nation’s jobs in oil and gas extraction. With the U.S. energy boom, it has been estimated that energy and OFS companies will support 3.5 million American jobs by 2035. At current percentages, Houston will be the base of more than 1 million energy-related jobs by 2035.

According to the City of Houston’s facts and figures, Houston ranks second in employment growth rate among U.S. metro areas.


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