Oil glut has workers taking on odd jobs

Posted at 2:09 PM, Mar 14, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-16 12:24:45-04

Former oil workers have moved from the oil fields to all kinds of odd jobs throughout Kern County.

Ryan Williford, owner WGC (an oil field service company), is now managing small projects like rehabilitating a home to function as an office for a ranch.

"What we do day to day is the same," Williford said he's still a manager, still working out of his car, so he's not extremely uncomfortable.

He recruited former oil employees who were laid off to complete these odd jobs. Gino Ruvalcaba worked in oil for 3 years before he transitioned into helping Williford. He said he didn't know the oil industry had booms and busts.

"Eventually you hear that it goes up and down... I've been praying, I hope it comes back soon," Ruvalcaba said. He has three kids to support, one about to go into college.

All of the men agree these sorts of projects don't pay the same dividends as oil, but they're doing what they can to provide for their family.

For now, it's short term jobs and cuts to stay afloat while hoping the economy comes around and oil prices rise again.

"It'll come back, it'll be $100-$150 a barrel but that might be two, three, four or five years before it ever gets back to that point," Williford said he's confident the oil price will rise again because OPEC has capped their production and the demand for oil is increasing.

"Third world nations are catching up, they're becoming more industrious," Williford said.