HOUSTON (FOX 26) - For close to four decades Gladney Darroh has been among Houston's top recruiters of oil industry talent.
These days demand for his upstream prospects is simply dismal.
The extended crash of oil prices has generated lots of laid off job seekers and almost no employers looking to hire them.
"How hard is it for us? It's very hard because many of the people who are coming to see us are people we placed on jobs five, ten even 15 years ago," said Darroh.
Darroh's been through downturns before, but calls this one the harshest.
"We are certainly seeing what is the worst downturn in the oil and gas industry since I've been in business," said Darroh.
It is a troubling assessment echoed by Bob Tippee, editor of Oil and Gas Journal who says conditions will get even worse before they get better.
"I've written about this industry for almost 40 years and this is the worst downturn I've experienced and I've been through several of them. This one is blood and gore," said Tippee.
Tippee says when political and market forces finally push the current glut of oil back in line with demand thousands more jobs will be gone for good, in an oil patch that will permanently shed one in five positions.
"Lot of people will be gone, some will never come back to this business after this. The business is going to be smaller," said Tippee.
Back at Piper Morgan, Gladney Darroh dispenses valuable guidance to those caught in market forces they can't control.
"Maintain their faith, maintain their love of family and not lose sight of what's really important to them," said Darroh.
BP says the force reduction of 4,000 upstream personnel announced today will take place over the next 12 months.