I recently met with LinkedIn Executive Editor Dan Roth to talk about the current state of the oil and natural gas industry, which he noted has seen almost 70 bankruptcies this year, lower profits and a large number of layoffs. Dan wondered how Chevron could continue to attract employees – particularly millennials.

It’s a fair question – for those outside the oil and natural gas industry. Those of us in the industry know the products we develop are indispensable to the economies of the world. And so, even as we work our way through this low-price environment, we’re confident in the future.

During my 36 years with Chevron, oil prices have dropped 50 percent or more five times. In the most recent fall, oil went from a high of just over $115 a barrel to under $50 a barrel in just six months. When prices fall, industry pulls back on investment and scales back the workforce in line with activities. Ours is a long-term business, so we know that eventually supply and demand will come back into balance and prices will stabilize. The global economy depends on it.

The energy we produce enables light, heat, mobility, mechanized agriculture, modern communications, the health system that keeps us well, and the many electronic devices that keep us connected and entertained. It’s also the feedstock for everything from crayons to contact lenses, not to mention the basis of our roads and runways.

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