He was almost right. The work came back. But Mr. Neece’s former job as a well logger—measuring well conditions thousands of feet underground—was gone. Those duties are increasingly being overseen remotely and handled by automation. Technology has already transformed labor needs in most of the world’s manufacturing . It’s now upending the energy business, foretelling the end for one of the last sectors in America where blue-collar workers could depend on jobs paying six-figure salaries. “Our industry has had a lot of people making $150,000 out in the field,” said Kathryn Humphrey, who spent two decades at BP PLC before retiring from the company’s digital oil field program in 2013. Those days are going away, she said. For Mr. Neece, the changes could reduce the number of jobs he used to do by more than 25%, analysts said. Automated control systems can send commands to underground tools that capture […]