Workers in the oil and gas industry may now be eligible for trade act benefits, according to Duane C. Price, director of the unemployment insurance for Job Service.

Price said changes occurred Aug. 23 when President Reagan signed the Omnibus Trade and Competitive Act of 1988.It gives workers in the oil and natural gas industry - who were separated from employment after Sept. 30, 1985 and previously were denied eligibility for trade act benefits - an opportunity to file a new petition for benefits under revised rules.

Worker groups previously were denied trade act benefits when their employer provided services and did not produce an article as required in the Trade Act of 1974. The new law provides that firms engaged in exploration or drilling for oil or natural gas are considered to be producing articles directly competitive with imports of oil and natural gas, Price said.

Workers who file a petition may be eligible for trade adjustment assistance including job search and relocation allowances, and for trade readjustment allowances, including unemployment benefits for periods of unemployment after Sept. 30, 1985.