Petro Index: Texas Oil to Set Record Output in 2018

It's shaping up to be a record year for Texas' oil and gas industry, but not everyone will be cashing in.

Texas oil production this year is set to surpass 1972's 1.2 billion barrels. However, Karr Ingham, an economist with the Texas Alliance of Energy Producers, says many of the jobs lost in the recent downturn may never come back.

“We have 70,000 fewer employees and 350 fewer rigs and we are now about to shatter the all-time annual production record for crude oil in Texas,” he says.

Ingham presented his Mid-Year Petro Index at the Petroleum Club of Houston Thursday.

The number of direct upstream oil and gas jobs stands at an estimated 228,600 in June. As of midyear 2018, about 47,000 jobs have been added back to upstream oil and gas company payrolls following the loss of over 115,000 jobs over the course of the downturn.

“The industry is going to need geologists, engineers, landmen and people to staff drilling rigs, but I don't think we're going to need as many of those as we once did,” says Ingham.

Meanwhile, industry leaders continue to pressure the Trump administration on steel and aluminum tariffs they believe will kill the momentum, along with smaller pipeline suppliers.

“You should be excluded from these steel tariffs, principally because you won't be able to get that product in the near-term from any other source,” says Ingham.

West Texas Intermediate rose 31 cents to $69.61 a barrel Thursday.

Images courtesy of Karr Ingham/Texas Petro Index

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