oil & gas

TX Consumers Reap Benefits as Gas Prices Fall

Nov 27, 2015

Households are expected to save $700 on average this year at the gas pumps, as compared to last year, reports Amarillo.com. And this Thanksgiving holiday, prices for goods and travel have fallen to levels not seen since 2007. OPEC began a price war with U.S. natural gas on Thanksgiving of last year. While the battle has been hard on oil workers, consumers have been the ultimate winners.

KUT news

Texas lawmakers are trying to determine how much the decline in oil prices is hurting ranchers, reports KUT. The topic is one of the interim charges for the House Committee on Agriculture & Livestock. That means, the committee has been asked to study the issue before the next legislative session.

As Gas Prices Fall, Kansas Oil Counties Suffer

Nov 2, 2015
Tim Evanson / Flickr Creative Commons

While Kansas consumers may be enjoying cheap gas at the pumps, the lower prices are hitting some oil-producing counties hard, reports The Wichita Eagle. These counties are being forced to cut spending and increase taxes to make up for the petroleum profit shortfall. Oil and gas property values in the state have fallen by percent this year. And 16 oil and gas-producing counties in Western Kansas have seen their total property values decline by 20 percent.

AFP AFP / Getty Images

A Chinese investment company intends to purchase $1.3 billion in oil properties in Western Texas, reports member station KUT. The holding company signed a letter of intent last week to purchase the land through a limited liability partnership.

StateImpact courtesy of KQED Radio / Flickr Creative Commons

The Environmental Protection Agency is pushing for oil and gas officials in Oklahoma to do more to prevent industry-linked earthquakes in the state, reports StateImpact Oklahoma. The federal agency has asked industry regulators to reduce injection volumes, among other changes.

One Oil Company Fights New OK Earthquake Regulations

Oct 16, 2015
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

After Oklahoma issued regulatory actions to try to curb a rash of oil-industry-related earthquakes in the state, one oil and gas operator is challenging the ruling, reports StateImpact Oklahoma. The Marjo Operating Co. Inc.’s filing is the first effort on the part of the oil and gas industry to prevent regulation.

Steve Sisney / The Oklahoman

The Oklahoman reports that oilfield goliath Halliburton is offering settlements to property owners in Duncan, Oklahoma, after the chemical compound ammonium perchlorate showed up in their private wells. The settlements have been a long time coming—testing found pollution from spent rocket fuel in Duncan’s groundwater four years ago. But as the trial date neared, Halliburton decided that settling with Duncan’s residents was a safer course of action.

Texas Pushes for US to Reconsider Crude Oil Exports

Oct 7, 2015
Reuters/Richard Carson / Landov

You might be surprised to learn that the US does not export crude oil. But it’s true; the United States embargoed the export of black gold forty years ago. And many Texas lawmakers would like to see the ban overturned, reports StateImpact. In fact, the US House of Representatives may soon take up the measure.

Texas Holds Half of the Fastest Growing Economies in US

Sep 29, 2015
Spencer Platt / Getty Images

Half of the fastest growing economies in the US last year were found in Texas, reports The Wall Street Journal’s blog. Energy-rich Midland led the way with a 24 percent advance in gross domestic product. Other Texas economies that performed well were San Angelo, the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, Victoria, Corpus Christi, Odessa, Tyler and Austin-Round Rock. The top non-Texas performers were Lake Charles, Louisiana, Greeley, Colorado and Bismarck, North Dakota.

On the High Plains, Gas Prices Continue to Fall

Sep 25, 2015
Denver Post

Gas prices continue to plummet, now falling to a nationwide rate of $2.29 per gallon. The Denver Post reports that Colorado prices are slightly higher than the national average, at $2.55 per gallon. Kansas prices are just below the national average, at $2.16 a gallon, according to the Garden City Telegram.

Nick Brandreth / The Wall Street Journal

The Wall Street Journal’s Moneybeat blog is wondering if strippers are the new swingers. This isn’t dirty talk, but rather an important question in today’s oil market. If oil prices continue to plummet, stripper wells could change the market’s supply-demand balance. This would qualify the wells as “swing producers” or “swingers”—entities that are able to influence prices on a grand scale.

Spencer Platt / Getty Images

Texas continues to see sales tax revenues decline. The Austin American-Statesman notes that the drop is linked to struggles in the state’s energy sector. August revenues were down .4 percent compared to the same time a year ago. Over the past six months, the state’s sales tax revenue collection has generally been slowing down.

Amid Oil Bust, An Industry Thrives

Sep 3, 2015
Mose Buchele / StateImpact

As oil prices continue to plummet, there’s one industry in rural Texas that’s booming: the repossession business. StateImpact Texas reports that repo men (and repo women) in Texas are thriving amid the bust.

Wikimedia Commons

The increasing rate of earthquakes in Oklahoma has resulted in a crackdown on disposal wells in the state, reports StateImpact, a reporting project of NPR member stations. Last year, Oklahoma experienced nearly 600 earthquakes of magnitude 3.0 or larger. This year, the state has already suffered 500 such earthquakes.

RJ Sangosti / Denver Post

Colorado requires oil and gas companies to restore all sites completely to reduce erosion, loosen compacted soil, prevent dust storms, and control invasions of noxious weeds.  But, the state doesn’t set a timetable for getting the job done reports the Denver Post.

The land around about half of the inactive wells has yet to be restored, and 72 percent of these sites have been in process for more than five years.

Unlike many other states, Colorado doesn’t require companies to submit a reclamation plan prior to drilling.

New data shows Oklahoma lost about 500 mining jobs last year reports KGOU. About 97 percent of these jobs are related to oil and gas drilling. Lyn Gray is the chief economist for the Oklahoma Employment Commission. She says this year could be worse.

When it comes to the decline in oil prices, over 40 percent of Texans say it will impact businesses positively in their region. However, more than 50 percent say the fall is bad for the state's economy.

The Journal Record / http://journalrecord.com/

An oil industry geologist wants to shift the finger pointing away from the oil industry as the cause of the earthquakes in Oklahoma.  At a recent conference sponsored by the Oklahoma City Geological Society, Glen Brown, vice president of geology at Continental Resources, Inc. says the “tectonic plates are more likely to blame for the tremors in Oklahoma,” according to a recent article from the Journal Record.


The Lone Star State is king of the oil and gas drilling boom.  Over a quarter of all the active drilling rigs in the world are in Texas.  That prosperity is not without cost, nor does it benefit every Texan.


New roads and the increased activities of the Texas oil boom are also helping another lucrative market- drug smuggling according to a recent story from KUT.

Michael Stravato / nytimes.com

Small, abandoned refineries dot the High Plains, but the domestic oil boom of domestic light-crude is breathing new life into some of them said a recent article in the New York Times.  

DAVE FEHLING / StateImpact Texas

Texas has the most miles of natural gas pipelines.  It also has the most accidents.  Federal pipeline regulators say Texas and Florida give the most exemptions regarding who has to notify a pipeline or utility company before digging according to StateImpact Texas.

Courtesy of Carol Kwiatkowski / Colorado Public Radio

Chemicals used in gas drilling work against our endocrine system, a network of glands and cells that release hormones into our bodies.  The chemical disrupters can effect fertility, sperm counts, cause breast and prostate cancer, compromise our immune system, and even contribute to obesity, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes.