oil & gas

Mose Buchele / KUT news

Since the birth of Texas cattle rustlers have been a scourge in the state. But now, reports KUT, the slumping oil market has given rise to a new kind of criminal in South Texas: oil rustlers. Thieves have been sneaking into well sites and stealing the crude oil, and it’s becoming a big problem.

Tommaso Galli / Flickr Creative Commons

As the price of oil continues to drop, Politico asked a number of experts what the hidden consequences of the crash would be. Their answers varied.

John McLaughlin of Johns Hopkins University said every indication is that prices will not go up markedly. They may even drop further.

Ian Bremmer of the Eurasia Group says Middle East political structures are brittle and based on oil wealth. He asked, what keeps these countries together when the oil money runs out?

Yahoo News

Oil has become incredibly plentiful and cheap recently. So cheap, in fact, that at least one company has suggested that buyers should be paid to take a certain type of low-quality crude. The company is owned by billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch.

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Driving an oilfield truck in Oklahoma can be deadly, reports member station KGOU. In the past eight years, 36 people in the state have died in crashes involving trucks hauling oilfield wastewater and equipment. According to recent data, seven percent of all truck companies licensed for oil-field work in Oklahoma have been involved in fatal accidents.

Colorado Public Radio

Consumers are expected to have a great month at the pump, according to Colorado Public Radio. That’s because gas prices are expected to keep falling in January. A report released Wednesday showed a sharp increase in gasoline inventories. Early this year companies added another eleven million barrels of gasoline. That created the biggest surge in supply since 1993.

Joe Raedle / Newsmakers

Last Thursday marked a historic day for the Texas oil and gas industry, reports Bloomberg. The first U.S. shipment of crude oil to an overseas buyer departed Corpus Christi last week.

Despite Oil Sector Woes, Texas Economy Remains Afloat

Jan 4, 2016
ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP / Getty Images

despite a struggling oil sector, most Texas cities are still flying high according to The Wall Street Journal’s Real Time Economics blog.

U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis

The High Plains and Southwest regions are no longer on top when it comes to the nation’s fastest-growing economies. According to The Wall Street Journal’s Real Time Economics blog, the downturn in the oil industry has pushed economic momentum toward the coasts.

J. Stephen Conn / Creative Commons

Texas is bracing for another oil bust, reports CNBC. The continued global oil-supply glut will likely weigh on Texas and the rest of the U.S. next year. But the latest crude-oil crash may not inflict as much damage as past downturns. Many parts of the state have now diversified away from crude-based economies.

Russia-Insider.com

Of regional interest, shale drilling during the last couple of decades has had some rather powerful political ramifications, according to new research. The Daily Yonder reports that the U.S. shale boom has led to a shift in votes to Republican candidates in counties where the drilling has taken place.

Natalie Maynor / Flickr Creative Commons

Towns in western Oklahoma rely on two key factors to keep their economies running smoothly: agriculture and oil. When oil and gas profits plummet, communities suffer. Those in the oil industry are most directly affected, obviously. But the downturn can affect all industries. Equities.com recently profiled the town of Laverne in northwest Oklahoma. A Laverne oil pumping service called General Inc. recently laid off 15 percent of its workers, with more layoffs possible.

TX Consumers Reap Benefits as Gas Prices Fall

Nov 27, 2015
amarillo.com

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.

nytimes.com

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.

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