oil & gas

Eric Kayne / The Wall Street Journal

The Lone Star State has long been seen as a boon to the U.S. economy. But as of late, reports The Wall Street Journal, Texas has become a drag on the nation’s fortunes.

It wasn’t long ago that the state’s energy resources helped keep the U.S afloat. The boom was led, in large part, by the fracking revolution. But ever since the collapse in oil prices, Texas job growth has become stagnant. And Texas has become something of an albatross.

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As the East Coast deals with the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew, oil analysts are worried about the effects such a storm might have on the Texas oil and gas industry.

As The New York Times reports, few American cities are more vulnerable to hurricanes than Houston and Galveston. And none of the other cities are as crucial to the economy. A massive hurricane ramming into the Texas coast could have global economic consequences.

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The State of Oklahoma is asking its citizens to pray for the oil industry, reports The Week magazine.  The statewide prayer initiative will culminate on October 13th with a special breakfast event in the capital, known as Oilfield Prayer Day.

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The oil sector has seen gains recently, reports The Wall Street Journal, and reached a three-month high on Monday.

Prices have been rising on optimism spurred by an OPEC-production deal. After meeting in Algeria, OPEC leaders announced that they would coordinate a reduction of output to 33 million barrels a day.

Digital Globe / The Washington post

Many energy experts from around the world have been wondering, exactly how much crude oil has China been stockpiling?

Gary C. Caskey / UPI

Texas crude oil production looks like it may be on the road to recovery, reports UPI.

Even so, output is still lower than last year, according to the Texas Railroad Commission. July’s daily production rose to 2.4 million barrels of oil per day. That’s three percent higher than it was two months previous.

Gary C. Caskey / UPI

The Lone Star State was, for the most part, less impacted by recent economic downturns than other states. Strong recovery in the services and construction sectors helped to keep the state afloat during hard times.


In early 1952 an Oklahoma City petroleum geologist named William Atkinson raised eyebrows by purchasing earthquake insurance for his home.

His odd decision looked like a bit of psychic brilliance a month later. In April of that year Oklahoma City experienced a powerful earthquake—the most powerful in the state’s history until last week.

Spencer Platt / Getty Images/WSJ

Apache Corp. has high hopes for a new oil field in West Texas, reports The Wall Street Journal.

The energy giant announced last week that the overlooked “Alpine High” region potentially holds the equivalent of at least two billion barrels of oil. “Alpine High,” is an area near the Davis Mountains in far west Texas.

Kool Cats Photography / Flickr Creative Commons

Last week’s 5.6-magnitude earthquake in Oklahoma has now been upgraded to a 5.8, making it the highest magnitude earthquake in the state’s history.

In the wake of this massive quake, CNN Money has published an overview of what we know about these quakes.

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There have long been rumblings that Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper has a strong chance of leading Hillary Clinton’s Interior Department if she wins the White House. It’s a position that has often gone to popular lawmakers from the West. But now, as Politico reports, a blockade from the green wing of the Democratic Party could dash Hickenlooper’s hopes.

Spencer Selvidge / Texas Tribune

A new study predicts that, within the next ten years, Texas will lead the nation in sicknesses linked to ozone-forming pollutants.

These pollutants are a byproduct of oil and gas activity, reports The Texas Tribune.

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The recent anti-fracking effort in Colorado has failed, reports CNBC.

Fracking opponents in the state had been rallying to get two measures onto the ballot that would further regulate the controversial energy extraction process. On Monday word came that both initiatives failed to make the ballot.

Flcelloguy / Wikimedia Commons

West Texas has experienced one of its worst oil slumps ever in recent years. But this week, as the Wall Street Journal reports, there are signs that a long-awaited recovery may be coming soon.

A recent Wall Street land grab in the Permian Basin has energized the market, and sent some shares soaring. Blackstone Group LP announced last week that it has agreed to invest $1.5 billion toward drilling in West Texas.

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Two anti-fracking measures could find their way onto Colorado’s November ballot. But that’s not necessarily good news for the state’s Democratic Party, reports Politico.

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Oklahoma’s oil and gas economy is showing the first signs of growth in nearly two years. The good news comes courtesy of an energy index used to track movement in the energy economy.

As News 9 Oklahoma reports, data collected in May showed a three-point increase in the index over the previous month. Before May, the index hadn’t shown growth since October of 2014.

Rural Blog

Last year, there were 640 oil spills in the US that affected groundwater or surface water in some way. As The Rural Blog notes, many of these crude oil spills go unnoticed and unreported.

In the last seven years there have been 2,500 reported spills. And that number is probably low due to underreporting.  Some oil and gas agencies don't even track spills at the state level.

John Leyba / Denver Post/Getty

Last Monday, anti-fracking proponents in Colorado turned in a petition featuring nearly 200,000 signatures. That means the state is one step closer to having two statewide fracking referendums on the ballot this fall, reports CNBC. The petition reached the requisite signature number over the weekend thanks to a last-minute push by advocates.

The effort is supported by a grassroots coalition called “Yes for Health and Safety Over Fracking.”

Andrea Morales / New York Times

Oil workers in Texas can breathe a bit easier this month. Some oil and gas industry experts have predicted that the market has, finally, bottomed out. And now it appears maybe those predictions are coming true.

Energy producers across Texas cut 900 jobs last month. That’s not great news by any means, but it’s much better than the seven to 8,000 jobs the industry eliminated in January and February, reports Fuel Fix.

Rural Blog

It’s no secret wastewater injection wells linked to fracking have led to a staggering rise in earthquakes in Oklahoma and Kansas. But now, notes The Rural Blog, oil and gas companies appear to have discovered a method to reduce man-made seismic activity.

Scotty J. Ferrell / Congressional Quarterly/The Guardian/Getty

In 1999, the federal government found big tobacco companies guilty of racketeering under the US’s RICO law, traditionally used to go after organized crime syndicates. The Feds found that big tobacco had knowingly funneled money to fake research groups whose job it was to disseminate “science” claiming that smoking wasn’t, in fact, bad for you.


Black Hills Energy has purchased a natural gas transmission pipeline in southwest Kansas from Anadarko Natural Gas Co., reports The Garden City Telegram. The Kansas natural gas utility closed on the sale this week of the 37-mile length of pipeline.

Sue Ogrocki / AP photo

The number of earthquakes in Oklahoma has fallen 25% this year, reports The Wall Street Journal. The decline comes after the state’s efforts to curb the oil and gas industry’s practice of pumping wastewater from its underground operations.

Richard Carson / Reuters

Due to its large deposits of shale oil, the United States has more recoverable oil available than either Russia or Saudi Arabia, according to Reuters. The information comes from a new report by Norwegian consulting group Rystad Energy.

The study contends that the US currently holds an estimated 264 billion of barrels of reserves in existing fields, discoveries and yet to be discovered fields.

That’s eight billion more barrels than Russia has, and over 50 billion more barrels than the Saudis.

Robin Jerstad / Texas Tribune

School districts in oil producing regions across Texas have been struggling in the aftermath of the oil bust, reports The Texas Tribune in its new series “Rough Patch: How plunging oil prices are reversing fortunes across Texas.”

Thompson Reuters

The US Securities and Exchange Commission last week accused Texas-based oil and gas driller Breitling Energy Corp of fraud on a massive scale. The corporation’s chief executive and seven other employees were charged with defrauding investors of around $80 million. The federal agency accused the driller of misleading investors about the value of the company’s oil and gas assets, reports Business Insider. 

Naveena Sadasivam / Texas Tribune

A new book by a member of a think tank in Texas insists that renewable energy creates “false hope,” reports The Texas Tribune. In a talk last week, Kathleen Hartnett White praised fossil fuels and called the advent of fracking “breathtaking.” White directs the Texas Public Policy Foundation’s Armstrong Center for Energy and Environment. While she spoke, protesters outside the event did their best to make their displeasure at her message known.

Joe Raedle / Getty Images

Summer travel season is here, and it brings good news for Oklahoma travelers. Despite heavy demand, Oklahoma gas prices remain among the cheapest nationwide, reports The Duncan Banner.

The national average for regular gas prices continues to rise. But Oklahoma’s average has only moved up by two cents in the last three weeks. It now sits at just $2.15 a gallon.

National Park Service/CPR

It looks like Western Colorado may be sitting on quite a bit more energy than experts believed. In fact, as Colorado Public Radio reports, the western part of the state has 40 times more natural gas than previously thought. However, it’s unlikely the extra gas will produce another oil boom, as tapping the energy would only send prices lower.

Continental Resources/WSJ

Even with today’s low oil prices, producers are still finding places where they can profitably drill. In Oklahoma and West Texas, notes The Wall Street Journal, some companies are still managing to thrive in today’s struggling oil economy. One area of Oklahoma known as the Stack, for example, is still producing solid returns.