crude oil

Can Markets Save The Prairie Chicken In Kansas?

Aug 13, 2018
Ben Kuebrich / Kansas News Service

The booming calls of the lesser prairie chicken once rung out across western Kansas.

Accounts from the 1800s mention bands of hunters bagging dozens of birds each. Railways advertised special trains that brought sportsmen to shoot the birds in the Texas panhandle, complete with ice cars to preserve the meat on the ride home.

Public Domain via Pexels

The state of Texas has now truly become a global oil superpower.

As CNN Money reports, the Lone Star State has now passed Iran and Iraq to become the third largest producer of crude on the planet. Only Russia and Saudi Arabia now produce more oil than the state of Texas.

Pixabay / CC0 Creative Commons

The Texas oil and gas workforce has reached a seven-year low, according to The Houston Chronicle.

The news comes even as oil prices have stabilized.

When crude prices plummeted three years ago, after the economic glory years of the fracking boom, the Texas energy industry scrambled to find ways to produce more oil using fewer bodies.

Catmoz / Creative Commons

A professor of Energy Management at Rice University in Houston is warning that Hurricane Harvey may have a bigger effect on the nation’s oil supply that previously thought.

In an editorial in the D.C. political newspaper The Hill, Bill Arnold writes that Harvey is only the latest in a series of factors that have put pressure on the production, refining and distribution of crude in the U.S.

Oil tug-of-war featured in New York Times article

Jun 20, 2017
HITCHHACKING / FLICKR CREATIVE COMMONS

The oil market is featured in a New York Times article that highlights the years-long tug-of-war between the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) - which has attempted one failed tactic after another to conquer the oil glut that is expected to suppress prices for at least another year - and companies continuing to tap into shale reserves across the U.S., driving oversupply and low prices.

San Antonio Express News

After a staggering downturn in the state’s oil and gas fortunes over the past few years, Texas appears to be entering what look to be better days ahead, reports the San Antonio Express-News.  

West Texas oil production has pushed the value of the region’s spot crude to its lowest discount to the U.S. oil benchmark in nearly two years, as the shale industry continues pumping more to take advantage of higher prices and demand from refiners who have seen supplies cut by top global producers.

Oil prices fell below the $50-per-barrel-mark Tuesday following a hike in oil production by Saudi Arabia.

As Business Insider reports, West Texas Intermediate crude, the U.S. benchmark, fell to $47.43 per barrel as of Tuesday morning. Brent crude oil, the international benchmark, was at $50.48 per barrel. Both were at their lowest prices since November.

Gas prices continue to steadily increase

Jan 5, 2017
AAA

According to AAA, the national average gas price as of Tuesday was $2.34 per gallon, the highest New Year fuel prices since 2014. 

Rafael Aguilera / Texas Tribune

In the wake of the collapse in oil prices over the past several years, Texas and Oklahoma have seen a different kind of boom. In these states, there’s been a surge in abandoned oil drilling sites.

To make matters worse, the areas that generally have abandoned rigs generally don’t have the funds to clean the sites. As The Texas Tribune reports, wildcatters have been punching holes in the hard West Texas caliche for almost a century.

Jessica Rinaldi / Reuters/CSM

For years, analysts feared the world had reached a peak in the supply of crude oil, and that supplies would begin to diminish rapidly as demand increased, sending prices skyrocketing. This situation is known to analysts as “peak oil.”

Now, as The Christian Science Monitor reports, the opposite phenomenon may be occurring. That is, the world may reach peak demand before it ever gets a chance to hit “peak oil.”

Creative Commons

Oil prices will likely continue to rise following a meeting between OPEC and non-OPEC oil producing countries Saturday.

Bloomberg News

The Organization for Petroleum Exporting Countries, otherwise known as OPEC, will meet this week to determine whether the group will curb production. High Plains oil producers are watching anxiously, in hopes OPEC will ramp down production.

Such a move would likely send worldwide oil prices higher and increase profits on the High Plains—while also raising gas prices for consumers.

oilprice.com

High Plains oil producers received a tough blow this week, as oil prices fell once again on a persistent oversupply of worldwide crude. 

According to OilPrice.com, recent data suggests that the world will soon touch a milestone rate of oil consumption: 100 million barrels every day. In a normal world, increased demand would mean increased profits.

oilprice.com

Texas’s crude oil output inched up in August to 2.4 million barrels per day. Analysts say this is the sign of a continuing—if hesitant—recovery in the Lone Star State.

All told, Texas is producing .5 percent more oil this year than last year. As a West Texas rigger might say, .5 ain’t much, but it’s somethin’.

Creative Commons

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.

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.

AP photo

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.

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.

Ann Saphir / Reuters

Oil prices are creeping up, and that means energy companies are tentatively starting to drill again, Reuters reports. Many drillers are starting to be optimistic that this time they really are on the other end of the horrific two-year slump. The downturn has caused oil outfits to shed employees and hemorrhage profits. Now as wells in the West Texas Permian Basin are again becoming profitable, producers are finally taking baby steps to crank up output.

Ibraheem Al Omari / Reuters

Oil prices are set to plunge again, reports quartz.com. Oil producers gathered in Doha this weekend in an attempt to freeze production in the glutted crude oil market. With the news of the proposed production freeze, oil prices had recently soared by more than 30%. But the various oil interests failed to reach an agreement.

tau0.wordpress.com

As the oil recession continues, some are beginning to wonder if this setback could turn into a full-fledged oil bust like the one that deeply wounded many Texas small-town economies. Communities across the western part of the Lone Star State are seeing businesses shutter as jobs are cut and production is slashed. As the Texas Observer reports, towns in the Permian Basin and the Eagle Ford and Barnett shale regions are seeing unemployment rates rise.

Jennifer Boomer / The Wall Street Journal

Falling energy prices are deepening the pain felt in West Texas, according to a recent article in The Wall Street Journal. In an examination of the economic effects in the Permian Basin, the Journal noted that there is downward pressure on wages as job applicants swell. Meanwhile, prices on everything from hotel rooms to tacos are falling, and late payments on small business loans are increasing.

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?

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.

Creative Commons

The Department of Transportation has reversed a ruling that would phase out a requirement that railroads must disclose publicly when they’re transporting crude oil. The Rural Blog reports that the rule will now remain in effect. Media outlets have raised concerns about trains transporting crude oil through dangerous or populated areas. The number of oil train spills has skyrocketed in recent years, increasing from 25 in 1975 to 141 in 2014.

Quentin Hope

Regional crude oil and natural gas prices are broadcast every weekday on HPPR during Morning Edition at 5:50, 6:32, 7:32 and 8:32 central time.  The report is compiled and voiced by Wayne Hughes of Amarillo, TX.

Complete current market information from the sources used in the regional summary report can be found at these sites:

Panhandle All Fields crude oil from Phillips 66.

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