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A new report from Texans for Natural Gas, a North Texas organization set up to promote the local oil and gas industry, has summed up the benefits this industry has generated in the state, from wages and royalties to land owners to investments in infrastructure and schools.
Focusing on the Eagle Ford play, the report cites its reserves of 8.5 billion barrels of crude and 66 trillion cu ft of natural gas, before noting its daily production as of July this year hit 1.4 million barrels of crude and 6.8 billion cu ft of gas. This, Texans for Natural Gas note, makes the Eagle Ford the fourth-largest natural gas-producing region in the United States.
This fact, the reports goes on to add, has led to lower electricity bills and to some utilities not needing to raise rates because gas is abundant and cheap. The report cites as a case in point the sole electricity provider to San Antonio, CPS Energy. CPS operates 15 natural gas-fired power plants, which account for 46 percent of the electricity the company produces. An added benefit of the rise of natural gas is the lower emission levels.
The report also had a lot to say about the jobs that the oil and gas industry has created and continues to create as it recovers from the 2014 downturn. But other sources of data show a somewhat different picture.
While it’s not surprising that amid recovering prices, Texas is set to break its oil production record this year, the oil industry’s drive to cut costs and increase efficiencies is now enabling drillers to pump record volumes of oil with fewer workers—the current workforce numbers are roughly the same as they were in 2011, petroleum economist Karr Ingham of the Texas Alliance of Energy Producers said in January.
Ingham reiterated the fact in July at the presentation of his latest Texas Petro Index, noting that while Texas oil production had hit a high of 4.3 million bpd in June, up by 27 percent over 12 months, the increase did not require more rigs and personnel than before. So far, 47,000 new jobs have been created in Texas oil and gas after the crisis, which wiped out 115,000 jobs. Many of these are not coming back, Ingham said in July.
By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com
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Irina is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing on the oil and gas industry.