Texas oil and gas jobs grow by 20,000 in last year

Fuel Fix:
Oil companies across Texas added about 20,000 jobs over the past year as oil prices stabilized, drilling rigs returned to the prolific Permian Basin, production grew and the industry recovered, according to an index that tracks energy activity in the state.

The number of Texas oil and gas jobs rose to almost 213,000 in July, up 10 percent over the same period last year, according to the Texas Petro Index, released Wednesday, which tracks the health of the oil industry.

“Clearly, the industry is in a state of recovery right now,” said Karr Ingham, an Amarillo economist who compiles the data for the Texas Alliance of Energy Producers.

RELATED: Texas oil jobs rise as drilling surges

The number of drilling rigs in Texas oil fields has more than doubled, from 206 in July 2016 to 464 last month. Drilling permits have jumped by 60 percent, up from 630 to more than 1,000 over the year. And oil production in Texas keeps rising, up almost 6 percent, from 98 million barrels to 104 million.

It’s the eighth straight monthly increase for the Petro Index since November, which capped a 24-month contraction as U.S. crude prices dropped from more than $100 in 2014 to $26 last year.
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The growth has come despite the prices hovering around the break even point for many wells.  What would help sustain the growth would be more refinery capacity for the light crude being produced.  Now, much of the production is exported to other countries.

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