Long-term outlook of oil and gas strong in the Coastal Bend, Railroad Commissioner says
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Written by: Jane Caffrey
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It is no secret that the oil and gas industry is still in a downturn, despite oil prices slowly climbing up to $47 dollars per barrel. Nonetheless, the Railroad Commissioner of Texas says oil and gas in Coastal Bend has a a good out outlook int he long-term.
The oil and gas downturn caused Texans losing 84,000 jobs in less than two years when oil prices plummeted from $100 per barrel to below $30. Two years ago there were 900 active oil rigs in the state, while today there are only 230.
“We’re down. We’re down by a lot,” Railroad Commissioner Christi Craddick said in a speech to the Rotary Club of Corpus Christi Thursday. “The trend is good though in Texas.”
Texas is still producing a third of the oil in the United States, and 90 rigs have come online in the state since May. Craddick says the Coastal Bend is well-situated for the next upturn.
“You’re obviously sitting in a Port. But you also sit in the Eagle Ford, you’ve got pipelines coming out of the Eagle Ford right into your Port, so I think long term it’s growth for your industry and growth for the community,” Craddick told KRIS 6 News.
“Lack of people to be able to do these jobs,” Craddick said. “We’re losing good people in this industry, because they’re retiring, they don’t have jobs. We hope they come back.”
Craddick also believes eleven regulatory rules from the federal government limit the industry.
“We’re involved in lawsuits again with the Attorney General to try to stop some of the over-regulation,” she said.
Although oil prices are climbing, there is no saying when they might lead to an upturn.
“I think everybody would like to believe it’s sooner rather than later,” Craddick said. “Fifty dollars is better than $27, where we were earlier this year.”