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Oil and gas industry sees signs of recovery regionally and statewide

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The oil and natural gas industry is showing signs of recovery in East Texas and across the state with more drilling rigs going up, more sales of supplies and more people returning to work.

The signs are occurring as the price of crude oil is slowly increasing and largely stabilizing, thanks in part to OPEC’s decision in November to cut production beginning in January, industry observers said.

“Drilling and exploration is picking up,” said Alex Mills, president of the Texas Alliance of Energy Producers, a trade group that has about 3,000 members across the state. “I would say probably the last quarter of 2016 is when we really started seeing some optimism regarding the stability in (oil) price.”

The total number of drilling rigs operating last week was up a dozen from a week before to 768, Baker Hughes Inc. said Friday. It was the eighth consecutive weekly increase, pushing the total to 288 more than a year ago.

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Written by Ken Hedler

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