Thursday AM November 6th, 2008

Declining oil and gas prices aren't discouraging drilling and production activity in Texas. The Texas Petro Index has hit a new high for the 20th consecutive month. Ed Mayberry reports.
image of oil drilling

The Texas Alliance of Energy Producers says activity levels continued climbing in September even with lower crude oil and natural gas wellhead prices.  Alex Mills with the Alliance says producers are looking at the long-term picture.

"People are looking to the future.  They also have a lot of leases that they have to drill or they will lose the lease.  You have a lot of contracts that were made back in the last two or three years that they have to fulfill.  And there's still some optimism out there, too, even at today's prices--it's about where it was last year at this time." 

Mills says 8.7 per cent more Texans are employed in the oil and gas industry than a year ago--a total of 226,000 jobs.  In fact, it remains a problem recruiting.

"We still have an employment problem.  We need more people.  We're continuing to fill some of those vacancies, and we're getting back to where we were one point in time."

Drilling permits, well completions and the rig count remain favorable compared to year-ago conditions.  Mills says increased production is leading to higher reserves. 

"Our natural gas and crude oil reserves have increased which is a turnaround from our historic trends of reclines in reserves, so, and that's due to the increased exploration and production of the crude oil and natural gas in the United States."

Ed Mayberry, KUHF Houston Public Radio News.

Bio photo of Ed Mayberry

Ed Mayberry

Local Anchor, All Things Considered

Ed Mayberry has worked in radio since 1971, with many of those years spent on the rock 'n' roll disc jockey side of the business...