Oil Drilling Permits Surge in First Two Months Of 2013

Pump jack in oilfield south of downtown Houston, Dave Fehling/StateImpact Texas
The state's oil and gas economy grew strongly in January and February, according to the latest Texas Petro Index.

The Texas Railroad Commission issued more than 1,700 drilling permits in February, mostly for crude oil. That’s on top of nearly 2,000 issued in January. Economist Karr Ingham created the index and maintains it on behalf of the Texas Alliance of Energy Producers. 

“It’s the highest two-month total in the entire history of the Texas Petro Index.”

The industry also saw stronger-than-expected job gains. The latest revision of employment data by the Texas Workforce Commission shows the upstream oil and gas sector employed more than 267,000 workers at the end of 2012 — 7% more than previously believed.

“Even though is the sector that still only employs somewhere between 2% and 3%, or occupies some 2% and 3% of all payroll jobs in Texas, the overall economic impact is much greater than that.”

Ingham estimates the oil and gas sector accounts for about 12% of the Texas economy.

Bio photo of Andrew Schneider

Andrew Schneider

Business Reporter

Andrew Schneider joined KUHF in January 2011, after more than a decade as a print reporter for The Kiplinger Letter...