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Texas Crude Oil Production On Track To Set New Annual Record

The state’s production is surging even as crude prices, drilling permits, and rig counts continue to fall.

By virtually every measure, the state’s petroleum economy took a beating in the first half of this year. But in June, Texas wells set a new record for production, pumping nearly 3.6 million barrels of crude per day.

Karr Ingham is petroleum economist for the Texas Alliance of Energy Producers. He says that — even with crude prices tumbling back towards, and possibly below, $40 per barrel — it’s all but certain that the state will set a new annual production record by December.

“It looks to me like that’s unavoidable at this point,” Ingham says. “The previous record was achieved in 1972, at about 1.263 billion barrels produced in that year, and we are going to eclipse that figure in 2015.”

Much of the production coming online now stemmed from activity that started in the second half of last year, before the November 2014 collapse of crude prices. But there’s also a more worrisome factor at work.

“I think there’s great credence to the notion that companies find themselves needing to produce as much as possible just to maintain company revenue,” Ingham says.

He expects the upstream oil and gas sector in Texas will lose between 40,000 to 50,000 jobs this year, compared to its December peak of 305,000. The industry lost roughly 20,000 jobs in the first half of this year.

More information: 

Texas petroleum index for June

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Andrew Schneider

Andrew Schneider

Politics and Government Reporter

Andrew heads Houston Public Media’s coverage of national, state, and local elections. He also reports on major policy issues before the Texas Legislature and county and city governments across Greater Houston. Before taking up his current post, Andrew spent five years as Houston Public Media’s business reporter, covering the oil...

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