Texas oil production stabilizing at high level of activity


After experiencing a banner year in 2012, the Texas oil and gas industry has maintained high production and employment levels during the first half of 2013.

The oil and gas sector continues to drive economic growth in the Lone Star State, according to the newest update to the Texas Petro Index (TPI), which gives a composite view of numerous indicators of the industry's health.

"Midway through 2013, the Texas oil and gas exploration and production economy is enjoying stability at a high level of activity, modest increases in aggregate activity levels, and impressive employment growth," Karr Ingham, the economist behind the TPI, said in a press release.

Ingham explained that although the number of active drilling rigs in the state has declined slightly this year, the oil and gas industry "continues to provide fuel to statewide economic growth, and at this point all signs are pointing to a continuation of those trends through the balance of 2013."

Estimated crude oil production in Texas during the first six months of the year was up almost 15 percent compared to the same period in 2012, which was widely recognized as a banner year for the industry. Production from Texas wells—about 2 million barrels—accounted for nearly 30 percent of total U.S. production last year.

Energy production will remain a key source of economic growth

A recent report from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce asserted that "regions that produce basic commodities like energy and food" will be the main sources of sustained economic growth in the coming years. This prediction seems to align with what the TPI is showing about Texas, where increases in energy production and economic activity have gone hand-in-hand.

"The oil and gas industry played a huge role in Texas' standing in 2012 as the second-fastest growing economy in the country," Ingham noted.

The economist explained that, based upon gross state product, North Dakota was the only state to achieve a higher rate of economic growth—13.4 percent compared to Texas' 4.8 percent—and much of that growth was also driven by an oil boom. Crude production in North Dakota increased by more than 400 percent between 2007 and 2012, and the initial figures reported by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) for 2013 show that output is still increasing.

The prosperity being enjoyed by residents of these states has been brought about by relatively recent technological advances. As companies continue to implement advanced production technologies, such as hydraulic jet pumps, Americans can continue to look forward to a brighter future that is powered by development of domestic natural resources.

Jet pumps provide an especially valuable option to producers because they offer a high level of versatility. The unit's streamlined design allows it to be successfully deployed in horizontal or deviated wells and easily retrieved for maintenance or optimization. Furthermore, the technology can even be used at sites where problems with the completion of well casing would limit the effectiveness of alternative solutions.