Oil & Gas Industry News
International & National News Updates
Fears about the ISIS insurgency in Iraq disrupting oil production has pushed Brent oil futures up to $115 a barrel. So far, exports from Iraq remain stable, but the possibility of an oil supply shock is still real. Light crude, produced in North America, held steady at around $106.
US Oil Rig Count up to highest since september 2012, at 1,858. Horizontal drilling rigs are at six times the number of directional rigs.
Texas Oil Updates
US Approves Light Oil Exports
Pioneer Natural Resources was given the go-ahead to export light oil by the US Department of Commerce. Government representatives stated that there is no policy change. The ban on crude and condensate oil exports was enacted in 1975, two years after the OPEC oil embargo which quadrupled the price per barrel in one year. However, the ban does not impact processed oil or gasoline. The oil condensate that was approved for export, went through minimal processing, distilling out the lightest compounds.
Other oil companies in the US have been finding workarounds to the export ban , using some sort of minimal processing so it is no longer considered crude or condensate by the law. The process used by Pioneer is simpler and less costly, and with US approval, many other companies may start adopting the same policy.
Pressure to ease export restrictions has increased since the shale boom began. There was a brief oil boom in Texas in the late 1970’s, however, the resulting glut in supply drove prices lower which killed the boom. Industry analysts have warned Texas to not repeat the same mistake by controlling drilling expansion. Export capabilities would continue to fuel the growth, but face political opposition due to high domestic gasoline prices.
San Antonio Shale Employment Boom
The number of oil & gas workers in San Antonio has more than doubled since 2009, with the last records showing 9,537 employees in the region. Employment in the oil industry is the fastest growing in the San Antonio area. The jobs also pay well, with an average salary of $93,607.
Cline Shale in Permian Basin Sees Potential
A region in the east of the Permian Basin may be slated to be the next region to be part of the Texas oil boom. The potential for growth has created a sort of rivalry between the Permian Basin and Eagle Ford oil riggers. According to study by the University of Texas at San Antonio, the Cline Shale could have an economic impact of of $20 billion and provide over 30,000 jobs by 2022. The report was done by the University’s Institute for Economic Development, following a report from the previous year.
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