Despite a declining Texas Petro Index, economist Karr Ingham said Texas and U.S. consumers continue to benefit from plentiful, affordable energy. “The remarkable efficiencies achieved by the upstream oil and gas industry in Texas mean record and growing production with fewer employees and rigs,” Ingham said. Ingham, TPI creator and economist for Texas Alliance of Energy Producers, said Jan. 28 in Houston the index reached its 2019 peak of 213.2 in February and then declined 10 straight months to 193.6 for December (base 100 in January 1995). The index lost 9.4 percent of its value in the 10-month decline.
Ingham said 2019 was characterized by lower wellhead prices for crude oil and natural gas compared to 2018, a declining rig count, decreases in drilling permits issued, and lower numbers of oil and gas well completions. Total statewide industry employment was down, although oil and gas extraction employment continued to increase along with declines in the support activities sector. Ingham added, “Unlike the previous two contractions, crude oil prices actually stabilized in 2019, helping to sustain higher levels of exploration and production… This helped to sustain industry employment on the operating/producing side.”
Crude oil production grew by 15 percent in 2019 following an increase of 26 percent in 2018. Production continued to set records – topping 5 million barrels per day in July and exceeding 1.85 billion barrels for the year. Also for the year, rig count average was down 10 percent, drilling permits issued were down 12 percent, and crude oil well completions were down 18 percent compared to 2018.