It seems that ever since the domestic oil and gas boom first began, experts have been predicting its demise. This year was yet another year in which many believed that the industry would experience a slowdown as sources dried up. However, once again Texas has proven these predictions wrong.
According to a recent article in the Houston Chronicle, oil and gas production in Texas reached record levels this year, close to surpassing records that were set in 1972.
It is clear that the state's oil and gas reserves are nowhere near depleted, but that is only part of the reason why production is up. As the news source notes, political turmoil in Ukraine, Russia and Iraq—all oil producing regions—has disrupted global supplies and caused oil prices to rise above $100 per barrel. This has acted as an incentive for Texas petrochemical companies to maintain their rapid production pace, and it appears that this will continue until the state sets new records.
"It looks to me you'd have to have a fairly dramatic set of circumstances to prevent that from happening," Karr Ingham, an economist with the Texas Alliance of Energy Producers, told the news source.
To maintain this pace, the number of oil and gas rigs in Texas has increased by 6 percent during the past year to reach 891, in which nearly 300,000 people now have jobs.
Though this is a good sign for the economy, an increase in oil and gas drilling does present a new environmental threat if essential safeguards such as spill prevention, control and countermeasure (SPCC) plans are not properly implemented. As petrochemical companies move to take advantage of beneficial market forces, they must also work with environmental consultants to minimize potential liabilities.