Texas ramps up oil production as gas prices hit new high | national news

(The Center Square) – As the Biden administration doubles down on its policies of restricting domestic oil and gas production and promoting green energy, Texas is ramping up production and hiring people to work in the industry .

West Texas producers are expected to pump a record amount of crude next month, and last month Texas saw its strongest monthly industry job growth in nearly 11 years.

Texas is considered the model of how to respond and lead during an energy crisis, one industry player says it was created by President Joe Biden.

From rescinding federal land and offshore leasing permits, to increasing regulations and proposed taxes, to depleting strategic oil reserves, to foreign oil production, Biden has done everything to hamper and, in many ways, shut down domestic oil production, those in the industry are challenging.

Under the Trump administration, the United States has become the largest crude oil producer in the world, led by Texas. Under the Biden administration, months after implementing a series of restrictive policies, gas prices hit a seven-year high and inflation hit a 40-year high.

And on Monday, the average price of a gallon of gasoline hit a new high. AAA reports that gasoline costs an average of $4.60 a gallon as of Monday. A month ago, the average price was $4.12 per gallon. A year ago it was $3.04. The price of diesel, the fuel used by truckers to haul food and other consumer goods across the country, was $5.55 a gallon on Monday, down from $3.18 a gallon a year ago . Soaring energy prices are partly responsible for inflation at its highest level in 40 years.

In parts of the country, gasoline prices are now double what they were before Biden took office, and analysts say they are go up again.

To offset rising prices and meet demand, the Texas oil and gas industry is ramping up production primarily in the Permian Basin. He is able to do this because the Texas Railroad Commission, which regulates the oil and gas industry, is issuing more and more drilling permits. Last month, it issued 946 original drilling permits, 1,176 permits in March and 732 in April.

Permian Basin producers are expected to increase output by 88,000 barrels per day (bpd) to a record 5.219 million bpd in June, the US Energy Information Administration reports.

With the increase in production comes an increase in jobs, as evidenced by the fact that the industry recorded its strongest monthly job growth in April in nearly 11 years.

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About 5,200 upstream oil and natural gas jobs were added last month, with a total of 190,400 employees, according to data from the Texas Workforce Commission. Compared to last April, jobs in the industry increased by 26,700, or 16.3%, in April.

“Despite ongoing political setbacks and supply bottleneck issues, oil and gas companies are moving forward to meet demand here at home and abroad,” said Todd Staples, chairman. of the Texas Oil & Gas Association. “These historic employment figures are a sign of strength and, when combined with the increase in the number of platforms of approximately 58% compared to last year, are clear indicators of the commitment of the oil and natural gas industry to continue to provide energy security for Texas and the United States. ”

Since the low point in September 2020, the Texas oil and gas industry has added 33,400 upstream jobs, an average of 1,758 new jobs per month.

Months of job growth outnumbered months of decline 17 to 2.

The Texas Independent Producers and Royalty Owners Association (TIPRO) points out that the industry continues to dominate even though the president and the Democratic-controlled Congress intend to work against it.

Last week, the House of Representatives passed a party-friendly bill authorizing the Federal Trade Commission to investigate energy companies for allegations of price gouging. Only four Democrats joined Republicans in voting against: Representatives Lizzie Fletcher of Houston, Stephanie Murphy of Florida, Jared Golden of Maine and Kathleen Rice of New York.

“Texas operators are responding to the call to increase production, despite numerous challenges including inflationary pressures, labor shortages and a conflicting federal policy environment,” said TIPRO President Ed Longanecker. . “Instead of politicians interrogating oil and gas executives, making false accusations and pushing for more taxes and regulations for American producers, it’s time to stop politicizing energy security and create a cohesive strategy. to meet our current and future energy needs.

Longanecker said the bill was another example of “political theater by policymakers unwilling to take responsibility for the impact of their own failing energy policies.

“Prices are not set by some obscure cabal of corporations,” he added. “Over the past three decades, there have been more than 100 investigations and lawsuits by consumers, the FTC, and state attorneys general alleging such conspiracies in the gasoline market, none of which have shown the slightest suspicion of wrongdoing on the part of domestic producers.”

TIPRO notes that the strong supply of jobs in the Texas industry last month indicates continued demand for talent and a commitment to expanding oil and gas exploration and production. Last month, there were 11,313 active unique jobs available. The majority are available in Houston, Midland and Odessa.

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