Double Edged Drilling - Newschannel 6 Now | Wichita Falls, TX

Double Edged Drilling

Gas prices are dropping, and the decline is expected to continue. The numbers falling anywhere from 15 to 25 cents by Christmas, according to Gasbuddy.  The average cost of gas per gallon today is almost 60 cents lower than the very same day last year. 

Right now, the average gasoline price in Texas is $2.55, according to Gasbuddy. The nation average has also dropped to $2.78.  The national average has decreased 21.8 cents per gallon during just last month, according to Gasbuddy.

The drop is good news for gas consumers. It means more people may be hitting the road, and means extra shopping money for the holidays. 

“A lot of people are projecting these crude oil prices to continue to bottom out and decline for a while,” said Alex Mills, President of Texas Alliance for Energy Producers. 

But with good news comes bad news. The dropping prices are also causing concern among Texas oil production. Experts said in a matter of months, crude oil prices have gone from $100 per barrel, down to $70 and below per barrel. 

“It's all about economics. It's about costs versus revenues, and if you continue to drill and produce, you can stay in business,” said Mills. 

The surplus in crude only is due in part to new drilling methods like Hydraulic Fracturing, according to Mills. It's adding an additional 4 million barrels a day that was not there three years ago. 

In a meeting last week the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries made an announcement that despite drops in gas prices normal production will continue, according to Mills. That means no relief will come to producers in Texas. 

Texas is one of the leading states in the nation in oil production. It employs hundreds of thousands of people every year. But Mill said the next step for producers may mean taking cost cutting measures. 

“It's definitely going to have an impact today, people are re-looking their bottom lines,” said Mills. 

Both Eagle Ford Shale and Premium Basin, two huge oil producers in Texas, are watching the drops carefully, according to Mills. Once numbers dip lowers they may need to start cutting costs. 

“It's a negative on the job side. This will industry wide. It will have implications throughout the economy,” said Mills. 

The oil industry as a whole is responsible for around two million jobs nationwide. And although the industry will take a hard hit for the low prices, if the production rebounds jobs are expected to double by 2035.

Brittany Costello, Newschannel 6

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