For the first time in nearly five years Texas saw jobs numbers decline. Most of that decline is linked to the massive drop in oil prices. Texas and Oklahoma saw the highest number of job losses in the last month, a combined 37,000 plus.
On Tuesday many of the big names in Texas and Oklahoma drilling could be seen at the annual Alliance Energy Expo held in downtown Wichita Falls. Midwestern Mud is one of the companies that works directly with drill sites in the Texoma region.
"Things were very busy at one time, but as you know there is a downturn," said Dwight Campbell of Midwestern Mud. "I think a lot of people are in shell-shocked right now more than anything. As the price gets lower you have less oil being pulled out of the ground and consequently you have less people to pull it out of the ground. In this case we had a 50% drop in the price of oil. When the price stabilizes at say 60 or above, I think then we ill be in much better shape," said Campbell.
Besides price another factor that could hinder job growth is Texas laws. As more information is learned about the impact of new tracking techniques it's possible new laws could be written.
"From an air stand point it is believed that there is a greater release when someone freaks a site there is an increase in production as a result, there is an increase in the amount of pollutants or emissions that are released into the atmosphere," said Travis Gaines of Benzol Group.
As of right now there is nothing in Texas law that prevents the new oil and gas extracting techniques, like fracking, from being used.
"If it is in the proposal stage of a rule, we will alert them that helps them to prepare for it, but we actually don't begin to work with operators until something is an actual rule," said Gaines.
The Texas legislature voted last week that prevents cities from banning oil extracting techniques like fracking.