Texas Petro Index reaches record-high for February

The Texas Petro Index (TPI), a composite index based on a comprehensive group of upstream economic indicators released by the Texas Alliance of Energy Producers (TAEP), reached yet another record high, tallying a score of 300.6 in February as a result of rapidly increasing production, higher wellhead prices, and revised statewide employment numbers (OGJ Online, Oct. 2, 2013).

Producers in Texas increased oil output by more than 22% in February compared with February 2013, noted Karr Ingham, economist and creator of the index. Ingham added that natural gas production was up about 1%.

“Combined with higher wellhead prices for both commodities, the value of oil and gas produced in Texas during February increased by more than $2.85 billion in the past year to about $10.63 billion,” Ingham said.

Texas producers recovered about 2.75 million b/d of crude oil in February—the most since 1980. Crude oil production in Texas totaled an estimated 77.2 million bbl, about 14.1 million bbl more than in February 2013. The value of Texas-produced crude oil reached a total of $7.48 billion, a 29.2% jump vs. February 2013.

The estimated Texas natural gas output was more than 625.2 bcf. With gas prices in February averaging 5.04/Mcf—an increase of about 55.6% compared with the average wellhead price of $3.24/Mcf in February 2013—the value of Texas-produced gas increased 57.3% to about $3.15 billion.

Ever-expanding workforce

Ingham said revised statewide employment estimates by the Texas Workforce Commission indicated the oil and gas industry continues to hire new workers at an impressive pace, faster than even the robust growth in prior years.

The number of Texans on oil and gas industry payrolls averaged a record 285,000, according to statistical methods based upon TWC estimates, about 4.9% more than in February 2013. Record-setting estimated oil and gas industry employment in February replaced the record estimate of 282,700, set in August 2013.

“In 2012, workforce commissioners revised total upstream payroll employment upward by about 3,200 jobs to more than 270,000 jobs, which reflected a growth rate of 10.2% at yearend compared to yearend 2011,” Ingham said, adding, “In 2013, another 10,000 jobs were added to upstream oil and gas company payrolls, and that job growth has escalated during early part of this year.”

He said, “At yearend 2013, the year-over-year rate of industry employment growth was about 3.7%. In February, the year-over-year rate of industry employment growth was nearly 5%, with about 13,400 jobs added over the last 12 months. Since the industry downturn in 2009, about 103,000 jobs have been added to upstream oil and gas company payrolls.”

The most recent low ebb in industry employment, 179,200, occurred in October 2009. During the previous growth cycle, industry employment peaked at 223,200 in November 2008.

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