The Texas oil and natural gas industry appears to be doing more with less.
Crude oil and natural gas production continues to rise despite flat job growth, a new report from the Texas Independent Producers & Royalty Owners Association reveals.
Texas crude oil production reached 1.35 billion barrels through November 2018 — an increase of 209 million barrels compared to the same period in 2017, the association reported last week. December figures are still pending, but crude oil production is expected to surpass the 1.5-billion-barrel forecast for 2018.
Natural gas production increased slightly for a total of 7.5 trillion cubic feet produced through November 2018. Most of the increased output came from the Permian Basin of West Texas, which has become the top shale play in the United States, the Houston Chronicle reported.
Despite the production gains, job growth stalled in November. The oil and natural gas industry added 10,000 new jobs in Texas between January and November but that jobs growth has slowed down amid lower crude oil prices.
"Job growth in the Texas upstream sector was essentially flat in November compared to many months of consecutive growth," TIPRO President Ed Longanecker said in a statement.
"A slowdown in employment was expected due to the impact of takeaway capacity constraints in West Texas, lower crude oil prices, added expense to E&P projects from increasing service costs, as well as rising material costs resulting from steel and aluminum tariffs.
"Ongoing innovation and efficiencies being utilized in the industry, expanding pipeline capacity, and an expedited resolution to trade disputes will support increased energy production and job growth for the state of Texas," the statement said.