A new report shows that Texas beats other competing states in oil and gas production, as well as employment.
According to a report by the Texas Independent Producers and Royalty Owners Association (TIPRO), the state produced 923 million barrels of oil in 2013—a 198 million barrel increase from 2012. Texas also went from producing 8.2 trillion cubic feet of natural gas in 2012 to 8.3 trillion the year after.
Other states like Pennsylvania and Alaska also followed close behind in the production of gas. Pennsylvania producers dispelled 3.3 trillion cubic feet last year, while Alaska only produced 3.2 trillion.
Since Texas has successfully manufactured oil and gas at high quantities, the workforce has increased in numbers.
"Texas leads the country in employment and production, due in part to our pro-business environment and progressive, yet sensible approach from a legislative and regulatory perspective," said TIPRO President Ed Longanecker.
The U.S. job growth in the first quarter of 2014 added 12,400 jobs, which now totals at 1,025,200.
The oil and natural gas production industry, however, makes up most of those figures.
Employment increased by 30,800 (3 percent) to 1,012,800 in 2013, revealing the growing nature of the oil and gas industry.
In 2013, Texas represented 75 percent of all jobs implemented by the industry. The state alone contributed to 411,600 available job positions. The report determined that the annual average wage totaled to $103,400, the highest rate in comparison to most professions in the job market.
Texas continues to lead by example into this year’s first quarter—with an increase in 2,400 oil production jobs. Other competition has also followed suit:
- Colorado: 2,200
- North Dakota: 1,900
- New Mexico: 1,200
- California: 820
While the industry seems to flourish, there are still federal bans and local environmental regulations aiming to stop oil and gas drilling, also known as hydraulic fracturing.
The Dangers of Fracking website goes into detail about the process of breaking shale rocks as a way to release natural gas. Anti-fracking groups claim that most natural gas companies are hurting the environment by injecting a harmful mix of toxins like led and hydrochloric acid into the ground. Once the drilling is complete, almost half of the fracturing fluid is recovered while the rest is left behind.
This method of expelling natural gas has contaminated the earth’s atmosphere, ozone layer, and ground water.
The biggest downfall of hydraulic fracturing is that it affects nearby water systems. Towns and cities that use local water wells for drinking purposes are exposed to higher methane concentrations. Certain medical cases have reported severe health symptoms involving damages to the respiratory and neurological systems.
Yet, most oil and gas corporations are more concerned with the possible consequences the industry may face if hydraulic fracturing becomes prohibited in big production states like Texas.
“States that adopt overreaching regulations targeting oil and gas development will inevitably experience a progressive or even dramatic decline in these high-paying jobs and all associated benefits,” Longanecker said.
TIPRO is afraid that these ongoing efforts will eventually cause such problems regarding higher taxes and the loss of jobs.
According to Longanecker, in order to improve the economy, create jobs, and ensure security for the next generation, drilling is necessary.
Image Source: Wikimedia Commons