Texas shows decrease in oil production

State data suggests some parts of the economy may be on the mend, however.
By Daniel J. Graeber Follow @dan_graeber Contact the Author   |  Updated March 1, 2016 at 9:17 AM
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AUSTIN, Texas, March 1 (UPI) -- Texas crude oil production showed a decrease in December as crude oil prices dragged on state potential, though banks are seeing signs of life.

The Railroad Commission of Texas, the state's energy regulator, reported crude oil production for December, the last full month for which data are available, at 74.6 million barrels of oil, a decline of about 3 percent from November.

A decline in crude oil prices means less capital is available for exploration and production. The decrease from November to December is correlated to crude oil prices, which lost 12 percent of their value through November 2015. The price for West Texas Intermediate crude oil bottomed out for 2016 at around $26 per barrel in January before recovering to around $34 per barrel in early Tuesday trading. The Tuesday price is still 16 percent lower than the start of November.

Crude oil prices are lower in part because markets are tilted heavily toward the supply side, with storage hubs in the United States at historic levels.

For all of 2015, Texas produced 1.16 billion total barrels of oil, an increase of 2 percent from full-year 2014.

The Dallas Federal Reserve in early 2015 said low oil prices resulted in a deterioration of the financial position of many companies tied to the energy sector, especially smaller ones. The downturn, meanwhile, is spilling over into the manufacturing sector.

Outside of oil and natural gas, Texas produces more than 11 percent of all the manufactured goods in the country, putting it in the No. 2 spot behind California in terms of factory output. The Dallas Federal Reserve reported Monday, however, that factor activity contracted in February, but the pace at which the sector was declining was slowing down.

"Some advancement was seen in February in our six-months-ahead indexes, and an oil- and gas-related equipment manufacturer said he anticipates improvement in the second half of the year," Emily Kerr, a business economist with the Dallas Fed, said in a statement.

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