West Texas

Americas

Labor shortages in West Texas getting worse

The latest shale drilling boom is driving unemployment to the lowest levels in years in many of the areas that encompass the Permian Basin, a 17-county region that spans West Texas and eastern New Mexico, according to data compiled by the Permian Basin Regional Planning Commission, a cross-border coalition geared toward diversifying the region’s economy.

Oil & Gas

From affluence to effluence: hard pressed oil firms turn to toilet water to cut costs

Top shale oil producer Pioneer Natural Resources has found an unusual way to both save water and cut costs for its wells: tapping the treated runoff from toilets, sinks and showers in west Texas. Pioneer has signed an 11-year, $117 million deal with the city of Odessa, Texas that will guarantee it access to millions of gallons of treated municipal wastewater each day, for use in nearby oilfields. Deliveries of the so-called effluent, are expected to start at the end of the year. As crude oil has slid to its lowest level in six years -currently about $40 a barrel - oil and gas companies pumping from shale rock have tried to cut every unnecessary penny from their operations. Water acquisition and transportation can be up to 10 percent of the cost of drilling and fracking a well, according to consulting firm IHS.

Markets

Oil holds gains as US crude inventories projected to decline

Oil held gains before US government data forecast to show crude stockpiles fell in the world’s biggest consumer. Futures rose 0.7 percent in New York. Crude inventories probably declined by 1.63 million barrels through July 31 for a second weekly drop, according to a Bloomberg survey of analysts before an Energy Information Administration report Wednesday. The new head of Libya’s state oil company for the eastern region is considering resuming exports from the nation’s two largest ports and will seek to boost production. Oil is still trading near the lowest price in almost five months after falling 21 percent in July on signs a global supply glut is persisting. US crude stockpiles remain close to 100 million barrels above the five-year seasonal average, while members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries are pumping more to defend market share.