How Long Will the Oil Boom Last? - KWES NewsWest 9 / Midland, Odessa, Big Spring, TX: |

How Long Will the Oil Boom Last?

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Nick Lawton
NewsWest 9

PERMIAN BASIN - Oil has long been the backbone of the Basin's business.

"Oil is the king out here for sure," Kirk Edwards, President of the MacLondon Royalty Company in Odessa, said.

Right now, business is booming, but how long will it last?

The oil boom of the 1980's was followed by a Basin recession when oil prices dramatically dropped.

Will it happen again?

"We will not have another situation like we had in 1986 where we had a glut of oil," Oil Consultant, Morris Burns, said. "We reached parity in the late 90's, early 2000's. We're not producing as much as we were back in the earlier days and we're using more."

Experts in jobs said the Basin of today is too different from the 1980's Basin job market-wise to suffer the same recession.

"It's just totally different," CEO of Permian Basin Workforce Solutions, Willie Taylor, said. "Midland/Odessa combined, probably in the neighborhood of right around about 135,000 folks in our civilian workforce population. That's a pretty good increase."

What will keep the boom going is the price of oil.

"Well, what's different about this one, again, it's highly dependent upon the oil price," Edwards said. "As long as the oil price stays above $80 a barrel, we should stay busy."

Experts told NewsWest 9 it would take global economic turmoil to dip prices low enough to cause a Basin recession.

"If China and India and the U.S. go into recession, the price goes down," Burns said.

"That causes the oil price to drop because people are going to think they are going to be using less of it and then the prices do drop at that point," Edwards said.

The price of oil on Wednesday sat at around $100 a barrel.

Experts said as long as oil prices stay above the magic $80 mark, they don't foresee an end to this boom.

"As long as the oil maintains over the $80 a barrel, I'm like most of them," Taylor said. "I'm pretty optimistic that this could carry on for quite some time."