Economist Discusses Outlook For Oil and Gas Industry

Economist Discusses Outlook For Oil and Gas Industry

by Justin Kree

NewsWest 9

ODESSA - Dr. M. Ray Perryman mapped out his economic outlook as to where Midland and Odessa will be in 2019. Rig stacking is occurring in the Basin but Perryman says in five years this won't be an issue.

"When that industry goes down, we suffer in this region. We're going to be disproportionately affected by all of this. We show a little bit of growth over five years but its very much weighted by going down this year and a little bit next year before it starts to come back," Economist, Dr. M. Ray Perryman said.

Perryman says the Permian Basin has seen growth unlike anywhere else. The infrastructure is trying to sustain that growth. He says we are in a time of leveling out the population. Having a five year economic outlook tells investors to come here, just to wait a year or two.

"When you talk about planning highways, planning water resources and large capital investments, you have to try to look out that far ahead and see what you can see," Perryman said.

Perryman assures that we are not in a downward spiral like the 1980's because fracking is allowing the supply of oil to remain high. He says the oil industry makes up close to 80 percent of jobs in the area and that will continue to lead the economy. However, during this slow time other industries are adding jobs.

"There is still talk about a clean coal plant possibility. There has been some distribution centers opening up. The space industry starting here. There are a lot of things going on but in terms of what will drive the local economy, it remains an oil and gas economy," Perryman said.

Frost Bank brought in Perryman to speak at the Odessa Country Club on Wednesday, they feel confident in the five year economic outlook. Frost Bank says more loans will be given even during this slow time in the oil industry.

"As far as the Permian Basin is concerned, as far as Frost Bank is concerned, we will do a little better this year as far as loaning money. We'll put out more loans this year to investors," Frost Bank Regional President, Wesley Bownds, said.

The potential of investors having a hard time paying back their loan is always a concern but Bownds says it's expected.

"$140 for a barrel of oil or $40, there are people who overextend themselves. We're not as fearful of that in this particular cycle. Frost Bank is 147-years-old and we've done this before," Bownds said.