Special Report: The road to oil and gas recovery - KWES NewsWest 9 / Midland, Odessa, Big Spring, TX: newswest9.com |

Special Report: The road to oil and gas recovery

Pumpjack in the Permian Basin (Source: KWES/File Video) Pumpjack in the Permian Basin (Source: KWES/File Video)
MIDLAND-ODESSA, TX (KWES) -

Many people are cautiously optimistic about the future of oil and gas in West Texas this year. 

The price of crude has gone up and some companies are starting to hire again.

"I'm hoping to at least get a call back," said job seeker H. Norman Pert.

Workers hit hard by the downturn lined up to turn in their applications at a recent job fair in Midland.

"I've been praying for this oil field to kick back in. When it fell out, I just lost everything. It sucks, but I'm glad to see it start picking back up now, " said job seeker Jason Hyde.

However,  these job seekers aren't signing off on a quick recovery from the bust. 

"The last one shut everything down, so it's going to take a while for things to pick back up," said oil industry veteran Reed Ellis.

The Permian Basin Petroleum Association says the key to pumping life back into the industry is stability in oil prices.

OPEC and non-OPEC nations will have to stick to their cuts.

"We've been between 50 and 55 dollars for a good bit now. Obviously we would like it a bit higher, but having a price between that range and not dropping drastically or raising drastically allows people to plan for the future and that's good for everybody," said Stephen Robertson, Executive Vice-President of the Permian Basin Petroleum Association.

Stability in the market means more investments in the field such as more drilling and fracking.

Experts say another driving force in recovery is better infrastructure..

"If we can't get our product out of the Permian Basin and to market, it doesn't really matter if we can produce it," said Robertson.

Rigs are slowing going back up, but it takes things like reliable electricity to operate in the field.

"You've also got roads, pipelines, and even rail that are incredibly important. On of the things we've experienced in the Delaware Basin, where there is a lot more activity than there ever has been, the roads were not in shape. They were never intended to deal with heavy truck traffic," said Robertson. 

The oil and gas industry is working with local officials and the state to get reliable infrastructure in place. 

Experts are also keeping an eye on President Donald Trump, who is promising less reliance on foreign oil.

 He has already signed orders to advance construction of the Keystone XL and Dakota Access oil pipelines

They're also watching his cabinet picks like former ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tiillerson and former Texas governor Rick Perry

 "They appear to be very friendly to not only the oil and gas industry, but business development in general.That appears to be something very lacking the past several years coming out of Washington, D.C. That could be a great support for our industry moving forward, " said Robertson.

For now, the industry is watching and waiting to see what happens next. 

 "I know it's going to be soon. It's just a matter of time," said job seeker Jason Hyde.

Copyright 2017 KWES. All rights reserved.

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