Is this the year for oil in the Permian Basin?

Is this the year for oil in the Permian Basin?
West Texas sunset. (Source: KWES.)

(KWES) - This might be the year in the Permian Basin. Two crude oil benchmarks started the new year above $60 per barrel. Last time, we saw those prices was years ago in 2014.

Now, it seems that the overall price per barrel has been up at least for the last few months.

"It's been up and down the past two years, but fortunately for 2017 and now starting in 2018. We have hit prices that we haven't seen in two and half years. So that's been a nice rebound for this area," said Steven M. Robertson, Executive Vice President of the Permian Basin Petroleum Association.

Another good thing happening is oil reserves and Cushing, which has been one of the biggest oil hubs in the United States, is at the lowest it's been in 2 years.

"If storage is going down, that means that the demand is going to continue to rise and so thankfully the Permian Basin has been able to become a basin that can produce greater amounts of hydrocarbons then anybody thought possible 10 or 15 years ago," said Robertson.

There has also been an increase of capital investments in land projects the last few years throughout the Permian Basin.

That means economic growth and stability.

"They were made for years, if not decades upon decades of production. Those companies that have made those investments are not just making those investments in the ground. But the people out in West Texas and Southeast New Mexico, they're are making the investment in the communities in this area and that's showing they are going to be here for a while."

It's not just oil but gas too.

It may be a smaller scaled example, but even with the cold temperatures in West Texas a few days ago, we turned on our heaters.

The greater part of the mid-west and northern regions of the U.S. were dealing with single digits to below 0. You can bet they turned on their heaters, too.

Making millions of people turning on their heaters, which is powered by natural gas. The higher the demand of gas has always been beneficial for our local economy.

Also, it seems that the energy industry is having more support in the White House. The Trump Administration announced Thursday a proposal opening nearly all U.S offshore waters to oil and gas drilling. The announcement included reversing the protections in the Arctic, Atlantic and Pacific.

The statement was controversial and has not seen any movement yet.

However, more drilling locations could put America back in the saddle for dominating the energy industry internationally.

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