5 Things You Need To Know In Texas Energy

Love is in the air with Valentine’s Day around the corner, but the state of the energy sector is much more somber. 

By Jordan BlumFebruary 9, 2015 9:14 am| ,

Jordan Blum, energy reporter for the Houston Business Journal, says the ongoing slump of oil prices is widespread in Texas. Here’s his five takes:

1. Oil and gas job cuts are coming fast and furious, with oil field services giant Weatherford International cutting 8,000 jobs in the first half of this year, mostly in the U.S. and many in Texas. Competitors have already announced job cuts: Schlumberger with 9,000 and 7,000 for Baker Hughes.

2. Rig counts are down nearly six percent from the week prior, according to Baker Hughes. South Texas’ Eagle Ford Shale saw decline matching the national average, while West Texas’ Permian Basin had a steeper eight percent drop.

3. Southern Methodist University researchers may be a little closer to figuring out the source of those pesky little Texas earthquakes. Environmentalists and other opponents of hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” have pointed upticks and tremors near the Barnett Shale around Dallas and the Eagle Ford Shale closer to San Antonio.

4. ExxonMobil quietly became friendlier to the LGBT community when it updated its Equal Opportunity and Employment Policy to include gender identity and sexual orientation protections. The energy giant says it “remains open to growing,” as speculation suggests Exxon could acquire London-based BP, which is still in the midst of downsizing after 2010’s Deepwater Horizon tragedy.

5. Strikes at some Houston area refineries continued through the weekend, with negotiations still at a stalemate between the United Steelworkers Union and the corporations that are led by Royal Dutch Shell.

This story was prepared with assistance by Jan Ross Piedad.