Oil Exports Bring Boom Times To Texas Port

A surge in production in the Permian Basin of west Texas—-already the nation’s highest producing oilfield — is extracting more crude oil than refiners in Texas can handle. But now, producers in the Permian have new outlets for that oil with economic implications hundreds of miles away from the flatlands of west Texas. Based on crude oil export projections, port officials say they expect to add 5000 direct and indirect jobs in 2017. 

“This is not a bubble, this is real growth,” said vessel traffic controller Mike Stineman, as he scanned real time navigation charts indicating vessel traffic at the port. Radio chatter between vessels, the Coast Guard and the Vessel Control Center provided a non-stop soundtrack of the the pulse of the port. A longtime ban on U.S. crude exports was lifted last year.

Crude Oil Drivers Wanted: Worker Shortages Hold Back Fracking Crews

After a big downturn since mid-2014, oil prices have been better the last year for drillers. Not great, but better, and high enough that oil companies are expanding their operations here in the US. Of all the problems to have, though, companies aren’t getting as much oil out of the ground as they want because they can’t find enough workers for their highly paid jobs.

Standing Ground At Standing Rock

Inside Energy is working on a documentary about the Dakota Access Pipeline controversy and tribal sovereignty issues raised by the Standing Rock Sioux. Does the current system of tribal consultation work for tribes? Does it work for energy infrastructure projects? Stay tuned for a full treatment of these issues. In the meantime, here’s a short look at some of the concerns from both sides.

Standing Rock Called A “Spiritual War” For Native American Protestors

Standing Rock Sioux chairman Dave Archambault and other protest organizers have said they plan to stay at the Oceti Sakowin camp in North Dakota and continue with protests against the Dakota Access pipeline. This comes after the tribe received a letter from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers that said all federal lands north of the Cannonball River will be closed to public access Dec. 5 for “safety concerns.”