A Boom In Oil Thefts In The Permian

Oil drilling and production in the many parts of the country is booming again. But in the Permian Basin of west Texas, the boom has a byproduct that producers are considerably less excited about: oil theft. The Houston-based Energy Security Council estimates that this year alone, Texas companies will lose between 10 to 30 million barrels of oil to theft, a revenue loss of $450 million to nearly $1.5 billion at today’s prices.

Fracking And Survival In A West Texas Oil Field

The massive fall in the price of crude oil means hundreds of thousands of people are no longer working in the energy business and many small and mid-level energy companies are in a footrace against bankruptcy. While many oil fields have a seen oil production fall, the Permian Basin of west Texas, the nation’s highest-producing oilfield, is still increasing production.

Surviving The Oil Bust In West Texas

In every downturn, there are survivors who position themselves for recovery. The price of crude oil is down by more than 70 percent since the summer of 2014. Oil and gas companies once flush with cash have cut exploration and decommissioned up to two thirds of their rigs. Many companies have gone under and hundreds of thousands of people are out of job.

Slumping Oil Prices And A West Texas Downgrade

Nearly a dozen west Texas cities, counties, hospitals and school districts are facing the possibility of a bond credit downgrade in the coming months by Moody’s Investor Services, one of the country’s “Big Three” ratings firms. That because those local institutions rely on energy-related tax revenue, which has fallen precipitously. And the possibility of a bond downgrade is a threat facing other oil and gas states as well.

Texas Weighs Waste

Nuclear waste is not popular in any neighborhood. In West Texas, there’s a battle underway over a plan to create a above ground storage facility for high level waste. Its a bigger problem than West Texas – the nation’s nuclear power plants are quickly running out of room to store the waste. This region has had a long and often contentious relationship with nuclear waste, stretching back to a years-long battle over a planned permanent waste site in the 1980’s and 90’s. Opponents eventually won that fight, but a different site was later built in the Permian Basin.

Mexico Ventures Into Oil Field Investments

The oil downturn has impacted many small and independent oil and gas companies’ bottom lines. It has also created opportunity for venture capitalists from this country and from others – such as China and Mexico – to snap up oil field bargains. Lorne Matalon reports on Mexican investors who are eyeing deals in the Permian Basin of West Texas.