Since over a hundred years, fortunes were made and lost on the oil fields of Texas. But operators surfing today on the boom in oil prices are determined not to let the money go to their heads.
“When you look at this community, most of us have gray hair and are in this business for a long time,” said Paul Morris, Wagner and Brown, an independent exploration company in Oil and gas based in Midland, west Texas. “We had the last boom and bust,” he said. “We know there will be a turnaround, how large will depend on some conditions. We’ll see. ”
Wagner and Brown is one of the few companies who have made their riches on the Permian Basin Texas oil wells.
But with oil prices flirting with $ 140 a barrel, they are no longer all alone in seeking new deposits of crude or expand their exploration sites. The state of Texas has established nearly 20,000 exploration licenses last year, doubling the number of permits established five years ago when the price of oil was below $ 20 a barrel. This is about the same number of permits in 1975 when the OPEC crisis had led to escalating oil prices $ 5 to $ 40 a barrel.
The collapse that followed has hit the city of Midland. The wells were then blocked more than widened, while the oil companies shut their wells that produce no more than the price of the electricity needed to run it.
In recent years, prices have started to rise until it reaches $ 140 Thursday. And small wells producing less than ten barrels per day have again become profitable, while new technologies to extract crude small patches are previously unusable.