Staples: Oil, gas industry thriving

Published 1:20 pm Wednesday, February 28, 2018

The Texas oil and natural gas industry is thriving with a $1.6 billion increase in state and local taxes paid as well as state royalties from the 2016 to 2017 fiscal year.

That’s what Todd Staples, president of Texas Oil and Gas Association, said during a conference call with media Tuesday morning.

“The remarkable and sustained recovery of the Texas oil and natural gas industry is benefitting our state and local economies, providing the equivalent of $30 million a day for our schools, universities, roads and first responders,” Staples said. “What’s happening in Texas is the primary reason that our nation is a global power broker.”

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Staples said all Texans directly benefit from the encouraging data, where, in fiscal year 2017, Texas school districts received $1.1 billion in property taxes from mineral properties producing oil and natural gas, pipelines, and gas utilities.  Counties received $336 million in oil and natural gas mineral property taxes.

The annual energy and economic impact announcement also included energy related milestones nationwide, many of which, he said, can be attributed to record production, expanding pipeline infrastructure and increased export and refining capabilities in Texas.

For the first time in almost 50 years, the U.S. surpassed the 10 million barrels-per-day mark with Texas leading the way producing nearly 40 percent of the nation’s crude oil.

Crude imports are down 20 percent from 2006 and last month crude oil exports were more than double the average in January 2017, he said.

There have also been strides in exports of liquid natural gas, or LNG

“The U.S. became a net exporter of natural gas in 2017 and those exports are expected to increase more than 10-fold in 2019 – thanks in part to the seven LNG facilities planned or under construction in Texas.”

Closer to home there are two LNG facilities – Golden Pass and Cheniere.

“These energy outcomes were unthinkable a decade ago and they are a direct result of Texans’ dedication to innovation and consistent regulations and policies,” he said. “While our ability to produce unprecedented amounts of oil and natural gas is a major contributor to our global leverage, production is only part of the story.  Policy that encourages growth in the entire oil and natural gas sector is key to the Texas success story and is the foundation of our energy future.”

Staples said smart policy would keep Texas on top and that maintaining state policies which allow for expansion of energy infrastructure, including pipelines, tanks, terminals and refining capacity, is the best way to increase energy reliability and security to protect our fuel supply in the event of a disaster.

Hurricane Harvey’s flooding took a toll on the energy sector. Gas prices climbed across the nation in the days after the storm as some ports remained closed for days and some open with restrictions and refinery work stopped for a short time.

On another topic, Staples said he is pleased President Donald Trump included $13 million for the Corpus Christi Ship Channel Expansion project in his recently release budget.

A project to deepen the Sabine Neches Waterway still awaits funding.