Texas continues to show its prowess and prominence in producing oil and gas by setting yet another Texas Petro Index (TPI) record – the fourth in a row, according to the Texas Alliance of Energy Producers. The TPI is a composite index based on several upstream economic indicators, which include production volumes, prices, rig counts, completions, drilling permits, and employment. The TPI reached 295.0 in December 2013, continuing its upward trend, thanks to crude oil production and favorable wellhead prices for natural gas. The TPI is 6.7% higher than it was in December 2012, and it’s far better than the 188.5 low reached in December 2009. “The statewide upstream oil and gas economy in July finally recovered fully from the nadir of December 2009 and surpassed the previous peak TPI (287.6) achieved in late fall 2008,” Karr Ingham, the economist who created the TPI and maintains it monthly, said in a January 2014 news release announcing the record. “Although most indicators of industry activity were higher at year-end 2013, compared to the prior year, the story of the year was crude oil production in Texas. “By our estimates, statewide crude oil production grew by about 21% in 2013 compared to 2012, which in turn was up more than 34% compared to the prior year. And those increases are part of a trend that has been under way for several years,” Ingham continued. “Crude oil production in Texas in 2013 totaled 856.8 MMbbl, about 120% greater than the 389.9 MMbbl of oil produced in Texas in 2007. In fact, the volume of oil produced in Texas in 2013 accounted for about 31% of all US oil production and is the highest statewide total since 1985.” These impressive numbers also meant good news for creating and maintaining jobs. Citing the Texas Workforce Commission, the alliance said an average of 280,300 Texans were on oil and gas industry payrolls in December 2013, up about 4.8% from the previous December. But what was just as, if not more, impressive was the increase in the estimated value of Texas-produced crude oil and natural gas – both saw double-digit growth in 2013. “The estimated value of Texas-produced crude oil increased by 27% to about $81 billion, with wellhead prices increasing slightly (4.2%) and production up nearly 150 MMbbl,” the news release said. “The estimated value of Texas-produced natural gas increased 29.6% to $28.56 billion, as wellhead prices increased 31.8% to reach $3.60/Mcf while production declined slightly (1.0%).” The release also pointed out that the statewide working rig count average dropped about 7.1% to an average of 835 in 2013, compared to the previous. The number of drilling permits issued also fell during the same time period, going from 22,479 to 21,471. But the number of active drilling rigs in Texas was up for December 2013, compared to December 2012. The rig count averaged 843, up from 838, based on the Baker Hughes rig count. Contact the author, Velda Addison, at vaddison@hartenergy.com.