West Texas benefits from oil and gas boom

Bernard Weinstein,

By Rebecca Gotti

Black gold has been a long time friend to Texas energy production and a recent boom in both oil and natural gas exploration in the U.S. is showing positive effects once again in our Lone Star state, even right here at home in West Texas.

"The last five years, we've seen a renewal across the United States in both oil and gas production," Bernard Weinstein said. "Last year was the fourth consecutive year in a row that we saw an increase in oil output. In 2012, record output of natural gas in the United States. That's helping many regions in the country, including the Plains of Texas and the Lubbock area."

The Associate Director of the Maguire Energy Institute, Bernard Weinstein, Ph.D. recently visited Lubbock to discuss some immediate positive changes we may be seeing in our local economy because of the big interest here in

"There's lots of preliminary testing going on and the potential for producing oil and gas from shale in this region is quite high. The income from bonus payments and leases is helping a lot of farmers in this region survive during tough economic times," Weinstein said. "So on balance, this resurgence in the fossil fuel production of the United States has been a real plus for this part of the state."

But land owners with mineral rights won't be the only ones to benefit. Higher numbers of available jobs plus increased revenues for the entire state will follow the increased fossil fuel production.

"Number one, we're talking about jobs, and these are mainly high wage jobs that go along with energy production and processing," Weinstein said. "Number two, you see a lot of investment in plant and equipment. That's good for the property tax base. That's good for municipalities and counties and school districts. Local governments also derive revenue from the value of oil and gas leases."

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