AQUA BOOK 2015 - Page 18

OIL IMPACTS OIL AND GAS MARKETS M ore than a century after the discovery of the Spindletop oilfield in 1901, Texas experienced another major oil boom along with other oil-rich regions across the United States. The Lone Star state is arguably the most interesting case not only because of its historical reliance on natural resources, but also because of its leading role in the overall size of proven reserves as well as the volumes of crude oil and natural gas production from its various formations. OIL IMPACTS In the wake of the 2007–2009 recession, much of the United States struggled with relatively slow economic recovery. Meanwhile, the shale oil boom was widely perceived as a “game changer” for Texas’s statewide economy as well as its local communities. The recent shale oil boom in the United States might have ended by early 2015 as crude oil prices fell precipitously from above US$100 in July 2014 to below US$50 in January 2015. As the state’s economy is mired by massive uncertainty in the global oil market, a review of the recent oil boom and its impact on local community developments would provide insights into what lies ahead for South Texas. Energy Prices Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration. 16 Annual Review of South Texas Economy