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  • Houston Economy at a Glance: December 2017

    January 3, 2018
    Please see below a copy of Economy at a Glance – Houston (The December publication of the Greater Houston Partnership).

    • On November 30, OPEC, Russia and nine non-OPEC countries agreed to extend crude production cuts through the end of ’18. The previous agreement was set to expire in March.
    • The U.S. energy industry has proven it can quickly adapt to changing market conditions:
       o U.S. firms now focus their exploration efforts only on the most prolific areas. Fifty-three percent of oil rigs now working in North America are in the Permian Basin, up from 35 percent prior to the downturn.
       o Energy companies have restructured to operate profitably in a low-price environment. A Q1/17 report by the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas indicated wells drilled in the Permian Basin break even between $46 and $50 per barrel, in the Eagle Ford at $48.
       o The industry has also learned how to draw more oil from each well. Initial output per well has almost doubled in the Eagle Ford since October ’14, has more than doubled in the Permian, and is two and half times what it was three years ago in the Bakken.
    • The International Monetary Fund (IMF) forecasts global GDP growth of 3.7 percent in ’18, up from 3.6 percent in ’17 and 3.2 percent in ’16. The OECD expects the same.
    • OPEC, Russia and nine other countries expect global oil markets to rebalance by the end next year. If they’re correct, the downturn will have lasted four years, from January ’15 to December ’18, which is one year short of the ’80s downturn (March ’82 to January ’87), but will not have been nearly as severe in job losses.
    • The Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land metro area created 43,200 jobs in October, according to the Texas Workforce Commission. That’s the largest single-month job gain on record.
    • Hurricane Harvey has somewhat clouded what’s happening with local employment. Through June, the region had created 25,200 jobs. Through October, the region had created only 25,600 jobs. Either job growth has slowed considerably or TWC has failed to capture the jobs that are being created.

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