Odessa-Midland Home Prices See Double-Digit Declines From Bubble Peak

I was taking a look at home prices in the Odessa-Midland area this morning, and one thing is obvious. The bubble in the Petroplex is officially popping! Looking at the latest housing data from TAMU we can see that average home prices in Odessa have declined by 14 percent from their shale bubble peak of November 2014. Sales activity in the Odessa market crashed 40 percent YoY in November 2015. The latest available data show average prices in Midland have dropped by 17 percent from their June 2014 peak of $340,600. The fact that average [...]

Texas Employment Decreases By 25,400 Jobs In March In First Employment Decline Since 2009

You knew it was only a matter of time, but the 53-month streak of successive employment gains for Texas ended in March. The Texas Workforce Commission reported that Texas shed 25,400 jobs in March in what was the first employment decline since 2009. With the Texas rig count down 53 percent year-over year, this announcement was inevitable. Contrary to what many economists have tried to downplay, the huge loss of jobs seen in the energy sector also affects other employment that is marginally attached to all of that economic stimulus resulting from the recent energy [...]

By | 2017-12-22T02:38:38+00:00 April 19th, 2015|Economy, Energy & Utilities, Markets, Texas Employment|0 Comments

Arthur Berman – Shale Oil & Gas And The End of the Beautiful Story

Arthur Berman offers an interesting if not contrarian point of view in this presentation. Speaking from Houston Texas, Berman highlights the fact that the shale oil revolution was really not a revolution at all since we have known about the possibilities of shale oil and gas deposits for decades.. Berman suggests that high prices were a primary driver behind the surge in shale exploration, and that "unconventional" simply means expensive. More importantly, Berman thinks that the proven shale reserves in the US are severely overstated, providing a beautiful story of American energy independence. Where I think [...]

By | 2017-12-22T02:42:40+00:00 March 16th, 2015|Economy, Energy & Utilities, Spin Cycle|0 Comments

Double-Edged Sword For Oil Producers As Supply Glut Continues

Oil producers are in an increasingly precarious position as the inventory of crude stocks continues to pile up. Today the EIA released the weekly crude oil inventory update showing that US crude stocks continue to pile up. The weekly petroleum status report from the EIA showed crude inventories rising by another 7.7 million barrels, nearlyy double analysts estimates. U.S. crude oil inventories remain at the highest levels seen during the last 80 years. The problem of course is stagnant global demand combined with a continued increase in US production courtesy of the shale oil boom. [...]

By | 2015-02-22T00:10:12+00:00 February 19th, 2015|Economy, Energy & Utilities, Markets, Real Estate|0 Comments

Rig Counts Continue To Plummet – US Loses 90 More Rigs, Texas Drops 58 In Latest Weekly Survey

The U.S. rig counts continue to plummet in the face of falling oil prices. The latest update from Baker Hughes hows that the U.S. lost another 90 rigs in the latest weekly report. The U.S. Rig total is now 242 rigs lower year-over-year. The oil rig count fell by 94 this week to 1223 total oil rigs operating in the U.S. Texas accounted for 58 of the idled rigs in the latest survey, with the Permian Basin shedding 27 rigs in the nation's largest producing oil field. The Texas rig count is now 147 rigs [...]

Texas Rig Count Continues To Fall As Oil Prices Remain Depressed

The latest rig count summary from Baker Hughes showed that the US continues to shed oil rigs at a fairly rapid pace. The number of US oil rigs in operation dropped to 1317 for the latest week, a drop of 49 oil rigs and down 99 from the same time a year ago. Texas lost 13 more rigs in the latest weekly data. The Texas rig count is now down 86 year-over-year. All of that pent-up demand that economists are fond of talking about has yet to materialize. This is why commodities, including oil and [...]

By | 2016-02-02T12:23:31+00:00 January 23rd, 2015|Economy, Energy & Utilities, Markets, Politics, Spin Cycle|0 Comments

What The Oil Market Can Tell Us About Fed-Driven Asset Bubbles

For all of the talk about deleveraging in America, it's interesting to see that both the national debt and total credit market instruments tell a rather different story. That's because the Federal Reserve has been goosing the markets to keep them afloat while they exercise their undisclosed and primary mandate which is to keep the market from tanking and keep their friends in a job. If last week's market action wasn't telling enough, Jim Grant offered a bit of perspective on what's really going on. The problem with Fed-driven asset bubbles is that they always [...]

By | 2017-12-22T01:30:30+00:00 December 21st, 2014|Economy, In the Press, Markets, Politics, Real Estate, Spin Cycle, Video|0 Comments

Crude Oil Does The Limbo Touching $55 – How Low Will It Go?

Crude oil prices took another dive Monday, falling over 4 percent to a fresh 5-year low of $55.02 per barrel. The only question now is how low will oil prices go before the market stabilizes and how long will that process take? The markets are beginning to wake up to the reality that this could well be a replay of the situation we experienced in 1985. This weekend we learned that the UAE is willing to ride the current price slide out, at least for the time being. OPEC continues to stand by its decision [...]

By | 2014-12-15T21:37:54+00:00 December 15th, 2014|Economy, Energy & Utilities, In the Press, Markets, Real Estate|0 Comments

Falling Oil Prices Prompt Staff Cuts At BP, CapEx Budget Cuts At ConocoPhillips – Houston’s Housing Affordability In The Crosshairs

With oil prices plumbing a fresh new 5-year low to open the week, the fallout in the oil sector appears to be gaining some traction. Yesterday BP announced it would be laying off 100's of mid-level supervisor jobs around the globe. Fortunately, those planned cuts don't appear to affect the Houston office at this point. Today ConocoPhillips picked up the torch announcing it would cut capital spending in 2015 by $3 billion, or roughly 20 percent. With dramatically lower oil prices ConocoPhillips said it would defer significant investment in developed projects, including the Permian Basin [...]

By | 2017-12-22T02:54:59+00:00 December 8th, 2014|Economy, Energy & Utilities, Markets, Mortgage Rates, Real Estate|0 Comments

Oil Closes Below $90 For Week, Rig Counts Stagnating

Oil prices closed below the $90 mark for the week. I was able to stop by a local gas pump this morning and fill up with regular unleaded gasoline for $2.91 per gallon. The latest quarter hasn't been good for energy and crude oil prices, and that looks to be having an effect on drilling activity as well. Touted as a miracle, the shale oil and gas boom has certainly provided a significant lift to local Houston are area real estate markets. My primary concern is how long the lift will last. As someone who [...]