Texas Petro Index hits record high

The Texas Petro Index (TPI), a barometer of oil and gas industry activity in the state compiled by economist Karr Ingham, has hit 308.4, setting a new record. The figure also marks the index's seventh consecutive monthly increase, and eighteenth rise in the past 19 months, according to Natural Gas Intel.

Ingham attributed the steady growth to global geopolitical tensions that have driven demand for oil, as well as the advancements in technology that have allowed such a drastic increase in production in the past five years.

"At year-end 2013, the prevailing expectation was that crude oil prices could soften modestly in 2014, and that might have been the case absent the tensions between Russia and the Ukraine and events in Iraq," Ingham told the press at a presentation at the Petroleum Club in downtown Houston.

"Crude oil prices have risen thus far in 2014 and averaged over $100 in June. The effect of those price increases has been to bring about an uptick of activity in the Texas E&P [exploration and production] sector."

According to the index, the number of active oil and gas rigs in Texas has risen 6 percent from last year's figures, reaching a total of 891. Industry employment has also hit record levels, currently standing at approximately 297,800.

The growth has been driven by crude oil, and the new drilling techniques that allow access to previously inaccessible reserves, including portions of the Eagle Ford Shale formation in south Texas.

During this period of sustained growth, oil and gas strategy consulting may become necessary as organizations seek to take advantage of relaxed restrictions on exporting crude oil, and the price of domestic crude continues to rise. In order to make the most of these fortuitous circumstances, organizations often require experienced industry insight that is not colored by internal politics.