Perryman forecasts oil market at fete

Global demand for oil and gas will keep growing, he says

Waco economist Ray Perryman says the United States’ status as a net exporter of oil and natural gas is the main thing that’s kept it out of a recession while Japan, Europe, England and China have foundered.

“That’s why we grew when no one else did,” Perryman told 70 people at a dinner that United Pump & Supply co-owners Clay and Sara Moore held for their employees last Tuesday night at the Moore Ranch House east of Odessa.

Crediting the Permian Basin for much of that success, the economist said the region has a lot more oil and gas than has yet been mined in 104 years and it will eventually become the most important energy-producing area in the world, largely because its oil has much less carbon content than the oil of most other countries — 74 percent less than Canada’s, 71 percent less than Mexico’s and 57 percent less than the Mideast’s.

“The U.S. produced more oil and gas in 2023 than any other country in the history of the world and half of that came from here,” he said.

Perryman ended his 50-minute presentation by calling on area leaders to make education their first priority and help meet the great demand that there will be for skilled workers here in the near and distant future.

“Education is absolutely critical,” he said. “Let’s not fuss with one another and exclude this group or that and do all this silly stuff. Let’s not get hung up on politics. Let’s do what the community needs.”

Perryman said the Basin has been producing six million barrels of oil per day for the past number of months, far exceeding the previous record of 2.1 mb/d in 1973, along with 24 million cubic feet per day of natural gas.

He said the very rich Eagle Ford Shale in Southeast Texas has been likened to “a huge one-layer cake,” but the Permian Basin’s oil- and gas-laden shale rock formations “are layer after layer after layer” and will still be producing well over a century from now with hydraulic fracking, horizontal drilling and the new technology being developed.

Perryman said a micro-nuclear plant could be built on four acres to power an oilfield and purify water.

“Production fell every year between the embargo of 1973 and 2008 and they were writing this place off,” he said. “And the technology is getting better all the time.

“Climate change is real. It’s happening. We need renewables, but the baseline scenario is that the world will need 21 percent more oil and 27 percent more natural gas every day in 2050.”

Perryman said the world’s poorest, most undeveloped countries will have by far the most growth and the direst need for energy.