Energy Activity Holding at High Levels in Texas – Dallas Fed

Margins For Oilfield Service Firms Have Tightened
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The Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas reports energy activity has seen little change from “high levels” over the past reporting period in its most recent Beige Book.

It’s no surprise. More than 800 of the ~1,700 rigs active in the U.S. are working in Texas. Over 250 of those rigs are active in the Eagle Ford.

The report goes further in saying activity is higher than last year, but it does note one not so promising metric. Margins for oil & gas service firms have tightened over the past few months. Tighter margins are the direct result of operators moving into development mode where there is an increased focus on costs.

Takeaways from the energy report include:

  • Global energy demand is steady
  • Oil & gas operators expect “modest” improvement in economy through 2014
  • Petrochemical production was down slightly due to unplanned outages and softening global demand

Other economy-wide notes include:

  • Reports of labor shortages have eased from earlier in the year
  • Housing market remains strong
  • Office & industrial leasing activity strengthened
  • Severity of the drought’s influence on agriculture in Texas lessened with recent rainfall

The Dallas Beige Book summarizes recent economic conditions in the Eleventh District.

Read the full Beige Book at

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R.T. Dukes

R.T. Dukes

Managing Editor at
R.T. is the managing editor of In prior roles, he advised major oil companies on strategy, the macro business environment, and opportunity screening. 2503 Robinhood, Houston, TX, 77005, U.S.A. | Telephone: 832.429.4790

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