An estimated 224,200 people were employed by Texas' oil and gas industry in June, a nearly 15% increase compared with June 2010, according to the most recent Texas Petro Index (TPI).

"Post-recession job growth in Texas has been among the strongest in the nation, and the oil and gas industry in Texas deserves most of the credit for that,", said petroleum economist Karr Ingham, who designed the TPI. Last month's employment figure marks the first time more Texans have been working in the industry than in October 2008, the peak of the industry's last boom, Ingham said.

"In the past 12 months the industry has added more than 28,600 jobs, which is nearly 13% of all jobs added to the Texas economy. That's really an accomplishment, considering the TPI in June indicates the industry still has not recovered to the level of economic health that created the last jobs milestone," he said. Directly or indirectly, the industry accounted for 66% of total job growth in Texas during the 12-month period, Ingham said.

The TPI, which measures a group of upstream economic indicators, rose in June to 243.5 from a low in December 2009 of 186.6. It was the eighteenth straight month to show an increase. The TPI, which peaked at 286 in September and October 2008, was 208 in June 2010 (see Daily GPI, July 27, 2010).

According to latest TPI, Texas' estimated gas output in June was 576.5 Bcf, which was down about 6.1% from a year ago. But the value of Texas-produced gas was $2.46 billion, about 0.2% more than in June 2010. Crude oil production totaled 34.1 million bbl, which was 0.4% more than in June 2010. The value of Texas-produced crude was $3.16 billion, 29.5% higher than the year-ago period.

The Baker Hughes count of active drilling rigs in Texas averaged 839 last month, a 26.5% increase compared with June 2010, Ingham said.

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