MIDLAND, Tex. — With oil prices plummeting by more than 50 percent since June, the gleeful mood of recent years has turned glum here in West Texas as the frenzy of shale oil drilling has come to a screeching halt.

Every day, oil companies are decommissioning rigs and announcing layoffs. Small firms that lease equipment have fallen behind in their payments.


The last time the rig count declined as rapidly was in late 2008 and early 2009, when the price of oil fell from over $140 to under $40 a barrel because of the financial crisis. The U.S. benchmark was down $1.17 on Monday to $47.52.

Continue reading:  http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/20/business/energy-environment/in-texas-hunkering-down-for-the-oil-bust.html

Related story from the Los Angeles TimesWestern Australia’s mining boom ebbs along with China’s economy:

With China’s slowing economic growth, one of the biggest mining booms in Australian history is over, leaving behind a trail of jobless workers and struggling local businesses in places such as Karratha, which thrived in recent years but is now at risk of becoming a ghost town.

China’s once-insatiable appetite for iron, copper and other metals led to such a surge in commodity prices that even manhole covers were stolen from streets in some countries to be sold for scrap. Exports from mineral-rich nations such as Australia soared, sending the cost of an ordinary three-bedroom home here to a million dollars.

Today, China’s weaker growth has sent government budgets reeling. Currencies once bolstered by surging investments and exports to China are tumbling. Unemployment is shooting higher.

It’s a problem around the world, from Brazil to Indonesia to South Africa. Australia, in particular, is feeling the pain.

4 thoughts on “In Texas, Hunkering Down for the Oil Bust

  1. They still nick manhole covers down here in South Africa. One has to extremely careful in some areas if one goes for an early morning jog.

    And cable theft is almost a national pastime.


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