Has the recent cold been affecting oil production in West Texas?

January 26, 2024

NewsWest 9

by Hunter Alcocer

The recent cold in the Permian Basin has had an affect on oil production.

However, it’s not always the cold itself that will be an issue.

“Weather of all types can have impact on operations out in the field," Stephen Robertson, executive vice president of the Permian Basin Petroleum Association, said. "One of the biggest concerns when it comes to cold temperatures is not always so much the cold but it’s the wind that can come along with it, the disruption in powerlines. If you knock down powerlines and you can’t get electricity out into the field that’s when you can have some issues with the cold.”

While the temperatures and winds can slow things down, as long as power is getting out to operations in the field, everything will still run as long as its energized. Robertson said the grid did well this time around.

“During this winter storm event that we had in January, the peak power surge for the entire state was over 78,000 megawatts," Robertson said. "Yet the system held in there this time and largely and fortunately that had to do with us not having near as much precipitation and prolonged precipitation as we had in that last winter storm in 2021.”

Robertson feels the industry is as ready as it can be for whatever the rest of the winter season has to bring.

If problems do arise, plans are in place to address them.

“One of the things that we really focused on in particular since the last storm is trying to do the best job that we can to communicate with our members so that we can understand real time what’s happening out in the field and communicate with other stakeholders and other partners throughout the energy delivery system to make sure we’re getting the information we need where it needs to be,” Robertson said.

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