oil prices | KERA News

oil prices

As soon as five years from now, global demand for oil might stop growing. That prediction may not seem surprising, if it came from an environmental group, but when oil giant Shell said as much in a recent conference call, it caused a stir.  Oil companies don’t usually talk publicly about people losing interest in their product.

Milk prices are in the tank. You may not have noticed this, since prices in the supermarket have fallen only slightly. But on the farm, it's dramatic. Dairy farmers are getting about 20 percent less for their milk than they did last year; 40 percent less than when milk prices hit an all-time peak two years ago.

"We're losing money," says Dave Drennan, executive director of the Missouri Dairyman's Association. In Europe and Australia, dairy farmers have taken to the streets to protest their plight.

Leena Robinson/Shutterstock

Oil prices hit $50 a barrel last week for the first time in seven months. Prices have dropped again, and a recent report from the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas wonders if falling oil prices will lead to bust in house prices.

Happy times are here again at the gas pump. The price of oil keeps falling, and Americans are filling their tanks for less than $2 a gallon. The government says cheaper gasoline put an extra $100 billion into drivers' wallets last year alone.

That seems like it would be good for the economy. Turns out, it might not be.

"Is it possible that lower oil prices could actually hurt the U.S. economy?" asks Vipin Arora, an economist with the U.S. Energy Information Administration. "I think the answer could be yes."

From Texas Standard:

Gas prices are at the lowest they’ve been on average in about seven years, according to AAA. Today crude oil prices are near 2003 lows – under $27 a barrel – and lower gas prices will follow.

The price of oil has dropped to its lowest point in years in recent weeks. That's bad news for almost everyone in oil-producing parts of the country.

But there is at least one business that's booming in the oil patch.

Walk around Ryan Peck's impound lot on the south side of Corpus Christi, Texas, and it's easy to see he's busy.

Esteban Monclova / The Texas Tribune

The slide in oil prices has been good news for drivers, but it’s sent the Texas oil business into a ditch. James Osborne has been digging into the implications of the bust. He’s the energy writer for the Dallas Morning News, and he joins KERA’s vice president of news Rick Holter for this week’s Friday Conversation. 

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Texas has diversified its economy since the last oil bust, but with prices now down nearly two-thirds from the all-time high, there could be a big financial impact in America’s biggest oil-producing state. The fallout is expected to be felt from the oil patch dinner table to the state capitol.

An Unvarnished Interview With T. Boone Pickens On Plunging Oil Prices

Oct 30, 2014
Bob Daemmrich / Texas Tribune

Crude oil prices are plunging, but T. Boone Pickens isn’t surprised. The billionaire oilman has seen plenty of spikes and dips during more than 60 years in the industry, including some he predicted.