*Perry says falling prices ‘painful’ for parts of Texas
11 January 2015, Houston –AUSTIN – Governor Rick Perry says plummeting oil prices will make things “very uncomfortable” for parts of Texas, especially oil-patch regions where “this is going to be a painful period of time.”
Addressing a conservative forum on Friday in Austin, Perry said Texas has diversified its economy since the 1980s when an oil bust brought economic misery to much of the state.
But Texas still leads the nation in oil production, and Perry said the price slump could persist for a few quarters and predicted a “bit of belt-tightening in places.”
Perry’s address to the forum coincides with oilfield services company Baker Hughes Incorporated announced the number of rigs exploring for gas and oil tumbled by 61 across the United States to 1,750. Texas specifically is down 30 rigs.
Perry singled out Midland and Odessa in West Texas, as well as “parts of Houston,” as areas that “will have to make some changes.” Perry added, though, that economists believe falling oil prices ultimately would be “a relatively short-lived economic challenge” statewide.
West Texas Intermediate crude futures closed the week at $48.36 a barrel.