Putting Oil, Gas and Ranching Under One Roof

Putting Oil, Gas and Ranching Under One Roof

Although the Permian Basin is known for the oil and gas industry, a large ranching community is also a key part of the area.
Although the Permian Basin is known for the oil and gas industry, a large ranching community is also a key part of the area.

“The two industries that are the foundation of the Permian Basin economy are the oil and gas business and the ranching business,” said Brooks Landgraf, the Texas Representative-Elect for District 81, who has a ranching background and knowledge of the oil and gas industry.

These two industries will be coming together for the Texas A&M Agrilife Extension Service's Permian Basin Oil & Gas Stewardship Conference on August 12.

“When folks are driving down the highway in West Texas they see the pump jacks, they see the derricks, they are thinking oil. But two industries are out there using those resources: agriculture and oil and gas,” said Caleb L. Eaton, who is organizing the conference.

The connection is what drove the extension service to focus this year’s conference on the two industries and how the two can come together.

Eaton also said he hopes the conference will help get rid of any misunderstanding between the two industries.

“Sometimes there is some head-butting on who gets those resources or how to use those resources wisely,” he said.

Adding that they have shared the land, but they don’t necessarily understand each other’s business.

“Oil and gas might not understand the ranchers' point of view because oil companies are going to have lots of leases where your rancher might just have his one little piece,” Eaton said.

Landgraf will be this year’s keynote speaker and said he wants the law and policies to reflect the importance of both industries in the Permian Basin.

“Even though we are using the same land, we can take a lot of pride in the fact that here in the Permian Basin we produce oil and gas that fuels America and we also raise livestock that helps to feed America,” Landgraf said.

And with technological advances, Landgraf said both industries will always have something to learn from one another.

“Ranchers have been doing business right alongside the oil and gas industry for generations now and so there is that degree of familiarity,” Landgraf said. “But there is always something new to learn because of emerging trends that exist on both industries.”

The conference will be held at the Ward County Convention Center in Monahans. Other conference topic include hydraulic fracturing, water conservation and oil and gas leases.

According to Eaton, having both industries under one roof can bring future benefits to both industries in the area.

“At the end of the day we have to remember that you can't have food and fiber without fuel and you can't have fuel without food and fiber,” Landgraf said.

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