Flared natural gas is burned off at Apache Corporations operations at the Deadwood natural gas plant in the Permian Basin in Garden City, Texas, February 5, 2015.
Apache sends an estimated 50-52 million cubic feet of natural gas to this plant per day. As crude oil prices have fallen nearly 60 percent globally, American communities dependent on oil revenue prepare for hard times. Texas, which benefited from hydraulic fracturing and the shale drilling revolution, tripled its production of oil in the last five years. The Texan economy saw hundreds of billions of dollars come into the state before the global plunge in prices.
Across the state drilling budgets are being slashed and companies are notifying workers of upcoming layoffs. According to federal labor statistics, around 300,000 people work in the Texas oil and gas industry, 50 percent more than four years ago.