Perryman’s economy forecast: Energy diversity, boosts in quality of life

Published: Nov. 14, 2023 at 5:51 PM CST
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ODESSA, Texas (KOSA) - The financial forecast for the Permian Basin is promising, according to financial expert Ray Perryman, who visited Odessa today.

The president of Perryman Group emphasized the strength of the oil and gas industry, alongside a need to improve local quality of life.

Perryman returns yearly to share his points and predictions. He spoke to a crowd at the Odessa Marriott this afternoon at a conference hosted by Southwest Bank.

In a packet provided to attendees, Perryman wrote that the Permian Basin is expected to add 28,590 jobs in the next five years. His group predicts 8,227 in Odessa and 14,179 in Midland in that time period.

To do that, however, Perryman said cities must attract and keep employees.

“When you grow, as I’ve said, you need to make it a place people want to be. We need to train more workers. We need to improve our literacy rate. We need to reduce our poverty rate. We need to have better access to health and mental health care,” Perryman said. “Those kinds of things. All the things that make a place more pleasant to live. We have made a tremendous amount of progress in all of those areas in the past number of years, but we still have a ways to go.”

He praised improvements like the recent school bonds that passed, the upcoming Permian Basin Behavioral Health Center and new entertainment in the area.

Perryman also said energy diversity is a strength. He’s confident that oil and gas will continue to grow, but added that it’s good that today’s high production is occurring alongside more wind and solar energy.

“So, the industry is alive and vibrant,” Perryman said. “We’re going to go through some transitions through climate change, which we need to do. It’s very important that we do that, but we’re well positioned to be a winner in that process.”

Over the years, Southwest Bank CEO Emeritus Dewey Bryant says Perryman’s forecasts have been a good resource for West Texans.

“It means so much to us in the Permian Basin because we’re such a volatile economy,” Bryant said. “...Having someone that has provided the expertise that he does, has the knowledge, and the whereabouts to talk about it, it’s just great to hear something reassuring.”

Perryman noted that even though there’s more work to do, many oil and gas companies are investing in projects that improve health, education, workforce development, infrastructure and other quality of life indicators in the Permian Basin.