Report: Texas holds $140B in petroleum wealth, led by Houston

HOUSTON — Texas contains about $140 billion in “petro-wealth,” with corporations owning 80 percent of that total, according to an analysis by an Austin firm.

The figure is based on the value of proved, producing petroleum reserves in Texas, accounting for entities that have a working interest in those reserves as well as individuals earning royalties. The data is based on figures compiled by Blackbeard Data Services, an Austin company that provides information on oil leases.

The study finds that corporations own about $112 billion of the total wealth attributed to petroleum reserves,  and individuals own about $20 billion. The rest of Texas’ total petroleum wealth is held by trusts, non-profits, government, educational institutions and religious organizations.

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The largest share of the wealth, about $47 billion, is held in Houston, the report noted. Midland came in a distant second, with $14 billion.

The report notes that historically, oil leases tend to send about 80 percent of revenue to oil companies and 20 percent to mineral owners in the form of royalties. That’s because oil companies that have a working interest in those projects essentially take on all of the risk. Over the last 20 years, they’ve typically seen their percentage of the revenue decline to reflect the fact that modern production techniques have made their work less risky.

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