Texas and North Dakota grew at a torrid pace in 2014 — before crude busted

Robust oil and gas activity helped several states grow their economies in 2014, with the fastest growing states all heavy energy industry players, according to Commerce Department data released Wednesday.

The Texas economy grew the second most among the states last year after it saw its gross domestic product increase 5.2 percent, making it one of a handful of states to outpace the U.S. economy overall.

Only North Dakota was ahead of Texas last year after its GDP grew 6.3 percent. Wyoming, West Virginia and Colorado rounded out the top five.

The steep fall in the price of U.S. crude oil, which only really caught the attention of market watchers by late Oct. 2014, had yet to take a big toll on energy companies across the country. The Texas economy grew nearly 5 percent in the fourth quarter of that year, and North Dakota saw a 5.5 percent jump.

Most of 2014 was very good to the oil and gas industry. Texas and North Dakota saw their mining sectors, which includes the oil and gas industry in the Commerce Department data, increase GDP by 9.2 percent and 16.3 percent, respectively. For both states, mining was among their three fastest growing industries.

In Colorado, GDP for the oil and gas industry grew more than 23.3 percent. In West Virginia, a state long dominated by the coal industry but which is now taking advantage of its position on the southern end of the Marcellus Shale formation, saw its mining sector grow 38.3 percent.

mining growth

But with U.S. crude oil prices low throughout 2015, and after hitting a six-year low of $38.24 on Aug. 24, the prospect for continued economic expansion in these states has dimmed.

The Federal Reserve’s September Beige Book, also released on Wednesday, noted that the energy industry has been flat in all of the regions its surveyed.

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