In speaking to the Panola County Appraisal District’s board on Thursday, Walter Priddy had “good news, bad news, mediocre news and unknown news — like everything else going on” when it came to Panola County’s oil and gas outlook.
Priddy, with Pritchard and Abbott, said oil was down, gas was up and they’re going to have to wait and see what the future holds.
“Right now it’s any guess what all that’s going to do,” he said. “It looks like oil prices are going to be down about 20 percent, gas prices about up 20 percent. How that factors out in all the prices, we’ll just have to wait and see.
“I expect values to be down again unless production shot way up or something. Doesn’t appear at this time too. Doesn’t look devastating at the moment like a lot of counties,” he said.
Panola County’s mineral values are down about 25 percent, Priddy said.
“That’s pretty good,” he said. “For most places, a lot of places were 40 percent or more. That’s good/bad news there.”
The county’s production is also doing OK, he said. Gas production has been going up for the past two years because of the Haynesville Shale.
“They’re big wells. But you notice right in the middle of the year now in 2020, I don’t know if that trend’s going to continue or not, but I’ve noticed completions slowing down,” he said. “You’ve seen a downturn in production right now, so I don’t know if that will continue or it’ll kick back up some drilling new wells. But things everywhere have slowed down.
Oil took a big dip, he said, but the implications of that as far as how it will affect the future are unclear.
Oil prices are down 33 percent from last year, although it started climbing some in August.
“So far your production has definitely been helping you here where the other counties there haven’t been a lot going on at all,” Priddy said.
Natural gas prices are also down 27.4 percent from last year, but Priddy says that has kicked up in the past two months and is projected to be 20 percent higher in 2021.