If you’re in the oil and gas or manufacturing industry, expect the rest of this year to look up. Here are three pieces of good news August is bringing this year.
U.S. paves the way for faster oil and gas permitting
Last week, the government announced plans to make it easier for companies to drill on federal and Indian lands by making the applications available online.
According to a spokesperson for the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, the online system will reduce the number of days for drilling applications to be completed from 220 (the average in 2015) to 115.
U.S. oil rig count continues slow climb
In another positive sign for the oil industry, the U.S. drilling rig count posted a gain last week. It has risen in eight of the last nine weeks. The current count is 443.
U.S. crude oil production also increased last week, led mainly by activity in Alaska. In addition, the oil industry has focused on making rigs more productive, for example, by optimizing their completion techniques.
Finally, oil companies are displaying a positive outlook for the second half of the year, with many firms planning to keep their rigs operating as well as add rigs later in 2016.
Manufacturing posts strong start to Q3
Things are looking up for manufacturing as well. According to the U.S. Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index, output growth made good gains in July and export sales saw their fastest growth in two years.
On July 21, National Association of Manufacturers Chief Economist Chad Moutray noted that he — and manufacturing leaders around the country — believe the industry is heading in a positive direction. Moutray recognized that there are still significant challenges facing U.S. manufacturing, but with both the unemployment rate and the chances of another recession going down, he believes the future is bright.