Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Friday, July 21, 2000
Stable oil prices boosts drilling, workers sought
By ROSIE FLORES
PECOS, July 21, 2000 - Stabilizing oil prices over the past several
months has meant more people are going back to drilling wells, while more
workers are still needed in the oil field business.
"They're going back to drilling more wells and this is working positively,"
said executive vice-president of the Permian Basin Petroleum Association
Oil prices began their rise late last year, from a low of $10 barrel
in late 1998. But many drillers were wary of beginning projects even with
the price of oil above the $25 range, in fear that oil could again drop
to a level below which new wells could be drilled profitably.
However, over the past several months the price of oil has remained
in the $30 range, and drilling activity has picked up. The average number
of rotary rigs in operation so far this month in the United States was
put at 930 by Baker-Hughes Inc., up from a low of 763 in February of this
"They're not only drilling more wells, but restructuring old wells that
had been out of production and putting them back into producing," said
He added that now that more wells are being drilled, personnel are needed
to work as oilfield hands. "There are a lot of people that are drilling
wells, that are the experts and need helpers to work with them," Burns
The oil business is a mature business, but the oil wells in this area
won't have any affect on oil prices. "Now, if Iraq or Iran, who produce
millions of barrels of oil were to re-open more wells, then it would affect
the oil prices positively, they would go down," said Burns.
"If they start drilling more wells, it would affect all the oil prices,
but here we only produce about 8-9 barrels of oil (per well), which isn't
that much, compared to those countries," he said.
Oil field workers _ the backbone of the industry _ fled the business
in droves in the past three years, leaving the companies that persevered
through the hard times searching for qualified workers to run their drilling
The state Labor Department has tracked a decline in the number of workers
in the state's oil and gas extraction industries dating back to 1997.
Comparing the month of February to the same month in the previous two
years shows a 3.6 percent increase in the number of workers in 2000 from
1999. Compared to February 1998, however, the numbers of oil and gas workers
in the state has dropped almost 15 percent _ from 10,200 to the present
Nationally, the drain on qualified personnel hasn't been limited to
the field. Layoffs and cutbacks have driven knowledgeable oil workers at
all levels to competing industries, said Mark Kobelan, president of Marquee
Corp. in Houston.
Along with West Texas, the shortage in rig workers has affected neighboring
states of New Mexico and Oklahoma as well. Drilling companies in Oklahoma
this spring went as far as to begin advertising available oilfield jobs
among inmates preparing to leave prisons in that state, in hopes of filling
the numerous vacancies.
While U.S. gasoline prices have come down slightly from their historic
highs in recent weeks, the price of oil remained at $29.30 a barrel in
commodities trading on Wall Street this morning.
Police probe death of man in trailer
By JON FULBRIGHT
PECOS, July 21, 2000 - Pecos police are investigating the death of a
man whose body was discovered in a trailer shortly after 11 a.m. today.
Police and Emergency Medical Services personnel were called to the trailer,
parked outside a home at 510 W. Lincoln St., following a 911 call, but
the EMS call was canceled a short time later. Precinct 1 Justice of the
Peace Amanario Ramon pronounced the man, identified as Armando Armendariz,
40, dead at 11:30 a.m.
Police investigator Olga Lopez took pictures of the scene inside the
trailer, and officers roped off the area on the Plum Street side of the
house as part of their investigation.
"Our department policy is we investigate every death of a suspicious
nature as a homicide until we determine otherwise," said Pecos Police Chief
Armedariz lived in the home next to the trailer, and McKinney said his
wife was the one who found her husband's body. The police chief said he
did not know why Armendariz was in the trailer outside the home, but added
the last time he had been seen alive was late Thursday evening.
The cause of death had not been announced as of 12:45 p.m. today, but
McKinney said, "There were no weapons found in the trailer that I know
of." An autopsy on Armendariz' body was ordered by Judge Ramon, he added.
State Theater set to reopen on Saturday
By LEIA HOLLAND
PECOS, July 21, 2000 - The newly renovated State Theater will open its'
doors at 1 p.m., Saturday for the first public showing of "Chicken Run",
the first film to play in the Oak Street movie house in 10½ years.
"We're having a soft opening," Lillian Creasy, co-owner, said. "The
grand opening will come later."
Creasy said the grand opening would be after they finish the balcony
and rest a little.
Her husband, Richard, and she have been working on renovating the theater
for a year.
Creasy said before buying the theater, they discussed what they wanted
to do for retirement.
"When we came to Pecos and saw the for sale sign we knew that is what
would happen," she said.
Creasy said at 8 p.m., tonight there will be a sneak preview for invited
guests that have helped the Creasys in the past year.
"We want to thank everybody who has supported us and stood behind us,"
The Creasys want to especially thank two boys who have worked for them
voluntarily without complaint, Patrick McChesney and Mathew Montanez.
As part of the renovation, the Creasys are having a mural painted by
local artist, Jacob Ornelas and would also like to thank him as well.
The Creasys would also like to thank all the applicants for positions
at the theater. They hired a few people outside of the ones who have been
working for them already. They will be going through the interview process
again once school starts.
The theater was last open for movies on Dec. 31, 1989, when United Artists
Theaters shut down all of their single-screen movie houses in Texas to
concentrate on the more profitable multi-screen theaters. The Creaseys
reopened the theater during West of the Pecos Rodeo Week, to allow the
annual Pecos Melodrama to be performed on the State's stage, which also
was rebuilt as part of the renovation project.
The theater will officially reopen with first public showing of "Chicken
Run" at 1 p.m., Saturday, and will show again every two hours. It will
be open seven days a week until school starts. Each day the box office
will open at 12:30 p.m.
Once school starts the theater will be open on Friday, Saturday and
Each movie will run from Friday to Thursday of each week. "'Chicken
Run" will show until Thursday and "Mission Impossible 2" will be the next
movie on Friday, July 28.
Admission will be $4 for every individual.
RCSD staff seek pay hike from county
PECOS, July 21, 2000 - Reeves County Sheriff's Department employees will
be seeking salary increases at Monday morning's regular Reeves County Commissioners
Commissioners will meet at 10 a.m., Monday, on the third floor of the.
The public is invited to attend.
Aside from the request for a salary increase from the sheriff's department
staff, commissioners will tour the Reeves County Detention Center construction.
The tour will follow their regular meeting.
Commissioners will discuss and take action to declare machine gun surplus
and authorize sale; maintenance department salaries, and will hear Banes
General Contractors' Request for Payment No. 1 Support Services Building
and DRG Architects request for payment invoice #193.
The court will also discuss and take action on a bid on paint; construction
of a walking/running track; perimeter patrol pickup vehicles and will listen
to an update on the waterline construction to the RCDC by Frank X. Spencer
and Associates and the Town of Pecos City.
Commissioners will discuss and take action on RCDC vehicles and equipment
salvage; an RCDC contract between Eric Holt and Reeves County and appoint
election judges/clerks FY 2000-2001. Salary grievance committee FY 2000
will be appointed.
In regular business commissioners will discuss and take action on:
· Reports from various departments.
· Budget amendments and line item transfers.
· Personnel and salary changes (RCDC, sheriff's office, recreation
department, justice of the peace office).
· Minutes from previous meetings.
· Discuss budget workshop: revenue and expenditures budget: general
fund and road and bridge employee salaries.
· Spread on minutes: Trans-Pecos Task Force resolution and cooperative
agreement for the formation of and participation in the Trans Pecos Drug
Task Force and continuing education Certificate Justice of the Peace Clerk
_ Elodia Garcia.
Trucker jailed for smuggling illegal aliens
PECOS, July 21, 2000 - U.S. Border Patrol agents stationed in Pecos rescued
nine people who were being smuggled in a cargo trailer last Sunday.
According to a Border Patrol Agent, the group was heading for Dallas
when a citizen witnessed the driver feeding the illegal aliens inside the
trailer at the Flying J Truck Stop. The citizen then called the agents,
After arriving on the scene, agents arrested the driver, who is currently
being held for alien smuggling.
The group of aliens included three adult males, five adult females and
a three-year-old girl.
The child and females were returned to Mexico voluntarily. The males
are being held as material witnesses for charges filed against the driver
in U.S. District Court in Pecos.
The Border Patrol in their report did not provide the identity of the
driver and the illegal aliens.
Fire Department holding car wash for camera funds
PECOS, July 21, 2000 - The Pecos Fire Department will be having a car wash
starting at 10 a.m. Saturday at the Central Fire Hall on South Cedar Street.
Money raised from the car wash will go toward the Fire Department's
purchase of a Rescue Cam.
Prices are $8 for cars, $10 for trucks and $12 for Suburbans and other
sport utility vehicles. Donations are welcome.
The fire fighters will be able to pick up and deliver vehicles.
For more information or for vehicle pick up and delivery call 445-3519.
PECOS, July 21, 2000 - High Thursday 105. Low this morning 70. Forecast
for tonight: Mostly clear. Low 70-75. Southeast wind 5-15 mph. Saturday:
Mostly sunny. High 95-100. Southeast wind 10-20 mph and gusty. Saturday
night: Partly cloudy with a slight chance of showers or thunderstorms.
Low 70-75. Sunday: Mostly sunny. High 95-100.
York M. "Smokey" Briggs, Publisher
Division of Buckner News Alliance, Inc.
324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
Phone 915-445-5475, FAX 915-445-4321
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Copyright 2000 by Pecos Enterprise