>> Signs of life beginning to emerge in the heart of battered oil country.>> I'm Reuters Ann Saphir in Midland, Texas, one of the world's largest oil producing regions, and hard hit by the oil crash. The dozens of rigs behind me are a physical reminder of the drop in drilling in the Permian Basin.
Some oilmen I’ve talked with here though, say they’re getting closer to building back up cautiously. After hitting a low in February, oil prices are rising back toward the $50 mark, and that’s a level that’s starting to make sense for some drillers.>> Steve Pruett, CEO at Elevation Resources, has kept his one oil rig operating, even as oil dropped under $30 a barrel.
Stopping it would have meant losing more money.>> I will tell you that at $47 a barrel, we can make money drilling in this field. I think by this time next year we will see sustained $60 oil prices, and as one SMU economist put it, that's a happy price, a happy medium between the consumer and the producer.
At $60 a barrel, we're likely to add a second rig.>> And while local bankers say oil and gas companies aren't knocking down their doors for loans to expand, if oil prices can keep the current levels, the worst may be over.