The Trump Administration’s steel tariffs will increase costs in the West Texas oil patch at a time when drillers and service firms already faced rising labor and materials costs, investors say. Labor shortages in the Permian Basin and a lack of available working equipment have led to delays and higher prices to drill and frack wells this year. Though the advent of sand mines in the region has helped to ease costs on transportation and sand, labor costs are expected to rise 10 to 15 percent and materials costs are expected to go up 5 to 10 percent this year, a reflection of the recovery in oil prices and increased demand for equipment and fracking work. Oil field service companies and pipeline companies will get hit with tariff costs first, but ultimately those companies will have to pass on their costs to customers and ratepayers – oil producers, the […]