Has the corner been turned? Could Louisiana's thousands of oil and gas families finally be able to exhale again? We can't say for sure but those who know the industry are suggesting that the past month has been encouraging.

Oil prices have climbed to near $50 a barrel since the low point of $26 dollars per barrel. Granted the industry requires a price between $60 and $70 a barrel to achieve a break even point. The news still is very encouraging to Don Briggs, President of LOGA, the Louisiana Oil and Gas Association. 

That’s darn near 100% increase in prices so any increase right now makes our producers a lot happier.

Briggs' comments to the Louisiana Radio Network also suggested that higher natural gas prices are helping producers in the northwestern part of the state.

Natural gas prices are up $2.60 compared to $1.80 as it was this past year, and anywhere around $3 gas really helps us tremendously in the Haynesville shale.

Natural gas is used to power a lot of air conditioners so a hotter than average summer would be a good thing, at least in the eyes of Louisiana's natural gas producers.

In the hot summers like we’re having, as we all know we’re running air conditioners a lot more, and consequently we’re drawing more electricity and using more natural gas, which is a good thing for all of us.

Just last week it was announced that the rig count for oil and gas exploration had actually risen. That's something the industry hasn't seen for months.

We aren't out of the woods and all back to work just yet, but we are getting closer and closer to that point. As long as the current price of oil continues to show an increase toward that magic break even point and beyond there is still a glimmer of hope that better times and more jobs will be returning to the state.