It’s often said that everything’s bigger in Texas. These days, that couldn’t be truer with respect to oil production in the Lone Star State.
I have written frequently about the extraordinary increase in oil production coming from North Dakota’s Bakken region thanks to hydraulic fracturing. That has energized not just the economy of North Dakota, it has boosted the economies of neighboring states as well.
Developments in Texas in recent years show that North Dakota doesn’t have a monopoly on impressive increases in oil production. Drilling in the Eagle Ford Shale and the Permian Basin has produced volumes of oil reminiscent of the days of Elizabeth Taylor and James Dean in the 1956 silver-screen epic, Giant.
- In May Texas accounted for more than one-third of total U.S. oil production, up from less than 15 percent just a few years ago.
- Texas’ daily oil output has doubled in just a little more than two years, averaging 2.525 million barrels per day in May, the highest daily output the state has experienced since April 1982.
- If Texas’s daily production hits 3 million barrels per day by year-end, as many expect, the state would likely rank ninth on the list of oil-producing nations if it were its own country.
- Meanwhile, Texas accounts for more than a quarter of all U.S. natural gas production – enough to rank third among all nations, trailing only Russia and the rest of the U.S.
- As of the latest rig count, Texas was home to 832 drilling rigs. That is nearly half of all land rigs in the United States and a quarter of all the rigs working anywhere in the world.
The article’s author, David Blackmon, calls these numbers, simply, “extraordinary.” It would be hard to disagree.