Texas Is Quickly Becoming One of the World's Largest Oil Producers


So is everything really bigger in Texas? I frequently map Texas counties. With 254 counties across the state of Texas (the most counties of any state in the U.S.) and 268,820 square miles (the largest number of square miles behind Alaska), I can personally testify that Texas not only is “big,” it is quite fertile ground for producing oil. Therefore, if you are in the business of drilling for oil in Texas, you just might be a part of something “really big” that is being recognized on an international level. In fact, if Texas were a separate nation, it would currently rank about the sixth largest oil-producing country in the world.  

According to the U.S Energy Information Administration (EIA), Texas produced approximately 35 percent of the country’s crude oil in 2013. Furthermore, the Lone Star State possesses roughly 29 percent of the U.S’s refining capacity. This amounts to about 3.4 million barrels of oil per day. By some current estimates, the Eagle Ford Shale and the Permian Basin in West Texas are positioning Texas to become the second largest oil producer in the world by year’s end. Horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing have been major contributors to the huge boom for these regions. If these estimates hold true, Texas alone would surpass all other OPEC producers except Saudi Arabia.  

According to one industry expert, the Eagle Ford Shale is probably the most important reservoir play in North America. With the high crude oil content and the high level of returns, operators are seeing that it has the greatest potential of all the U.S. shale plays. Further, the oil drilling has had a huge impact on the South Texas economy. It has led to the creation of many job opportunities, growing tax bases and economic development, all of which have contributed to the state’s prosperity. Although there have been underlying concerns of a “boom to bust” occurring in the South Texas region, there is currently an overriding confidence that this region will see many decades of production.

Another area to watch is Midland, Texas, which has been dubbed “the center of the Permian Basin.” Some refer to it as the “Dubai of Texas.” As in the Middle East, it is situated in a desert landscape of West Texas. Midland’s booming oil-fueled economy has helped it maintain one of the lowest unemployment rates in the U.S. The city is also one of the country’s fastest growing metropolitan areas.    

Texas Governor Rick Perry has used the state’s oil-rich economy to entice other businesses to relocate to the Lone Star State. Through aggressive recruiting efforts and sharing the economic developments and growth of Texas, he has had some great success. Major businesses are making the move to Texas. After more than 50 years in California, the Toyota Corporation has decided to move its U.S. headquarters to Plano, Texas. This is expected to lead to 4,000 new jobs for the northeast Texas city. Other companies are following suit. Could it be the tax incentives? Does everyone want to get on the Texas economic band wagon? Is Texas just a great place to live? Whatever the reasoning might be, you can bet Texas’ oil-backed economy has played a large role in the successful recruitment of out-of-state businesses to Texas.

All of this talk of Texas has led me to recall some of the vivid memories of my youth. My family made frequent weekend excursions to the Rio Grande Valley, on the southern tip of Texas. Traveling through the small towns of South Texas, I had always wondered how the people there made any kind of living in what can be described as a vast wilderness of brush. As we fast forward to today, times have really changed. The recent trips I have taken to South Texas have revealed that it has become a fast-paced and dynamic area – and all for a good reason.  Continuous economic growth and excellent opportunities have become the norm for this oil-rich state. And the world has taken notice.  Business is booming in the Lone Star State. It truly is a great time to be in Texas!

Sources Article: “Fracking-led energy boom is turning US into Saudi Arabia.” By Sean Cockerham.
Article: “A Tale of Two Cities.” By Lachlan Markay, Washington Free Beacon.
Article: “Texas now produces 35 percent of US crude oil.” By Michael Bastasch, The Daily Caller.
Article: “Texas Oil production moving up in world ranking.” By Jennifer Hiller.
Article: “Toyota moving U.S. headquarters to Texas.” By Chris Woodyard, USA Today.
Article: “Rick Perry Scores Big Win As Toyota Moves Headquarters to Texas.” By Will Weissert, Huffington Post.

About the Author
Hector Montoya is a GIS Technician on P2’s Tobin Data team.

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