Texas is always synonymous with oil, but even by Lone Star State standards what's happening now is something truly special. The rapid increase in oil production over the last five years has seen Texas now approaching four million barrels per day, which would be nearly half of the daily production of the entire U.S. The credit for this oil renaissance goes to that controversial new process known as fracking. "Hydraulic fracturing coupled with new technology is the reason we're seeing the dramatic increase in production in Texas," says Debbie Hastings, Executive Vice President of the Texas Oil and Gas Association(TOGA). "And that increase is the reason the Texas economy is doing so well."
Indeed, the oil and gas industry supports an estimated two million jobs in Texas, and last year paid more than $13 billion in state taxes and royalty payments, according to TOGA. That added revenue helps explain why the state has a budget surplus of $2.6 billion as of the end of the last fiscal year. But the benefits of this monumental growth in oil and gas exploration go beyond helping the Texas economy. "Thanks to Texas production, the U.S. is on track to become the largest oil-producing country in the world in 2015," says Hastings. In fact, Texas alone would be the ninth-largest producing oil nation in the world.
Despite the meteoric rise in production since 2008, most analysts agree that Texas hasn't even reached its peak for oil and natural gas production. That means the "Texas Tea" will continue to flow for years to come. Hastings says just don't call it a "boom." "I like to call it a way of life here in Texas," she tells KTRH. "It is something that we are going to be used to for a very long time...it is here to stay."