Call it black gold or Texas Tea, but it's flowing rapidly in the Lone Star State. New figures show oil production in Texas reached 2.7 million barrels a day in September, the highest rate since 1981 when such records started being kept by the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Total oil production in Texas has more than doubled in the past three years alone, and the state now accounts for 35% of the total crude oil produced in the U.S.
The biggest factor in this rapid growth has been the development of the Permian Basin in West Texas and the Eagle Ford Shale in South Texas. "In the Eagle Ford Shale, we've gone up from 352 barrels per day in 2008, to 657,000 barrels per day in 2013," says Deb Hastings, Vice President of the Texas Oil and Gas Association. She tells KTRH that the process known as "fracking" is what has allowed such rapid development in shale oil and gas. "Advances in hydraulic fracturing technology are THE reason for the dramatic growth in oil and natural gas production in Texas and across the U.S.," says Hastings. And that trend is still growing. "By the end of this year, just a few weeks from now, we expect the Texas daily production will likely exceed about three million barrels per day," says Hastings. "If we were a nation, we would rank ninth in the world in oil production."
The surge in oil production is great for the Texas economy, as it brings in new jobs and tax revenue to state coffers. But Hastings says don't expect it to have any immediate impacts at the gas pump. She explains that retail gasoline prices rely more on global factors and depend on how much oil is refined, not necessarily how much is produced. Nevertheless, the increased production will likely cause downward pressure on global crude oil prices, which should mean a decline in pump prices. In the meantime, Texas remains the undisputed oil capital of America. But don't call this an oil "boom." "What I like to say is it is a way of life here in Texas," says Hastings. "All of this growth has led to unprecedented job growth and tax revenue for the state."