Texas now produces 35 percent of US crude oil

Michael Bastasch | Contributor

There’s a reason why Texas Gov. Rick Perry is always telling businesses to move to his state: it’s in the middle of a massive oil boom.

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the Lone Star State now produced nearly 35 percent of the country’s crude oil in 2013. EIA data shows that Texas oil production averaged more than 2.8 million barrels per day in January 2014. Last year, oil production in Texas actually exceeded the production levels from federal offshore drilling areas.

It’s not only in oil production that Texas is booming. The state’s 27 petroleum refineries account for 29 percent of U.S. refining capacity and can refine more than 5.1 million barrels of oil per day.

Texas has been one of the nation’s leading petroleum producers for some time. But do to the advent of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, other states are seeing their own oil production soar as well.

Five states and the Gulf of Mexico not produce 80 percent of the country’s crude oil production. North Dakota is one of those states, producing 12 percent of U.S. crude oil supplies to become the country’s second-largest oil producing state. California and Alaska tied for the third largest crude oil producing states, but federal offshore drilling in the Gulf of Mexico still outshines all the states — except Texas — and makes up 17 percent of the country’s oil supply.

U.S. crude oil production boomed in 2013, growing 15 percent to 7.4 million barrels per day, according to EIA. Texas and North Dakota both saw their own oil production grow by 29 percent last year from 2012 levels.

“Production gains in both states came largely from shales, especially the Eagle Ford in Texas and the Bakken in North Dakota. In the three years since 2010, North Dakota’s crude oil output has grown 177% and Texas’s output 119%, the fastest in the nation,” according to EIA.

“Three other states that were among the top 10 U.S. producers in 2013 also experienced production growth rates above 20% during the past three years,” EIA notes. “Colorado, which overlies part of the Niobrara Shale, had 93% growth in production from 2010 to 2013; Oklahoma, with the Woodford Shale, had 62% growth; and New Mexico, which shares the Permian Basin with Texas, had 51% growth.”

Fracking has allowed many states to unlock vast oil and natural gas reserves in underground shale formations. The drilling technique involves injecting water, sand and chemical mixtures more than one mile underground to extract oil and gas.

Environmental groups have heavily opposed the process, saying it pollutes drinking water and harms air quality. But there is no evidence that the fracking process itself — which lasts from a couple days to about two weeks — harms water quality.

“I still have not seen any evidence of fracking per se contaminating groundwater,” Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz told reporters at a breakfast hosted by the Christian Science Monitor last year.

There are now more than 1.1 million active oil and natural gas wells in the country, according to the website Fractracker.org. Texas has nearly 304,000 active wells and north Dakota has nearly 23,000, according to the well tracking site.

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