Texas Creeping up on Iraq's Crude Oil Production
HOUSTON, Texas--3 million barrels of crude oil are now being produced in Texas each day, according to new federal data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). This means that the state has almost reached the production level of Iraq, the second-largest oil producer in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).
Texas' oil production has been increasing rapidly in recent years: in 2009, the state only produced about 1.1 million barrels of oil. The gas and oil industry continues to explode in the Lone Star State, thanks in part to the Eagle Ford Shale and Permian Basin.
The EIA reported, "Gains in Texas crude oil production come primarily from counties that contain unconventional tight oil and shale reservoirs in the Eagle Ford Shale in the Western Gulf Basin, where drilling has increasingly targeted oil-rich areas, and multiple reservoirs within the Permian Basin in West Texas that have seen a significant increase in horizontal, oil-directed drilling."
North Dakota's oil production also saw an increase; the state produces about 1 million barrels per day.
Together, Texas and North Dakota currently produce about half of the nation's total crude oil.
The boom could carry Texas' economy for years to come. The only potential threat to the mega-industry? Politics.
Josiah Neeley, a Policy Analyst at the Texas Public Policy Foundation told Breitbart Texas, "Is a gas and oil 'bust' coming? That's a political question more than a natural resources question. Estimates state that there are enough resources under the ground to allow the oil and gas boom to continue and get bigger. The potential danger has to do with regulations that could potentially be instated."
He continued, "If Texas had the legislature of California or New York, that would definitely pose a threat to the industry. The state can place all sorts of restrictions on oil and gas development. We've seen that before in places like New York. The political environment in Texas is very important. If the voting populous changes, that environment could also change."
Politics likely won't cause a bust anytime soon. Breitbart Texas previously reported that most Lone Star State transplants appear to be conservatives seeking refuge.
So long as Texas' oil industry is left largely unregulated, Texas will likely outproduce most OPEC nations in the near future.
The result? Prosperity for not only Texans, but all Americans.
Follow Kristin Tate on Twitter @KristinBTate.