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The remarkable shale oil bonanza in ‘Saudi Texas’: Oil output has doubled in only 29 months to a 33-year high in September


The Energy Information Administration (EIA) released new state crude oil production data this week for the month of September, and one of the highlights of that monthly report is that oil output in America’s No. 1 oil-producing state – Texas – continues its phenomenal, meteoric rise. Here are some details of oil output in “Saudi Texas” for the month of September:

1. Oil drillers in Texas pumped out an average of 2.726 million barrels of crude oil every day (bpd) during the month of September, which is the highest daily oil output in the Lone State State in any single month since at least January 1981, when the EIA started reporting each state’s monthly oil production (see chart above). Compared to a year ago, oil output in Texas increased by 28.9% in September, marking the 25th straight month starting in August 2011 that the state’s oil output has increased by more than 25% on a year-over-year basis.

2. Remarkably, oil production in the Lone Star State has more than doubled in less than three years, from 1.35 million bpd in April 2011 to 2.73 million bpd in September of this year (see chart above), and that production surge has to be one of the most significant increases in oil output ever recorded in the US over such a short period of time. A 1.35 million bdp increase in oil output in only 29 months in one US state is remarkable, and would have never been possible without the revolutionary drilling techniques that just recently started accessing vast oceans of Texas shale oil in the Eagle Ford Shale and Permian Basin oil fields. As I reported recently, both the Eagle Ford and Permian Basin oil fields in Texas are now producing more than 1 million bpd, joining an elite group of only nine super-giant oil fields globally that have ever produced that amount of oil at their peak.

3. The exponential increase in Texas oil output over roughly the last three years has completely reversed the previous, gradual 28-year decline in the state’s conventional oil production that took place from 1981 to 2009 (see arrows in chart) – thanks almost exclusively to the dramatic increases in the state’s output of newly accessible, unconventional shale oil.

4. In mid-2009, Texas was producing less than 20% of America’s domestic crude oil. The recent gusher of unconventional oil being produced in the Eagle Ford Shale and Permian Basin oil fields of Texas, thanks to breakthrough drilling technologies, has recently pushed the Lone Star State’s share of domestic crude oil above 30% in each of the last 17 months, and all the way up to 35% of America’s crude output in both August and September.

5. Oil output has increased so significantly in Texas in recent years that if the state was considered as a separate oil-producing country, Texas would have been the 10th largest oil-producing nation in the world for crude oil output in July (most recent month available for international oil production data) at 2.625 million bpd – just slightly behind No. 9 Kuwait at 2.65 million bpd and ahead of No. 11 Mexico at 2.52 million bpd.

6. The dramatic increase in Texas’s oil production is bringing jobs and economic prosperity to the state. For example, over the last 12 months through October, payrolls in the state of Texas increased by 267,400 jobs, which was a 2.40% annual increase in the state’s employment level, compared to 1.74% increase in US payrolls over that period. Every business day over the last year, more than 1,000 new jobs were created in the Lone Star State, and many of those jobs were directly or indirectly related to the state’s booming oil and gas industry, which experienced a 5.5% increase in payrolls (15,000 new jobs) over the most recent 12-month period through October. Oil and gas companies in Texas hired almost 58 new employees every business day over the last year, or about 7 new hires every hour!

MP: The significant increase in Texas’s oil production over the last several years is nothing short of phenomenal, and is a direct result of America’s “petropreneurs” who developed game-changing drilling technologies that have now revolutionized the nation’s production of shale oil. Thanks to those revolutionary technologies, Texas is now home to two of only ten super-giant oil fields to ever produce more than 1 million barrels of oil per day - the Eagle Ford and Permian Basin.

For oil output in Texas to increase to double in only 29 months, and increase so dramatically that the state produced more than one-third of all US crude oil in August and September, is undoubtedly one of the most remarkable energy success stories in US history – and it’s just getting started. At the current pace of annual increases of 25% or more, Texas oil production is on track to surpass 3 million bpd in early 2014, and then surpass 4 million bpd in the spring of 2015. With those projected increases in Texas oil output, the state could soon surpass Kuwait, UAE, Iraq, Iran and even Canada to move up in the international production rankings to become the world’s No. 5 or No. 6 oil producer within the next few years.

“Saudi Texas” continues to be the shining star of The Great American Energy Boom.

14 thoughts on “The remarkable shale oil bonanza in ‘Saudi Texas’: Oil output has doubled in only 29 months to a 33-year high in September

  1. The technological transformation is impressive.
    How long do these “tight oil” wells produce? The pace of new well drilling seems to drive the booms in TX and ND.

    • The Permian Basis has been pumping oil since the First World War. In addition to the fields in East Texas, these wells provided most of the oil used by the Allied Fleets during WWII. And they still provide oil.
      A new formation, about twice as deep as the Permian (5000ft approx) is now coming into play. It covers more area (more sq. miles) and the formations in some areas are 1000 ft thick. The potential there exceeds that of the Permian. FYI

  2. It’s awesome to be a resident of the Great State of Texas. I am also fortunate to be employed by a great company that supports energy production throughout the state and the world.

    If I have a concern, it’s that I am old enough to remember the oil boom / bust of the 1980′s. As a high school grad being courted by a couple of different university’s engineering programs, I was amazed by how rosy the future looked as someone considering study of Petroleum Engineering, and how dingy that future turned, seemingly on a dime. Luckily for me, I chose mechanical engineering instead.

    The point is, no matter how grand things look, have a flexible plan, or at least a couple of “Plan-B’s”.

  3. From the year 2003 to now, the chart looks like the dreaded hockey stick of global warming. Oh wait the handle is the upside! Dumb me I get confused easily.

  4. The Oil Boom is real and is creating “New-Oil Millionaires”

    I entered into a Limited Partnership with a privately held Texas oil and gas company startup for a working percentage of .01125. My ROI on my $15,000 investment should be realized within 7-8 months. Monthly payouts will average $2,000.

    This is the best investment of my life. I can look forward to decades if not scores of residuals.

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