Texas Energy Boom

by · November 10, 2011

DrillingNew drilling approaches mixed with climbing oil rates are fueling the upcoming oil boom for Texas. Texans have taken advantage of this not only with employment but also with cheap electricity rates. According to statistics published by Baker Hughes, the number of oil rigs aiming for oil inside the U.S. is approximately twice as many as last year, and possibly a remarkable 10 times greater than a little over a decade ago.

Deposits of oil-locked shale rock formations previously considered not affordable to extract are currently economically feasible due to all new drilling techniques that have only recently been deployed in practice. The new fields opened by making use of this new procedure could out produce all of the Gulf production by 2015 according to many analysts.

Many sizeable corporations have already invested large sums to start new drilling sites in Texas and other parts of North America. This remarkable investment of capital will more than likely help the Texas economy and job market for quite some time. Some areas of TX have grown to be wealthy with unemployment virtually zero. The Eagle Ford play in Southern Texas is just one area where the effect of this technique has been felt. While still in the early stages of use it is expected to transform the play in to the 6th greatest oil discovery ever within the United States. Late last year China’s state-run oil enterprise and Chesapeake Energy entered inside a $1 billion deal on a project in Texas.

Nonetheless, some pundits say all of this economical gain comes with a price; namely, environmental impact. The new methods being exploited are similar to the fracking used with great success recently inside the natural gas industry to tap into natural gas trapped in underground shale.

The EPA is currently studying the safety of the procedure after fears that waste from the process might contaminate drinking water supplies. The technique uses a procedure for horizontal drilling into rock and pumping in a blend of water and chemicals to split the shale releasing trapped natural gas.

Refinements to the approach including methods of creating more cracks in the rock and use of different chemicals have made the practice cost efficient for oil exploration, especially given the soaring price of oil. Now the process is thought to be practical for getting at trapped oil.

Coming at a time when domestic oil production is going into a third decade of decline the latest oil fields are expected to raise U.S. national oil output by a minimum of twenty percent within the next few years.

Of course, increased domestic oil production translates to decreased oil imports. All of this might lead to cutting down US dependence on foreign oil by more than half in the next decade as mentioned in one study. This translates to hundreds of billions of dollars every year kept in the American economy instead of sent abroad.

Texas has now felt the advantage of comparable concepts applied to natural gas production. Natural gas costs have fallen substantially in latest years in significant portion because of increased production as a result of these drilling techniques. Because of this, Texas electric rates have also fallen a great deal. In Texas a huge portion of electricity is produced by natural gas.


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