Texas Is Having Another Oil Boom And Its Production Could Outpace Iraq, Iran and Kuwait In A Few Years

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  • Texas Midland oil rigs 2008 2
    Oil rigs in Midland, Texas.
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    A man demonstrates how an oil sample is taken at a drilling rig site outside of Williston, N.D. North Dakota is the second-largest oil-producing state after Texas.
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Texas oil production continues to surge as the fracking boom frees up previously unreachable oil, and a recent report finds that if the state were an independent country, it would rank 10th overall in production, according to the American Enterprise Institute.

Based on international oil production numbers released by the Energy Information Administration, the current pace of annual increase in Texas was 30 percent or more, indicating production could surpass 3 million barrels per day by early 2014 and reach 4 million barrels per day by 2015.

In 2010 Texas, if it were its own separate country, would have been the 20th largest oil-producing country in the world. The rapid increase in oil output over the past few years is attributed to the extraction of unconventional shale oil in the U.S.

Thanks to hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, and the ability to drill horizontally, oil production has rocketed. Fracking is a drilling technique that blasts millions of gallons of water and chemicals to extract natural gas or oil from fractured rocks. The drilling technique has been heavily criticized, and some environmentalists contend fracking contaminates groundwater.

With these numbers, the Lone Star State could surpass Kuwait and the UAE to reach the No. 8 spot by the end of next year and could surpass Iraq, Iran and even Canada by the end of next year to take the No. 6 spot.

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