Shale oil leads to boom in Texas Permian Basin
The Permian Basin of West Texas is experiencing an oil boom, leading some of the region’s top oilmen to predict that Texas oil production will double within five to seven years.
Oil drillers over the last eight years have found that the dense oil rock of the basin surrounding Midland and Odessa responds well to hydraulic fracturing, releasing lush yields. Total oil production last year in Texas averaged more than 1 million barrels per day for the first time since 2001.
“Right in the basin, we could get up to 2 million barrels a day,” Jim Henry of Midland-based Henry Resources told The Dallas Morning News for an article in its Sunday’s edition.
“I’ve been totally surprised by the amount of oil we’re finding out in the shale zones,” Scott Sheffield, chairman and chief executive of Irving-based Pioneer Natural Resources Co., told the newspaper.
“We have 30 billion barrels of new oil discoveries,” said Tim Leach, chairman and CEO of Midland-based Concho Resources. “It can be hard to get your mind around that.
The cloud on the horizon is the persistent drought that has gripped the region. Hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” requires massive amounts of water to pump into the ground under high pressure.
Drillers also worry about the prospect of tax increases and limits placed on land use by the presence of such endangered species as the dunes sagebrush lizard.
...Drillers need to find ways to recycle the water used in fracking to make it more economic in places like the Permian Basin. Putting that lizard on the endangered feces list would be a significant political mistake. With the oil recovery now happening in the Eagle Ford shale in South Texas the oil produced in Texas should also be pumping up the state budget.