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Texas oil production now rivals OPEC countries

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
July 11th, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

You might not see it at the pump, but the United States is pumping ever-increasing amounts of oil. Nowhere is this as obvious than to people watching production figures in Texas. Texas is now pumping more oil than some OPEC countries.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Last March, Texas pumped more oil than it had since 1984. With 74 million barrels produced, Texas is now the world's 15th largest producer of oil, ranking alongside Kuwait, Nigeria, and even Venezuela.

About 25 percent of all the world's drilling rigs are at work in Texas.

The added barrels of oil means a lot more jobs for the Lone Star state, and a lot of immigration. People from across the U.S. are seeking to make the move to Texas for better jobs, lower taxes, better laws, and greater opportunities.

However, the boom is also putting a strain on local housing markets as housing shortages in the state become more acute. It is expected that builders will respond by stepping up construction, which will create even more jobs.

The United States may soon become the world's largest producer of natural gas and oil, becoming once again a net exporter rather than an importer. Fracking, an industry practice that fractures rock many miles below the Earth's surface, to release pockets of oil and gas, promises to provide astounding quantities of fossil fuel-based energy to the country.

The renaissance of the oil industry in the United States should pave the way for many more years of economic prosperity. Much of that prosperity is expected to show up in the form of lower energy costs, higher government revenues, and possibly surpluses. Employment figures are already starting to improve in many places that depend on these resources for jobs.

Of course, the mass production and cheapening of fossil fuels doesn't have everybody happy. Environmentalists are concerned that cheap fossil fuels will turn attention away from renewable energy. With people looking back at gas and oil as an alternative, the quantity of CO2 and other pollutants in the atmosphere may increase in the U.S. Also, environmentalists are concerned that fracking can cause earthquakes and pollute underground water sources, although all fracking operations occur many miles below water tables. Fracking is a water-intensive process and it is necessary to drill through the water table to reach the reserves miles below.

Mistakes can also cause damage to the environment.

Despite the risk, most operations have been safe and productive, and have delivered major returns to stakeholders. Texas is one such state enjoying the benefits of a booming oil industry. Soon, it is expected the rest of the nation will follow.

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