OPEC, or the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, represents a formalized agreement between some of the world's top oil-producing countries, to ensure a mutually consistent income. While the United States isn't a member, one state — Texas — is producing like one.
Output is flourishing in the Lone Star State, and is predicted to reach 2.7 million barrels per day (bpd). That would rank Texas among the world's elite countries, leapfrogging Nigeria (2,524 million bpd), Venezuela (2,489 million bpd) and Algeria (1,875 million bpd). According to Thomas Tunstall, research director at the University of Texas at San Antonio Institute for Economic Development, this position stands to be buoyed by two particular geographical formations. The Eagle Ford and Cline shale fields are each expected to pump out more than 1 million barrels per day in 2014, a more than 50 percent increase over their current outputs.
In the Eagle Ford alone, 25,000 new wells will be drilled over the course of its field life as producers use cutting edge technology to liberate once-unreachable energy sources. Hydraulic jet pumps represent the very latest in innovation, and are one of the primary catalysts for Texas's ability to burst onto the global oil market so rapidly. Mark Perry, of the Washington D.C.-based American Enterprise Institute, summed up the role of innovation.
"1.35 million bpd increase in oil output in only 29 months in one U.S. 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," Perry explained.
Between creative technology and the vast untapped resources the state holds, Texas seems poised for further success on world energy markets.