HOUSTON (AP) — Texas has reported that it produced oil at a record rate in September, more than doubling the rate of less than three years ago, according to totals compiled by the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
The totals show Texas produced crude oil at the rate of 2.7 million barrels per day during September, the highest average since federal officials began keeping monthly records in January 1981 and a 30 percent increase over September 2012, the Houston Chronicle (http://bit.ly/1jj834y ) reported.
That still fell short of the record rate of 3.4 million barrels per day reported to the Texas Railroad Commission in 1972, when the state's oil production peaked, the Chronicle reported.
The Texas oil boom started in 2008, when new technology reversed decades of decline. Hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling renewed old fields and opened new ones.
Leading the way in the new Texas oil boom have been the Eagle Ford Shale in South Texas and the Permian Basin in West Texas, which each saw production rapidly expand to more than 1 million barrels of crude per day. Texas accounted for 35 percent of the U.S. crude oil production in September.
That ranks Texas as one of the world's 15 biggest oil producers, comparable to such producers as Venezuela, Kuwait and Nigeria, the Chronicle reported.
For 25 months in a row, Texas oil production has increased by more than 25 percent year-over-year, said University of Michigan economist Mark J. Perry.
"Output in America's No. 1 oil-producing state — Texas — continues its phenomenal, meteoric rise," Perry wrote in his blog. "That production surge has to be one of the most significant increases in oil output ever recorded in the U.S. over such a short period of time."
From 2008 to 2012, imports of foreign crude oil and petroleum products declined by 18 percent, while natural gas imports fell by 21 percent, the Chronicle reported. U.S. production still fell far short of its consumption, however, as it pumped 6.56 million barrels of crude oil and petroleum products per day while consuming more than 18 million barrels per day.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration projects that U.S. oil production will reach 8.2 million barrels per day next year.
Information from: Houston Chronicle, http://www.houstonchronicle.com