Winning at a shale game
by Chip Latcham
Jan 08, 2014 | 344 views | 0 0 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The United States will slip past Saudi Arabia and Russia to become the world’s top oil producer by 2016, according to a recent article by Reuters appearing on CNBC’s website.

That will bring this nation closer to energy self-sufficiency and reduce the need for OPEC supply, it cited.

A report by a leading U.S. energy consultant firm noted that the U.S. has already overtaken Saudi Arabia to become the world’s biggest oil producer. That’s amazing.

In another report, a Saudi Arabian prince and billionaire businessman, said the production of shale oil and natural gas in the U.S. and other countries, primarily done through fracking, is a real competitive threat to “any oil-producing country in the world.” He added that Saudi Arabia must address the issue as a “matter of survival.”

(However, Reuters noted, “by 2020, the oilfields of Texas and North Dakota will be past their prime and the Middle East will regain its dominance — especially as a supplier to Asia, the International Energy Agency said.”)

Yet, the IEA said “oil prices would continue to rise and spur development of unconventional resources such as the light, tight oil that has fueled the U.S. oil boom,” adding that prices will climb steadily to $128 a barrel by 2035.

Tuesday’s San Antonio Express-News contained more compelling news for this region. “The unrelenting pace of drilling and development will continue in South Texas this year, with oil and gas companies expected to spend between $23 billion and $30 billion in the Eagle Ford Shale.”

A research and consulting company produced a report which called the Eagle Ford “an even larger resource than initially thought.” It added “the industry remains enamored of this field, which has emerged as one of the country’s hot spots for crude oil production.”

In other words, there’s no slowdown expected for many years.

Witness the latest energy reports which list Karnes as the No. 1 county for crude oil production in Texas, followed by La Salle, Gonzales, DeWitt, McMullen and Dimmit, all in the state’s top 10.

Certainly the Eagle Ford has its drawbacks, including an increase in crime along with the growing population, as well as the housing shortage and wear and tear on roads and highways.

Yet, it’s much preferable to be located in a state and region where the economy is booming, rather than residing in the Rust Belt or where state income taxes are stifling business development and pushing investment out of the state.
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