Everything’s bigger in Texas, even its oil production—which could soon outpace Iraq’s.
Growth in oil production in Texas and the Permian and Bakken geological regions have put total U.S. oil production ahead of Russia’s for the first time since February 1999, the U.S. Energy Information Administration reports. That makes it the world leader in oil production, as predicted earlier this summer.
U.S. production is closing in on 11 million barrels a day and the EIA predicts that U.S. production will remain ahead of Russia and Saudi Arabaia during the rest of this year and through 2019, despite a downward revision of the EIA’s previous estimate for 2019.
“It’s all about technological improvements, supported by ample capital to invest, and the ingenuity of American oil drillers,” Bob McNally, president of Rapidan Energy Group told CNN Money.
The capital may have as much to do as the technology, according to former Fortune writer Bethany McLean, whose book Saudi America: The Truth About Fracking and How it’s Changing the World examines the U.S. fracking boom and its Wall Street enablers.
“Fracking companies have been valued as a multiple of the acreage they own, or on their level of production, regardless of whether it’s profitable or not,” McLean told Fortune.
Fracking producers may be reading the writing on the wall. They have been signing three-year pricing contracts according to Reuters, signaling that they don’t expect prices to keep climbing in that timeframe. That could be due to expectations of increased production or a tapering off in demand.