Working alone, Texas put out more oil last year than nine members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), a cartel of petroleum-producing countries currently working together to control the supply and demand of oil globally.
And it’s on track to pump out even more in the future.
According to the Houston Chronicle, 2.4 million barrels of oil a day were drawn from the West Texas Permian basin in 2016.
This, coupled with the reality of more oil being extracted this year and again the next, combined with the low price of its extractions, is prompting investors to pour money into the area.
New capital investment is expected to skyrocket from $8 billion in 2016 to over $40 billion next year.
This is spurring excitement and hype for the creation of new jobs, especially after recent rounds of layoffs and the damage caused by Hurricane Harvey slowed employment opportunities in the industry.
More money and the jobs it naturally yields may not be all good news, however:
A marked uptick in drug use and drug-related crime is being reported with each influx of oil money into Texas, specifically in the Permian Shale Basin region.
High salaries and easy access to recreational drugs can add up to dangerous conditions on the job for oil workers.
Additionally, given the relatively cheap costs of extractions, people funneling their resources toward drilling in the Permian Shale Basin are doing so likely because they expect to make a profit.
But not everyone supports such ventures and for a number of reasons:
Should there be another massive output of oil, demand and price might fall as a result; if this were to happen, investors wouldn’t see a very high rate of return on their money, yet, some individuals recognize this possibility and are are still shelling out.
Furthermore, Texas shale oil companies still control untapped wells and vast reserves of oil they control, which, if tapped, would flood the market and create a price war, driving down prices.
Instead of another oil boom, we may simply be in for more of the same crude ebb and flow.