Texas oil exploration aids US path to energy independence

According to recent figures, Texas leads the way by far in North American oil production. According to recent figures, Texas leads the way by far in North American drilling activity. The latest Baker Hughes Rig Count shows that the state has just under half of the nation's oil rigs at 840. Most of these rigs are located in Permian Basin though a growing number of rigs are obtaining oil from shale deposits. These deposits are gathered by a process called hydraulic fracturing in which a mixture of water, sand and chemicals are blasted down a well to break up the hard rock formation, allowing oil and gas to flow.

With the continued increase in shale oil, the International Energy Commission expects the U.S. surpass Saudi Arabia in oil production by 2020, notes Forbes. Some sources also indicated that the nation as a whole may become energy independent in the coming decades.

Natural gas production has also seen a massive boom as drilling rigs become more sophisticated. Even as the number of rigs falls, the output grows.

To read more about natural gas in the U.S. visit PennEnergy's research area.

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