The U.S. surpasses Saudi Arabia and Russia as the world's biggest oil producer -- and Texas fracking is leading the charge.
According to the International Energy Agency, U.S. output of crude oil passed 11 million barrels a day in the first quarter.
James LeBas, an analyst with the Texas Oil&Gas Association credits the 'miracle' of hydraulic fracturing.
“As long as the fracturing can continue, Texas can remain the number one producing state,” LeBas tells KTRH News. “We're 36 percent of U.S. production right now.”
“When I started in this business in the 1980s, no one could have expected this sort of event could take place,” he says. “Where we would not only recover our losses, but actually surpass Saudi Arabia.”
LeBas says the U.S. has essentially filled the gap of slowing production in Middle East, meaning gas prices has remained study while imports decline.
The IEA predicts U.S. Output could top 13 million barrels a day by 2019. LeBas says foreign and domestic policy will play a key role -- especially with the Keystone XL pipeline.
“The most efficient thing, most sensible thing and the safest thing is to complete that pipeline,” says LeBas.
Investment in the oil and gas industry has reached a record $200 billion, or 20 percent of the country's private fixed-structure spending.
With or without the pipeline, LeBas believes U.S. oil production will continue to grow for decades to come.