A new process for drilling for oil is keeping Texas at the top of the list of the nation’s oil rich states.  Houston oil industry expert George Littell says the Eagle Ford shale field makes Texas the world's marginal oil field leader because it costs more to extract oil from shale.

“If you had an opportunity to drill a well in a conventional reservoir with good permeability,” Littell says, “you'd always do that before you'd mess with the shale.”

Littell says 10 years ago the long horizontal drilling approach was rare.  Even though it results in much smaller amounts of oil and gas, it has benefited Texas.  Littell says we’re riding high right now.

“It's an oil boom,” he explains, adding, “Any time you see an oil boom, you figure there's a bust coming, so I spend a lot of my time figuring out when.”