The recent drone attack on Saudi Arabian oil facilities caused a brief spike in crude prices, but appears to have had no dramatic long-term impact on the worldwide oil market. This despite the fact that the attack knocked out some 5.7 million barrels per day, about half the Saudis' production. "You notice that we're okay...we don't see a lot of havoc occurring, even though that much oil was taken off the market in a short period of time," says Kym Bolado, host of KTRH's In the Oil Patch Radio Show.
The biggest reason the attack didn't cause major damage to the world market is the U.S.--specifically Texas. "The United States is now a net importer of less than ten percent of our daily oil needs," says Bolado. "And we can thank the shale plays that are going on, and all the fracking that is going on here in the United States."
Most of that shale exploration and fracking is happening here in Texas, which remains the oil capital of the United States. In fact, thanks to the fracking boom in Texas, the state's oil production rose from about 350 million barrels per year in 2010 to over 1.2 billion barrels per year in 2018. Last year, the U.S. became a net oil exporter for the first time, and America is now the world's largest oil producer.
In addition to keeping prices down, the U.S. oil boom also benefits national security by reducing oil-based ties to volatile foreign nations. "I don't see us going to the Middle East to get involved in a war...we just really don't have to now, and we have something to thank for that, and that is fracking that is occurring in the United States," says Bolado. "Fracking is actually keeping us out of wars in the Middle East, for a change."