Oil and gas production in the Eagle Ford Shale in 2014 is expected to surpass 1 million barrels per day, up from the current 650,000 barrels per day, which will help Texas alone produce more oil than several nations who are members of the OPEC oil cartel, 1200 WOAI news reports.
“By some time next year it is almost certain that we will have two separate oilfields in Texas producing over 1 million barrels of oil per day,” Thomas Tunstall, the Research Director at UTSA’s Institute for Economic Development and an expert on the Eagle Ford, told the annual meeting of the South Texas Energy and Economic Roundtable.
That two million barrels per day from the Eagle Ford and from the rapidly growing Klein Shale fields in the Permian Basin, not counties traditional oil drilling in Texas, surpasses the output of four OPEC countries, and Tunstall says that fracking production is key in allowing the U.S. this year to surpass Russia to become the largest producer of oil and gas in the world.
And Tunstall says neither he, nor his father, who spent his entire career as a petroleum engineer, say this coming.
“He and I would have said five years ago that Texas has kind of seen its best days in terms of oil production,” he said. “So yes, it is definitely a surprise that this is happening.”
Tunstall says the Eagle Ford is now responsible for 127,000 full time, well paying jobs, and he doesn’t seen the employment, or the output, declining over the next nine years. He says Eagle Ford employment will peak at about 127,000 in 2022.
Tunstall rejects the ‘hopeful attitudes’ by environmentalists and by OPEC leaders that the Eagle Ford is a ‘flash in the pan,’ and the wells will soon peter out and the U.S. will soon be begging for OPEC oil again.
He says a total of 25,000 wells being drilled into the Eagle Ford shale over the course of its life. He says the United States is the only country in the world to exploit tight oil using fracking, and as the technology is fully developed in Mexico, Canada, China and elsewhere, all of which are known to have extensive tight oil reserves, that will continue to place more pressure on OPEC.
As far as constant attempts by environmentalists to shut down fracking by blaming it for everything from dirty water to air pollution to earthquakes, Tunstall said many of those claims are based ‘more on ideology than on facts.
“Fracturing itself has not been demonstrated by any study that I have seen to be related to earthquakes,” he said, adding that the rush of earthquakes n north and south Texas are likely caused by incorrect monitoring and pressurization of injection wells, and not due to the fracking itself.