Texas pumping more oil than some OPEC countries

We all know oil production in Texas has soared in recent years. But putting the rise in graphic form shows just how phenomenal the energy turnaround has been: The surge looks exponential.

In March, Texas oil production reached its highest level since 1984. That month, the Lone Star State pumped more than 74 million barrels of crude from the ground, which means if Texas were a country, it would be one of the 15 largest oil producers in the world.

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Texas’ oil output has doubled in less than three years, putting it in the ranks of OPEC heavy-hitters like Venezuela, Kuwait and Nigeria.

The oil boom has created housing shortages across Texas and New Mexico. And one developer wants to capitalize on the surge by erecting Texas’ sixth tallest skyscraper, which would be called Energy Tower, in a West Texas boomtown. It would be twice as tall as any nearby buildings in the town of 115,000 residents.

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Drilling activity suggests the boom will continue. There are 835 drilling rigs at work in Texas — about 25 percent of all rigs in the world, according to the latest Baker Hughes rig count.

As a whole, the United States produced 221 million barrels of crude in April, with more than a third coming from Texas. Including offshore oil (about 40 million barrels), more than half of U.S. crude came from Texas and the Gulf of Mexico.

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