Texas producing 36 percent of US crude

HOUSTON — Texas is producing about 36 percent of the country’s crude oil — three times more than any other state, according to the latest monthly figures from the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Texas pumped nearly 2.9 million barrels of crude daily of the 7.9 million barrels produced nationwide in January, the latest month for which figures are available.

The Gulf of Mexico produced about 17 percent, the second-largest portion, followed by North Dakota with about 12 percent of the U.S. crude. California and Alaska rounded out the top five crude-producing areas, each home to about 7 percent of the nation’s oil.

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Spurred by by wider use of oil-field technology, namely hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling, Texas crude production has soared 119 percent between 2010 and 2013.

Texas is not alone. The technology has led to a nationwide rush to drilling for oil and natural gas in shale and other dense rock. Colorado saw a 93 percent jump in oil production from 2010 to 2013, largely due to drilling in the Niobrara Shale. Oklahoma, home to the Woodford Shale, had 62 percent growth. And New Mexico, which shares the prolific Permian Basin with Texas, had 51 percent growth.

The study also pointed out the changing dynamics of the sources of U.S. crude. North Dakota, at  one time the seventh largest producer of U.S. crude, has risen to the third. The Gulf of Mexico, Alaska and California — which in 2008 accounted for half the U.S. crude production — now make up less than a third for the country’s crude, having lost ground to shale and other unconventional plays.

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