Buoyed by rapidly growing unconventional production in the Permian Basin and the rebounding Eagle Ford Shale, Texas oil production reached record levels in 2018, easily surpassing the previous mark set 45 years before, according to data from the Texas Independent Producers and Royalty Owners Association.
In its annual nationwide "State of Energy Report," the association, commonly called TIPRO, said Texas produced 1.54 billion barrels of oil in 2018, surpassing the 1.28 billion barrels produced in 1973. The 2018 oil production total was an increase of 277 million barrels over 2017. Texas more than tripled the production of second-place North Dakota, with 443 million barrels.
The state was also the nation's largest natural gas producer, with an estimated total of 8.8 Tcf produced. That was up approximately 800 Bcf from 2017 and surpassed second-place Pennsylvania by 2.7 Tcf.
TIPRO also reported strong returns on the employment front, saying that more than 26,700 oil- and gas-related jobs were added to the state in 2018. That brought total employment in the state's oil and gas sector to more than 352,000 jobs. Second-place Oklahoma added 5,266 jobs, according to the report.
The oil and gas advocacy group said 40% of all oil and gas jobs in the U.S. in 2018 were in Texas, and nearly 30% of all oil and gas business nationwide was in the state. During his State of the State address Feb. 5, Gov. Greg Abbott noted the continued surge in the state's oil and gas production as well as the recovery from the 2014-2016 price collapse, which led to hundreds of thousands of job cuts.
"As the national leader in oil and natural gas production, Texas is paving the way for America's energy independence," Abbott said. "From technological advancements resulting in increased oil and natural gas output to our LNG export facilities, the Lone Star State's energy economy is firing on all cylinders."