Oil and Gas: Powering the Texas century

This is a preview of our Texas 2036 newsletter taking a deep dive into how the Texas oil and gas industry is powering the state and keeping the nation and the world running. To receive this weekly look at our work, sign up here.

Texas Oil and Gas: Keeping the World Running

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With a $751 billion economic impact in the state, the oil and gas industry is the backbone of the Texas economy. But just how big of an impact does oil and gas have in Texas? We took a look at the data to find out.

Just how much oil and gas does Texas have?

From North Texas to Laredo, and from far West Texas to the Gulf Coast — Texas is blessed with an abundance of oil and gas.

In fact, Texas has more oil and gas than any other state, comprising five major oil and gas formations: Permian Basin, Eagle Ford, Barnett Shale, Haynesville Shale, and the Granite Wash.

The Permian Basin is one of the nation’s most prolific oil and gas producers, accounting for 44% of U.S. crude oil production and 17% of U.S. gas production.TX oil and gas formations map

Did you know?

Railroad Commission historical photoSource: Railroad Commission of Texas

In 1919, the Oil and Gas Conservation Law (Senate Bill 350 of the 36th Legislature, Regular Session) gave the Railroad Commission of Texas jurisdiction over the regulation and production of oil and gas in Texas.

How much oil and gas does Texas produce?

With 42% of the nation’s crude oil production and 27% of its marketed natural gas production, Texas is America’s top producer of crude oil and natural gas.TX energy production estimates chart

Texas is the nation’s top exporter of oil and gas

Texas was the largest energy exporting state in 2023, accounting for 65% of U.S. energy exports by trade dollar value.

Top Six States Exporting Energy by Trade Dollar Value, 2023

Top Six States Exporting Energy by Trade Dollar Value, 2023Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Foreign Trade Statistics

Increasing exports with liquified natural gas

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The United States took over as the world’s leading exporter of liquified natural gas (LNG) last year, with Texas leading the way.

And a recent federal court ruling protecting LNG exports clears the path for future exports of LNG, which are expected to increase by 152% by 2050.

The new face of Texas oil and gas exports:
Port of Corpus Christi

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A recent Wall Street Journal report spelled out the leading role being played by the Port of Corpus Christi in the recent surge in U.S. crude oil exports:

  • Corpus Christi is the deepwater port that has given the transformative prolific oil and gas plays in the Eagle Ford and the Permian Basin access to the global energy markets.
  • Daily oil exports have skyrocketed from 83,000 barrels in 2016 to 2.1 million barrels in 2023, accounting for nearly two-thirds of U.S. crude oil exports.
  • Looking to the future, Corpus Christi is investing $682 million to deepen the port’s waterway, allowing for tanker ships to more fully load and carry more oil to foreign ports.
  • WSJ oil and commodity markets reporter David Uberti said that Corpus Christi, by freeing Europe from its dependency on Russian natural gas, “has become an extension of American geopolitical power.”

Getting fuel where it needs to be

Texas has 489,657 miles of pipeline to get oil and gas where it needs to be — both within our state and as exports that fuel the country.

Just how dense are pipelines in Texas? Here are the locations of pipelines in four coastal Texas counties: Harris, Brazoria, San Patricio and Nueces.

Pipeline map, Harris CountyPipeline map, Brazoria CountyPipeline map, San Patricio CountyPipeline map, Nueces County

Natural gas in liquified form (LNG) is shipped worldwide via two LNG export facilities located in Corpus Christi and Freeport, with plans for constructing eight additional LNG export facilities in the following locations — Sabine Pass, Port Arthur (two terminals), Brownsville (two terminals), and additional terminals in Corpus Christi and Freeport (two terminals).

What the future holds for Texas oil and gas

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Both oil and gas production reached record highs in 2023 and show no signs of slowing down. In fact, data from Texas 2036’s Future of Texas Energy dashboard suggests that Texas is primed to continue as the nation’s energy leader for years to come.

Increased energy generation, through both greater oil and gas production and renewable energy, contributes to net increases in Texas’ energy output as high as 59% by 2050.

Oil and gas powers Texas’ job engine

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Over 200,000 Texans are employed in upstream oil and gas jobs, with median earnings between $60,000 and $100,000 per year, according to the latest Texas Workforce Commission data.

In 2023, the Texas oil and natural gas industry reported that they directly employed more than 480,000 workers earning an average of $124,000 a year. But the real employment impact is much greater.

Over a million jobs in Texas are indirectly supported by the oil and gas industry — everything from restaurants and hotels to retail stores.

Preparing tomorrow’s oil and gas workforce

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With continued growth, more people will be needed to replace retiring workers and fill new jobs that are created by Texas’ oil and gas industry.

Through the Energy Pathways initiative, businesses are working closely with public schools to provide secondary and postsecondary students with the knowledge, skills and training necessary to succeed in the oil and gas industry.

Total Enrollment of Petroleum Engineering Programs in Texas in 2023

Petroleum engineering enrollment chartSource: THECB DataBridge

At Texas four-year public institutions, 989 students were enrolled in petroleum engineering programs in 2023, according to Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board data.

Oil and gas revenues fund the Lone Star State

TX Public School Funding Relies on Oil & Gas Production chart

Texas receives over $26.3 billion from the oil and gas industry in the form of state and local taxes and royalty payments. That provides $72 million daily for schools, roads, first responders and more.

Approximately 20% of Texas public school funding can be linked to the oil and gas industry.

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Did you know? Natural gas production is taxed at 7.5% and crude oil production is taxed at 4.6% unless a statutory exemption that lowers the rate applies.

Consumers pay a state tax of 20¢ per gallon of gasoline, 15¢ of which pays for roads and 5¢ of which helps fund public education. The federal government collects an additional 18.4¢ per gallon.

Texas Oil and Gas: Innovations and Opportunities

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Tech companies are using AI in new apps designed to monitor oil rigs and identify potential problems before they happen.

Drones are also increasingly being used to monitor and manage both onshore and offshore oil and gas assets.

Texas has opened more than a million acres of offshore waters for companies to inject greenhouse gas underground as a clean method of permanent disposal.

All of these innovations are being developed as the oil and gas industry is expanding. Last fall, Texas voters approved up to $10 billion for construction, maintenance, modernization and operation of electric generating facilities.

As natural gas is by far the largest fuel for electric generation, this is a huge opportunity for natural gas companies to tap into state funds to help build new plants.

Take the Texas energy quiz!

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