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Texas thumbs nose at Saudi oil

Aug. 12, 2013 at 10:56 AM

CHICAGO, Aug. 12 (UPI) -- Texas is the 14th largest oil producer in the world and could help free the United States from OPEC's influence through fracking, a state official said.

Texas Railroad Commissioner Christi Caddick told an economic forum in Chicago her state was a world leader in terms of oil production.

"Texas is the 14th largest oil producer in the world, producing an average of 1.6 million barrels per day and accounting for 30 percent of total U.S. oil," she said in a statement.

For the second quarter of the year, oil services company Baker Hughes counted 8,800 new wells in service in the United States. More than 3,000 of them came from the Permian and Eagle Ford basins spread across southern states. Texas had the most onshore activity with 848 rigs.

Craddick said hydraulic fracturing, known also as fracking, is used in about 80 percent of the new wells started in the state. She said fracking sparked an "energy revolution" creating more jobs and boosting the U.S. economy.

"For almost 50 years, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries has manipulated oil markets, holding the United States captive to their supply-and price-setting whims," she said during the Friday meeting. "Thanks to fracking technology, America is moving closer to fulfilling its energy needs domestically."

U.S. oil imports are down substantially because of increased domestic production. OPEC said Saudi Arabia produced 9.6 million bpd last month, a 1 percent increase from the previous month.

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