Some states see proven oil reserves increase rapidly

August 7, 2014

There are some states that have always been known as being relatively oil-rich and Texas is one of them. Long a home to significant crude oil extraction operations, the state was responsible for almost one-third of all crude oil and natural gas reserves in the U.S. in 2012.

Since then, production has only increased, to the point where the states produces about 3.4 million barrels of oil per day. A recent article in USA Today claimed that if Texas were its own country, it would be the sixth-largest oil producer in the world.

Of course, no one is surprised to hear that Texas is a major oil-producing state. But that is not the case for all states. During the past several years, improved exploration and extraction methods have allowed the oil industry to uncover sources that were never before thought possible to retrieve. As a result, states that were once thought to possess little in the way of oil resources now lead the nation in crude production.

Consider North Dakota. The news source reports that the state now has up to 3.8 billion barrels of proven oil reserves, thanks to the development of the Bakken Shale region. In fact, between 2003 and 2013, oil production in the state increased by an astounding 1,000 percent. 

As stakeholders in the industry move to exploit these resources, they may find that they are putting strain on an existing infrastructure that was not designed for this level of demand. Inadequate pipelines, for one, could result in damaging spills. It is important for stakeholders to work with environmental consultants to ensure that these risks are minimized.