Recent tragic events in the Middle East and Eastern Europe reinforce the importance of the United States becoming energy independent.
While the U.S. may not be 100 percent free from imported oil today, the increase in crude oil and natural gas production in Texas and other parts of the nation have given Americans more national security and economic power.
Petroleum economist Karr Ingham, speaking at a news conference in Houston on Thursday, pointed out that the U.S. has a much stronger position in the world because of the recent increase in petroleum production.
Ingham noted that Texas has led in the resurgence of the oil and gas industry during the last four years.
Since 2009, crude oil production in Texas has increased 180 percent. Crude oil production in Texas totaled an estimated 89.75 million barrels in June, nearly 17.5 million barrels (24.2 percent) more than in June 2013.
The value of Texas-produced crude oil totaled more than $9.1 billion, 37.1 percent more than in June 2013.
Natural gas has played a role, too, in providing a cheap and reliable energy source to the electric generation markets, which has allowed the manufacturing sector to expand. Estimated Texas natural gas output was nearly 680.5 billion cubic feet, a year-over-year monthly increase of about 0.4 percent. With natural gas prices in June averaging 4.36/Mcf, the value of Texas-produced gas increased 5.7 percent to about $2.97 billion.
Employment in the oil and gas industry is reaching new highs, also. The number of Texans on oil and gas industry payrolls averaged a record 297,800, according to statistical methods based upon Texas Workforce Commission estimates, about 6.2 percent more than in June 2013. Industry employment in Texas has increased by more than 66 percent — about 118,600 workers — since falling to a nadir of 179,200 in October 2009.
While tension remains high halfway across the globe, the U.S. is much stronger today because of the increase in oil and natural gas at home and less dependent upon foreign oil.