Texas Oil Production May Hit Record by 2020, Regulator Says

Texas is poised to more than double daily oil production by 2020, surpassing a 1972 record with surging output from the Eagle Ford shale and Permian Basin, the state’s petroleum regulator said.

Oil production may rise to as much as 1.75 million barrels a day in 2013 from about 1.5 million barrels a day last year, Barry Smitherman, chairman of the Railroad Commission of Texas, said in an interview at the IHS CERAWeek conference in Houston today. The commission oversees oil and gas drilling and production in the state.

By 2020, Texas’ crude output may exceed the 3.45 million barrels a day seen in 1972 if prices stay high enough to make drilling economic, he said.

“The Eagle Ford really continues to ramp up, especially the liquids and crude portion,” Smitherman said.

The Eagle Ford, which includes an area south of San Antonio, may reach 800,000 to 900,000 barrels a day by 2016, while the Permian in West Texas may reach 1 million barrels a day, he said.