Today, the Permian basin in Texas and New Mexico is the nation’s biggest shale oil producing region. But in just a few years, drillers could be pumping enough Permian crude to outmatch every nation in the world except Russia and Saudi Arabia.
Output from the region is forecast to more than double between 2017 and 2023, jumping to 5.4 million barrels a day, according to a new estimate from IHS Markit.
That would help the United States graduate from an emerging player in export markets to an established power. IHS Markit thinks the United States could be shipping 4 million bpd to foreign customers, up from 1.1 million bpd last year.
The Permian is one of the nation’s shale regions, where drillers use advanced methods to unlock oil and natural gas from rock formations. They pummel the shale rock with water, sand and chemicals — a process known as hydraulic fracturing — and recover oil and gas through horizontal wells.