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Texas Oil Industry (2017 Snapshot)

Although Native Americans found the oil much before the European explorers, the DeSoto expedition in 1543 records the first use of crude oil. During the latter half of the 19th century, drilling oil in Texas was sporadic, but the 1901 discovery of oil well at Spindletop, transformed the Texas and US Economies. The one well contributed 94% of the state’s oil production needs, bringing down the cost to 3 cents a barrel.

In 2015, the production of natural gas in the US reached self-sufficiency levels (99% consumption). Innovation in hydraulic fracturing on shale formation, began in the 1980s and 90s when Mitchell Energy was experimenting a new method of fracturing in the Barnett Shale, near Bend Arch–Fort Worth Basin. The technique found a commercial scale in 2000. Competition soon followed. By 2005, the Barnett Shale was producing half a trillion cubic feet of natural gas every year. 

Natural Gas Texas Trends

The 2010-2014 period added 1 in 7 Texan jobs in the Energy sector. With the gas prices dropping steeply, from $100 to below $50 a barrel, the bubble burst, and the state started losing 90,000+ jobs in the sector, after a 3.9% growth in the economy from 2010 to 2015. Houston was affected the most.

The Nov 2016 discovery of the 20 billion barrels of oil in the Wolfcamp shale is one of the largest ever recorded that might revive the economy of Texas in the future, given OPEC’s decision to cut down production after 8 years of stalemate. The prices slowly but steadily have crossed the $50 mark on Feb 2017. Among the world’s top 50 Oil & Gas companies, Exxon Mobiles feature in the top five list.

Reference: History of Oil Discoveries in Texas
EIA - US Natural Gas Usage

As an MBA candidate if your goal is to work in the US with one of the oil giants, these six companies should be worth your consideration:

CompanyStateMarket Cap ($B)
Exxon MobilTexas342.28B
Valero EnergyTexas29.94B
Chevron CorporationCalifornia209.1B
Marathon PetroleumOhio25.41B
Conoco PhillipsTexas60.82B
Enterprise ProductsTexas59.91B

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