Texas’ energy efficiency in oil production is well known, but it is also a major natural gas player, outproducing Pennsylvania by 26 percent in 2018. From 2010 to 2018, the number of natural gas producing wells in Texas decreased by almost three thousand (2.9 percent) while production increased 1.27 trillion cubic feet—18 percent. Gas production from January to October of 2019 was almost another trillion cubic feet higher—15 percent higher—than the same period last year. This natural gas production has aided Texas’ liquefied-natural gas (LNG) business. The first LNG shipment from Texas was from Cheniere Energy’s Corpus Christi facility in late 2018. Texas now has six LNG export facilities (trains) operating or planned for construction within the next 2 years, which will increase the U.S. export capacity to 10 billion cubic feet per day.
LNG is becoming a big business with demand coming from not only Asia but also Europe. Germany has opened up its energy market to American natural gas companies and the United States secured a 24-year partnership with Poland to ween that country off Russia’s natural gas. The United States is currently the third-largest LNG exporting nation behind Australia and Qatar.
While Texas is experiencing unprecedented natural gas production, accounting for a quarter of the Country’s natural gas production, it needs to continue to expand its pipeline infrastructure and export capacity as its production is expected to increase. The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) projects almost a 50 percent increase in global energy consumption and in U.S. natural gas production by 2050. Global natural gas consumption is expected to increase by 42 percent. Some believe the United States could eventually overtake Australia and Qatar as the world’s leading LNG exporter.
Improvements in efficiency in production and development techniques have reduced costs and made energy production more environmentally friendly. Annual methane emissions from production in Texas’ Permian Basin fell by 200,000 metric tons from 2011 to 2017, despite oil and natural gas production increasing by 124 percent. Overall, methane emissions intensity—emissions per unit of production—in the Permian dropped by 57 percent from 2011 to 2017. Nationwide, more efficient production and increased use of natural gas helped decrease U.S. greenhouse gas emissions to their lowest level since 1992.
Further, the Texas oil and gas industry set a new record, paying $16.3 billion in taxes and state royalties in 2019—the most in Texas history. Taxes paid by the oil and natural gas industry support teachers and schools, build roads, increase essential and emergency services, improve healthcare facilities, and further the state’s infrastructure. Since 2007, the oil and natural gas industry has paid over $149 billion in state and local taxes and state royalties. The State Highway Fund, the Economic Stabilization Fund (known as the Rainy Day Fund), the Permanent School Fund, and the Permanent University Fund are funded with taxes and state royalties paid by the oil and natural gas industry.
The Texas-led shale revolution is helping to strengthen America’s position as a global leader, cutting the trade deficit and generating billions of dollars in economic benefits for the state. In 2019, with Texas’ help, the United States is expected to have exported more energy than it imported for the first time since the 1950s. During the past decade the U.S. energy trade deficit fell by $363 billion, while the non-energy trade deficit rose by $343 billion.