Shepperd: Permian Basin produces Global Security
September 22, 2019
As featured in the September 22, 2019 edition of the Midland Reporter-Telegram
As the entire world continues to seek answers for the coordinated terrorist attacks on Saudi oil facilities over the weekend, one thing is clearer than ever, and it is just how important the Permian Basin is during these times.
While not new, these terrorist attacks continue to threaten America and her allies around the globe. But this time, record production of domestic oil and natural gas, especially in our region, serve as a counterbalance to what would normally be a cause of great concern for our nation.
Today, because of the success of petroleum producers in the Permian Basin, there is not worldwide panic, there is not an immediate need to tap strategic reserves, and there is no threat of gasoline shortages for Americans preparing for their workdays.
At this time, it’s anticipated that this 5 million-barrel a day strike from production will have serious and lasting challenges to the world’s oil supply, and if not for the producers in West Texas and Southeast New Mexico, these challenges would cause extraordinary threats to energy security, our nation, our workforce, our schools, and our hospitals.
But these are not ordinary times and that is because of the Permian Basin.
In Texas and New Mexico, the Permian Basin is the largest and most important operating basin in the entire world. This weekend’s attacks are another example of why the efforts of domestic producers to produce oil, gas, and prosperity in the Permian, are so important.
Since 2010, oil production in the Permian region has increased from less than 1 million barrels/day to nearly 5 million barrels/day in 2019 and is anticipated to increase to as much as 8 million barrels/day by 2023.
Over the same period, the United States surpassed Russia as the leading producer of natural gas in 2011 and last year surpassed Saudi Arabia as the largest producer of petroleum.
In short, hundreds of miles away from the largest metropolitan areas in Texas and New Mexico, and 8,000 miles from the attacks in Saudi Arabia, the Permian Basin is buoying the world’s energy supply and ensuring peace, when at any other time, chaos could have ensued.
Today, because of the Permian Basin, the United States is a safer place.
For years, these exploration and production companies have harnessed techniques to manage the worlds’ largest mining exploration in the history of mankind and have done so with great care and focus on environmental stewardship.
While others have pushed an anti-energy narrative, many of these energy critics are today sitting in stunned silence because women and men in the industry have demonstrated the value, necessity, and ingenuity that our country, and our world demands.
The prosperity being produced daily in the Permian Basin in Texas and New Mexico has made our nation safer in these very trying times and I am proud of the leaders in Texas and New Mexico, of both parties, for their efforts to promote this American energy renaissance and keep our nation safe in the face of international terror.
Ben Shepperd is president of the Permian Basin Petroleum Association.