According to a report from London-based information provider IHS Markit, the Permian Basin is set to become the third-largest producer of oil in the world by 2023. Currently, the region outproduces nations like Kuwait, Nigeria, and Mexico. If the report's forecasts are correct, the Permian Basin could compete with Canada, China, and Iraq for oil production.
The report also predicts that the U.S. will be exporting 4 million barrels per day in 2023—nearly quadrupling last year's total exports (1.1 million bpd). Despite the entire industry's prices taking a steep plunge only a few years ago, the industry has bounced back—in no small part thanks to the development of the Permian Basin. Total production has bounced back up to 11 million bpd.
To put that in perspective, if the Permian Basin alone were part of OPEC, it would be the second-most productive oil region next to Saudi Arabia itself.
The Obstacles Drillers Are Facing
However, being able to drill oil is not the same as being able to transport oil. Utilizing the vast riches of Western Texas and Eastern New Mexico will require an enormous investment—$308 billion. That money will need to be spent to drill 41,000 new wells, construct hundreds of miles of pipeline, and expand existing infrastructure to unprecedented levels. While frackers are looking ahead 5-6 years to see the wealth roll in, pipeline and logistics companies are looking ahead 50-60 years to make the development viable.
What does that mean for truck drivers, construction workers, and drilling workers? It means an increased demand for your hands and expertise, so workers should expect steady job opportunities in the region for years to come. With economic development comes new businesses to provide services for workers, meaning a broader range of job opportunities as well.
Generally, land rig workers could be in the most demand in an industry that already offers good pay and good benefits to anyone willing to work hard. Unfortunately, it could also mean far higher rates of accidents and fatalities. The drilling industry already has a fatality rate many times higher than most U.S. industries—with aggressive growth on the horizon and new hires populating thousands of wells, grievous accidents are all but assured if companies don't change the way they handle safety.
With thousands of future workers set to be hired by hundreds of companies over the next decade, our mission to protect injured land rig workers in the oilfields of Texas has never been more important. If you're injured in the Permian Basin, speak with us—our oilfield injury attorneys help our clients rebuild their lives after life-changing accidents.