The U.S. is producing more oil than ever.
Most of that extra production comes from the Permian Basin in West Texas, making the state the country’s top oil producer. More and more of that oil is making its way through the Port of Corpus Christi and around the world.
“We expect our exports to double,” said Dr. Jim Lee, Texas A&M Corpus Christi Economics Professor. “It’s amazing, to double, between now and 2020.”
The Port already exports more oil than any other U.S. port, about 800,000 barrels a day. That number was zero just three years ago, and now Port officials expect their output to more than triple by 2020.
“We expect with additional pipelines coming online in the next two years, that number will exceed 3,000,000 barrels a day,” said John LaRue, Special Advisor to the Port Commission.
Those increases, combined with a decrease in OPEC production, are why industry experts predict that by next year, the U.S. will be a net exporter. That means more oil is going overseas, than is coming in from foreign sources, and there’s no sign of that changing any time soon.
“You can never predict too far into the future when you’re dealing with a commodity like oil, but yes, the trend should continue,” said LaRue.
So what does that mean for the port? It means 2018’s record breaking profits may soon look like small change.
“The future looks bright,” said LaRue.
Despite the increased production, Lee expects oil prices to level off. He also believes drivers will be paying less at the pump, as long as the trend continues.