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A new report finds that Texas holds an estimated $140 billion in "petro-wealth" in proved reserves. About $110 billion of that total is owned by corporations, $22 billion owned by individuals, $5 billion by trusts, and the remaining $3 billion owned by non-profits, government, and educational and religious institutions. The figure assumes a price of $94.89 per barrel. The biggest share of the oil wealth – around $47 billion – is located near Houston.
The report comes amid a resurgence in oil exploration and development in East Texas. Bloomberg News published an interesting profile of the oil boom going on in an area that was the location for the original oil rush. Back in the days of wildcatters finding and drilling huge gushers, East Texas was the place to be. Spindletop was a famed gusher that produced 100,000 barrels of oil per day in the early 20th century, the most productive oil field ever at that time. However, the region's oil production went into decline after drillers recklessly poked thousands of holes in the ground, depleting pressure and tapping wells dry.
Nowadays, instead of gushers, the oil industry is finding fertile oil fields trapped in shale. The "tight" oil boom has made headlines, but instead of East Texas, the most notable drilling sites are in the Bakken in North Dakota and the Eagle Ford in South Texas. But as these fields have showed signs of slowing down, the oil industry is returning to East Texas where it all began. "I never thought I'd go back to East Texas," Mark Plummer, a third-generation oil man, said in an interview with Bloomberg. Hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling may yet do for East Texas what it has done in other shale plays around the country.