Texas Oil Boom Projected to Produce More Than 3 Million Barrels a Day This Year
Not long ago, Richard Dockery was a real estate and insurance broker in this town of 1,800 residents, putting together small land deals and cobbling together a nest egg for retirement.
Today, Dockery, 47, lives in a new, 2,400-square-foot home that he bought with cash and will have his 23-year-old daughter’s medical school bills covered before she steps into her first classroom.
Once a month, a six-figure check in his name arrives in his mailbox from an energy company — royalties earned by leasing his property to oil companies and co-owning wells. It’s one of several that appear in his box each month that, added up, equal roughly the annual salary of a midlevel NBA player.
“It’s crazy,” Dockery says. “And I’m small fry. There are literally thousands of people out here who are millionaires, and some who are going to be billionaires. It’s the wild, wild West.”
Dockery and this small city, 75 miles south of San Antonio, are at the epicenter of one of the biggest oil booms ever to hit Texas — and possibly the USA. A vast oil and gas reservoir in South Texas known as the Eagle Ford Shale, along with another in West Texas known as the Permian Basin, is driving the boom and could make Texas one of the leading oil producers on the planet.