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US growth machine

The Permian has transformed from a dying giant to one of the world's most important oilfields in less than a decade

Already the hottest oilfield on the planet, the Permian tight oil play in west Texas shows no signs of cooling off. Output through the first nine months of this year has soared along with drilling activity. The rig count doubled from August 2016 to August 2017, to 373. Production over that period is up nearly 30%, close to 0.6m barrels a day, to 2.6m b/d. To put that growth in context, the International Energy Agency reckons global-oil demand growth over that same period was around 1.2m b/d, meaning the Permian alone met half of it. There is plenty more to come. The torrid rate of drilling over the first half of this year has built up a backlog of wells awaiting completion in the coming mo

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