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Growing pains for the Permian

The Permian is primed for years of booming production—if a range of infrastructure problems can be solved

Vast tight oil reserves, improving fracking techniques and attractive economics are pulling in tens of billions of dollars of new investment. Output just passed 3m barrels a day, up 1m b/d in just 18 months, and much more is in the pipeline. The top four investors—ExxonMobil, Chevron, Pioneer Natural Resources and Concho Resources, which is trying to takeover RSP Permian in a $9.5bn deal—alone have mapped out production growth of more than 2m b/d of oil by the mid-2020s. The dozens of smaller companies operating in the basin have their own ambitious plans. "It's easy to plot a path to 7m b/d," Pioneer's chief executive Tim Dove told a gathering of investors at an event hosted by the Indepen

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