In Texas, calls to boost U.S. oil production after Russian invasion run into hard realities

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Labor shortages, supply chain issues, hesitant financial backers and a frosty relationship with the Biden administration have limited how much Texas oil and gas companies are ramping up production.

(Texas Tribune) MIDLAND — After Russia invaded Ukraine last month and the U.S. and major energy companies boycotted Russian oil and gas, some politicians quickly called for cranking up American energy production to fill the void.

A Republican member of Congress attended President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address earlier this month wearing a shirt emblazoned with “Drill baby drill.” U.S. Rep. Filemon Vela, a Democrat from Brownsville, tweeted, “Save Ukraine! Unleash American Oil and Gas!”

And U.S. Rep. August Pfluger, R-San Angelo, who represents the heart of Texas’ oil patch, has printed red, white and blue baseball caps with an oil pump jack next to the words “Midland over Moscow.”

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“The energy producers of [West Texas] and America are READY to produce the energy our nation and allies need!” Pfluger wrote on Twitter.

But in Texas’ Permian Basin — the nation’s most productive oil region and the place that would have to lead any jump in U.S. production — people in the industry, energy analysts and local leaders say there’s no quick or easy way to make that happen.

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