Vicki Hollub, the chief executive of Houston oil company Occidental Petroleum, won a bidding war for Anadarko Petroleum Corp. against oil giant Chevron Corp. And everything about the deal is why the center of gravity for the oil universe has moved to Texas.
With confidence in her company’s ability to operate the Anadarko assets at a lower cost, she pulled together a team to negotiate a $38 billion offer that includes two big partners: French petroleum company Total SA and Nebraska investment giant Warren Buffett.
Thanks to fracking and horizontal drilling technology developed here in North Texas and applied to the Permian Basin, Texas has become a major oil producer and the U.S. has become an oil exporter.
Houston oil executives no longer have to look to the furthest reaches of the world to boost production; a short flight to Midland brings them to one of the richest boom regions on the globe. Nobody has to negotiate with a Saudi or a Russian for access; in West Texas, the fiercest barriers to drilling are money, tumbleweeds and, in the case of Chevron, Hollub.
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