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Let's start the hunt by looking at where oil production is accelerating the most.
Total U.S. oil production last year grew by approximately 1 million barrels a day, according to BP's Statistical Review of World Energy, but most of the gains came from just three shale oil fields: the Bakken in North Dakota, and the Eagle Ford and Permian Basin, both in Texas.
That's why Money Morning Global Energy Strategist Dr. Kent Moors said "It's practically raining money" in Texas.
Here's a look at some of the impressive numbers coming out of these three fields:
- In the second quarter of this year alone, there were 1,050 new wells drilled in the Eagle Ford, according to oilfield services supplier Baker Hughes. Over the past year, a total of 4,092 new wells were drilled there.
- International energy analysts Wood Mackenzie project that Eagle Ford shale oil output will jump 50% this year, to an average of 844,000 barrels a day.
- The Permian Basin had 9,061 wells drilled in the past year, the most in the United States, and the Bakken had 2,357 new wells drilled.
- Wood Mackenzie forecast tight oil production in the United States to exceed 5 million barrels a day by 2019 - just a few years away - with more than half of that total coming from the Bakken and Eagle Ford.
And even those numbers are only the beginning.
Wood Mackenzie says that by 2025, production in the Bakken could reach 1.5 million barrels a day, and production from Eagle Ford could reach 1.35 million barrels a day.
Note: The second stage of the U.S. shale boom is just starting and will trigger another wave of profits that could dwarf the initial windfalls. You can profit now if you know the best way to join the "shale oil millionaire's club"...
The firm thinks the Permian has even more potential, with oil production reaching as high as 3.5 million barrels a day by 2025.
Given such stunning increases, the companies most active in these locations will be among the best investments in shale oil.
But the names on this list may surprise you...