Texas is a great place to have an oil and gas business, and it's a very exciting time in the industry. The continued development of drilling and completion technologies and the ongoing emergence of shale plays like the Eagle Ford and Eaglebine have given new life to legacy fields. Thanks largely to the Eagle Ford region, shale natural gas production in Texas almost tripled between 2007 and 2012, and Texas today produces about 30% of the nation’s natural gas. That level of production would make Texas the third largest natural gas producing nation on earth, behind only Russia and the other 49 US states.
For the first time in our 13-year history Laredo Energy is operating in two theaters and drilling for both oil and natural gas. Since 1983, the Laredo Energy management team has focused exclusively on natural gas development in south Texas where we have drilled more than 300 wells. With equity support from Avista Capital Partners and Old Ironsides Energy, we recently expanded our drilling program to pursue opportunities in east central Teaxs where we are targeting the Eaglebine's stacked oil pay zones.
We actively pursue new leasing opportunities and producing property acquisitions as they become available. We have substantial acreage positions in Webb, Brazos, Burleson and Robertson counties. We are a significant taxpayer in these counties and hire dozens of local contractors with hundreds of employees working on Laredo Energy projects. We also generate significant revenue for local landowners with whom we have leasing agreements.
We look forward to continuing to grow Laredo Energy in this vibrant state for many years to come.
Glenn D. Hart
President and CEO