The Jaw-Dropping Potential in This American Oil Patch Could Change the World

Hiding in plain view
By the time the Ghawar field was discovered, commercial oil production had been taking place in the Permian Basin in Texas for more than 25 years. Estimates of the Permian's reserves were somewhere in the 10 billion-12 billion barrel range. That's nothing to scoff at, but it certainly didn't come close to the 71 billion barrels in that single formation under the Saudi desert. Apparently, those oilmen simply didn't look hard enough, because they missed the rest of the oil in the Permian.

All 75 billion barrels of it.