Manufacturing expanded rapidly in Texas in the second half of the 20th century, and it continued to expand in the 2000s. In terms of total income generated, the chemical industry leads all other manufacturing sectors. Industrial chemicals and plastics are the leading chemical products. Other important manufacturing sectors are computers and electronics, food products, petroleum (refined from crude oil), machinery, and fabricated metals.
A well-defined belt of manufacturing activity extends along the Gulf Coast, encompassing the Beaumont-Port Arthur-Orange area, Houston, the Galveston-Texas City area, Freeport, Port Lavaca, and Corpus Christi. The development of these areas has been spurred by the presence of raw materials, the availability of natural gas for the generation of electric power, and the fact that the coastal cities have access to the sea and can reach world markets.
Chemical products, especially petrochemicals, are major products of the Gulf Coast. A major end product is synthetic rubber. Although oil refining is found in almost every part of the state, one of the world’s densest concentrations of refineries is in the Houston-Beaumont area. Houston is also a noted manufacturer of oil-field equipment and other products for the oil industry, such as storage containers. Tugs and barges used in offshore drilling operations are produced in Beaumont, Port Arthur, and Galveston.
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) operates the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center in Houston. The center has attracted many aerospace industries that require highly trained specialists, and research plays an important part in its operations.
A second belt of manufacturing cities extends from south to north, all the way to the Oklahoma border, and includes such cities as Sherman, Denison, Dallas, Fort Worth, Waco, Temple, Austin, and San Antonio. San Antonio is also the home of a number of large Army and Air Force bases that employ thousands of civilian and military personnel. Other important industrial centers, away from the major manufacturing belts, include Odessa and Midland, in the western Texas petroleum district; Lubbock, in the High Plains; and Amarillo, in the Panhandle.
Petroleum, natural gas, and natural gas liquids have historically accounted for by far the largest part of Texas’s income from mineral production. The most valuable nonfuel minerals extracted in the state are portland cement, crushed stone, sand and gravel used for construction, salt, and lime.
Mineral resources are widely distributed throughout the state, with some form of mineral wealth found in almost all counties of Texas. Petroleum, the leading mineral, is produced in the majority of counties. However, there are three major petroleum-producing areas in the state: the East Texas Oil Field, centering on the city of Kilgore; the Texas Gulf Coast region; and the Permian Basin in western Texas. In the interests of conservation, Texas closely regulates its petroleum production. Natural gas production in Texas is also widespread, but it is more highly concentrated than petroleum production. The leading gas-producing counties are in the Gulf Coast and Permian Basin areas. "Texas" © Emmanuel BUCHOT, Encarta, Wikipedia
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