Tuesday, May 24, 2016

U.S. Leads Globe in Oil Production for Third Year

An oil refinery in Texas. (Credit: Roy Luck/flickr) Click to Enlarge.
The U.S. led the world last year in producing both oil and gas, federal government estimates published Monday show, even as the country committed to cutting greenhouse gas emissions.

The U.S. was the globe’s leading producer of crude oil for the third year in a row in 2015.  Government estimates show that crude oil production has continued to grow across the country, from nearly 8 million barrels of oil per day in 2008 to about 15 million in 2015. The U.S. produced about 14 million barrels per day in 2014.

Thanks to the fracking boom, which unlocked previously hard-to-reach shale oil and gas, the U.S. surpassed Saudi Arabia and Russia to become the world’s leading producer of oil in 2013.  The U.S. became the top natural gas producer in 2011, and has led the world in both oil and gas production together for four years in a row.

As oil prices remain low, U.S. oil production is expected to decline slightly in 2016 and 2017, falling to about 14.5 million barrels per day, the estimates show.  U.S. Energy Information Administration analyst Linda Doman said the decline is not likely to mark 2015 as an all-time peak in U.S. oil production, which could pick up if and when oil prices climb again.

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