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US is Now World’s Largest Oil Producer as Texas Oil Booms

Photo of an oil rig in the desert at sunset.
The U.S. is now the world's largest producer of crude oil, largely thanks to fracking and Texas. Image via Pixabay.

Estimates published Wednesday by the U.S. Energy Department show the U.S. is the world’s largest crude oil producer for the first time since 1973.

American oil production has doubled over the past decade, with much of the output resulting from a boom in shale oil in Texas.

“It’s a historic milestone and a reminder: Never bet against the US oil industry,” said Bob McNally, president of Rapidan Energy Group, a consulting firm.

The U.S. surpassed Saudi Arabia in February and then kept climbing throughout the summer. By August the U.S. was producing nearly 11 million barrels of oil per day and surpassed Russia.

graph of Monthly crude oil production from 1994 to August 2018.

Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Short-Term Energy Outlook

Energy Department forecasts have the U.S. staying ahead of Russia and Saudi Arabia through 2019.

Fracking is credited with changing the game in U.S. oil production. Fracking is the process of injecting high-pressure liquid into subterranean shale rocks to force open existing fissures and extract oil or gas. The term “fracking” is in reference to how the rocks fracture as a result of the high-pressure liquid injection.

Fracking has given drilling companies the means to extract formerly unaccessible vast amounts of oil and natural gas in the U.S., in particular in the Permian Basin in West Texas.

Fracking is considered controversial for a number of reasons. For one, many think fracking results in small earthquakes or tremors, which could also set off larger earthquakes. Environmentalists also worry chemicals used in the fracking process are carcinogenic and can escape into groundwater or contaminate the soil.

Also, leading to the boom in U.S. oil production was the lifting of a 40-year ban on exporting crude oil. In 2015, Congress lifted the ban which had existed since 1975. The U.S. now exports oil to South America, Europe and China.

CNN reported that Texas is on track to produce more oil than Iraq or Iran, which would make it the number three oil producer in the world if it were its own country.

“It’s all about technological improvements, supported by ample capital to invest, and the ingenuity of American oil drillers,” said Bob McNally, a former energy official under President George W. Bush.

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Lauren von Bernuth

Lauren is one of the co-founders of Citizen Truth. She graduated with a degree in Political Economy from Tulane University. She spent the following years backpacking around the world and starting a green business in the health and wellness industry. She found her way back to politics and discovered a passion for journalism dedicated to finding the truth.

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5 Comments

  1. Evelyn Schaper September 13, 2018

    …..and fracking continues until we are a mad/max nation!

    Reply
  2. Shirley Hawkins September 14, 2018

    Nobody here talking about it. Fake news

    Reply
  3. Lois Sprankle Fohl November 24, 2018

    Here’s a novel idea. Let’s use our own oil? Don’t need Saudi Arabia for their 10%. Canada supplies 40% of U.S. needs. Are they still our ally or did something happen today during my nap?

    Reply
    1. Ed Eichner November 24, 2018

      Lois Sprankle Fohl yes I agree make it be sold in America if this is America first let’s start there, we need to reflect in on who we owe what to ? We need to be tradeing partners but not with our own oil we need to break away for need of oil

  4. Shayna Alterman November 25, 2018

    Let’s promote sustainable energy like wind and solar power.

    Reply

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