Consumer Energy Report is now Energy Trends Insider -- Read More »

By CER News Desk on Sep 27, 2012 with 7 responses

U.S. Oil Production Surges to Highest Level in 15 Years

INCREASED ENERGY INDEPENDENCE? The U.S. has met 83 percent of its energy needs this year through June, according to the Department of Energy

Oil production in the United States rose last week to levels not seen since January 1997, helping the country to reduce dependence on foreign sources of crude as it continues to implement the drilling and fracking technologies needed to increase daily oil output. (See also: Are President Obama’s Policies Causing U.S. Oil Production to Rise?)

Reports from the Energy Department released this week show that overall crude output in the U.S. rose 3.7 percent to 6.5 million barrels per day by the week of September 21, a trend that has continued since the country met 83 percent of its annual energy needs from the beginning of the year through June. Should domestic oil production continue at its current rate, the United States will enjoy 2012 as its most self-sufficient year since 1991.

The increased production is a direct result of the new technologies being implemented by oil companies in an effort to extract crude in locations other than wells, including horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing (fracking); the same technology has taken American natural gas stock levels to new heights. (See also: How Much Oil Does the World Produce?)

“This has been driven by shale, and the two states leading the way are North Dakota and Texas,” said Andy Lipow, president of Texas energy consulting firm Lipow Oil Associates LLC. “It appears that over the next five years, U.S. oil production could climb to well over 8 million barrels a day.”

The rise in crude production in the U.S. has analysts predicting that oil prices will decline over the next six to nine months; already a growing natural gas stockpile pushed futures down to $1.907 per million BTU earlier in the year, its lowest point in the past 12 years. Increasing fuel production has many setting their sights on what is being dubbed the “reindustrialization” of the United States, an economic state that could see more than 3.5 million jobs created in the country by 2020 if domestic energy production continues at a high rate. (See also: The Effect of New Production Methods on U.S Oil Output)

  1. By Cliff Claven on September 27, 2012 at 9:05 pm

    Now if we could just get that biofuel monkey off our back and stop wasting 8:1 EROI petroleum making 0.16:1 corn ethanol for a net return of 1.25:1.  We could actually cut our petroleum demand and produce less GHG for the same energy output to the economy.

  2. By Confused on September 28, 2012 at 1:04 am

    Something isn’t right with this article.  The U.S. consumes 18 million barrels of oil per day.  How is 6.5 million barrels per day equal to 83% of our consumption?  Even if one considers greater fuel consumption in the summer (the figure quoted was for the first half of the year), something is very wrong.

    • By mac on October 4, 2012 at 6:59 pm

      “Even if one considers greater fuel consumption in the summer (the figure quoted was for the first half of the year), something is very wrong.”


      The U.S will likely never produce 10 million bbl/year as they once did.  We are the only other country besides the Saudis that ever did this.  Ten million bbl yearly is about `1/2 of present, yearly U.S. consumption.

      With 3-4 % of proven world oil reserves,  I  doubt that the U.S. will ever become self sufficient in oil.


      ar marque

    • By notaneoliberal on November 17, 2012 at 3:46 pm

      The 83%  is “energy” which includes natural gas and coal . Not oil.

  3. By mac on October 4, 2012 at 8:12 pm

    Once the oil companies pay lease agreements to landowners, royalty payments to local. state and federal government, basically the oil belongs to the oil companies and they can sell the stuff on the open market, to China or India or whatever.


    Whether U.S, based oil companies (that are actually international in scope) market crude or refined products, the bottom line is the same………….World wide demand establishes the price of crude and/or refined products coming from U.S. refineries,

    Since oil is a fungible commodity, it competes on the international markets

    There is no U.S. Patriotism involved, …..just money.

    Even if the U.S, could produce 20 million BBL/year, I suspect it would make little difference in actual pump prices in the U.S.

    • By Al on November 4, 2012 at 9:34 am

      IF the US produces 20 mbpd world oil prices will DECLINE. Check Econ 101.

  4. By mac on October 4, 2012 at 8:20 pm

    Until you prohibit the sale of  U.S. based crude oil and refined products on the world market, we will never be “free from the bondage of oil’

Register or log in now to save your comments and get priority moderation!