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Where Oil Is Produced

Where Is Crude Oil Produced?

U.S. Crude Oil Production
The first oil well in the U.S. was drilled in Titusville , Pennsylvania in 1859. Drilling activity and crude oil production expanded slowly to supply mostly lubricants and kerosene for use in lamps to replace whale oil. Production began to accelerate in the late 1800’s as crude oil refineries produced new petroleum products to meet demand for fuels and products by a rapidly industrializing country and the growing number of internal combustion engines. In 1859, U.S. production was about 2,000 barrels; in 1879 it was about 19 million barrels and in 1899 about 57 million barrels. (A barrel contains 42 U.S. gallons.)

U.S. crude oil production peaked in 1970 and has declined gradually since then. In 1970, domestic production of crude oil (including lease condensate¹) averaged 9.64 million barrels per day (MMbbl/d). In 2006, total U.S. domestic crude oil production, including Federal offshore, averaged 5.102 MMbbl/d, a decrease of about 47% from 1970.

The top six crude oil-producing States in 2006 (and their percent share of total domestic production) were Texas (21%), Alaska (15%), California (12%), Louisiana (4%), Oklahoma (3%), and New Mexico (3%). Production on Federal offshore-leases in the Gulf of Mexico in 2006 was 1.3 MMbbl/d, about 25% of total U.S. production.

World Crude Oil Production

Total world production of crude oil (including lease condensate, but excluding natural gas plant liquids²) in 2006 was 73.54 MMbbl/d (preliminary). The top five oil producing countries, which together accounted for about 43% of total world production, were: Russia (9.25 MMbbl/d), Saudi Arabia (9.15 MMbbl/d), the United States (5.1 MMbbl/d), Iran (4.03 MMbbl/d) and China (3.69 MMbbl/d). The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), which includes Saudi Arabia, produced 32.1 MMbbl/d or about 44% of the world total.

1. Lease Condensate: A mixture consisting primarily of pentanes and heavier hydrocarbons which is recovered as a liquid from natural gas in lease separation facilities.

2. Natural Gas Plant Liquids: Hydrocarbons in natural gas that are separated as liquids at natural gas processing plants, fractionating and cycling plants, and, in some instances, field facilities.

Source: Energy Information Administration

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