Saturday, 17 November, 2018

Fracking helped make the USA the world's oil king

Report: U.S. World's Largest Crude Oil Producer GREAT AGAIN: USA Becomes World's Largest Oil Producer, Tops RUSSIA, SAUDI ARABIA
Priscilla Morrison | 13 September, 2018, 23:43

And the last time the United States had the top spot in the world was in 1973.

The United States has "likely surpassed" Russian Federation to become the world's largest oil producer, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said on Wednesday.

"Fracking", shorthand for "hydraulic fracturing", has driven the boom in the Permian Basin under Texas and New Mexico, the Associated Press reports. The practice is controversial, however. When gas prices topped $4 during the Obama administration, many producers turned to fracking and output soared. In February, U.S. crude oil production exceeded that of Saudi Arabia for the first time in more than two decades. Although this was lower than Russia's 11.21 million bpd for the same month, on average, the USA production rate for 2018 so far has been higher, the EIA estimates.

The Gulf of Mexico and Texas will continue to lead the way in US production, with Texas-and more specifically the Permian-shining particularly bright.

In 2014, a drop in oil prices caused US crude oil companies to trim overhead and downsize production.

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Production has been relatively steady in Russian Federation and Saudi Arabia, both of which took part in an OPEC agreement to limit output beginning in 2016 to drive up prices.

The EIA estimated that USA crude production has risen to 10.9 million barrels-per-day and could average at 11.5 million next year.

Saudi Arabia's crude oil and other liquids production data are EIA internal estimates. Few thought the US would ever top the list again.

Daniel Yergin, author of "The Prize", a history of the oil industry, said the rebound of USA production helped avert a severe shortage of world oil that would have sent prices far higher.

That assessment confirms an International Energy Agency prediction in March that America would soon be No. 1, and it should keep that slot through 2019, at least.

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