U.S. crude oil production breaking all-time records

by WorldTribune Staff, June 1, 2018

U.S. crude oil production hit 10.47 million barrels per day in March, the highest on record according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA).

An oil and gas drilling rig operating in the Permian Basin near Farmington, New Mexico. / Encana Corp

U.S. production had shattered a 47-year output record in November at 10.057 million barrels per day (bpd). The U.S. government forecasts production will hit 11 million barrels per day later this year.

“We’ve got a lot more oil to produce and we’ll be through that 11 million barrel-per-day threshold much sooner than expected,” said Phillip Streible, senior market strategist at RJO Futures in Chicago.

Industry analysts said the gains are primarily due to rising production in shale regions in Texas and North Dakota.

Production jumped by 215,000 bpd in March, the EIA said in a monthly report on May 31.

The report noted that output in Texas rose by 4 percent to almost 4.2 million bpd, a record high based on data going back to 2005. The Permian Basin, which stretches across West Texas and eastern New Mexico, is the largest U.S. oilfield.

Production from North Dakota held around 1.2 million bpd, while output in the federal Gulf of Mexico declined 1.1 percent to 1.7 million bpd, the EIA’s report said.

U.S. natural gas production in the lower 48 states rose to an all-time high of 88.8 billion cubic feet per day (bcfd) in March, up from the prior record of 87.7 bcfd in February, the EIA said.

Output in Texas, the nation’s largest gas producer, increased 1.3 percent in March to 22.7 bcfd, the most since April 2016.

In Pennsylvania, the second biggest gas producing state, production dipped to 16.4 bcfd in March, down 0.6 percent from February’s record high of 16.5 bcfd. That compares with output of 14.8 bcfd in March 2017.

“Staggering domestic production from shale has shaken OPEC’s grip on global oil markets,” according to EnergyInDepth.org, a project of the Independent Petroleum Association of America.

“It wasn’t long ago that the United States depended on foreign producers for the vast majority of the oil used to fuel the country. As recently as 2008, America was producing less than 5 million bpd of oil, while net imports of crude topped 11.1 million bpd. But with the introduction of fracking for shale development, coupled with technological advances in production such as horizontal drilling, American production has now more than doubled in the past decade, while net crude imports have dropped to 2.6 million bpd in November 2017 – an over 76 percent drop since November 2008,” EnergyInDepth noted.


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