U.S. field production of crude oil, 1920-2017. Graphic: Financial Times

By Ed Crooks
31 January 2018

NEW YORK (Financial Times) – US oil production has returned to its record high point, 47 years after the previous peak during the final days of the last Texas oil boom, as the shale revolution that was temporarily set back by low crude prices has reignited.

The government’s Energy Information Administration estimated on Wednesday that US output was running at just under 10.04m barrels per day last November, fractionally below the previous record set in November 1970.

Soaring output from shale wells has put the US on course to overtake Saudi Arabia and Russia to become the world’s largest crude producer, shaking up oil markets and the geopolitics of energy.

The spike in US production over the past decade has been a remarkable reversal for a country that for decades was the world’s largest importer of crude, and seemed headed for a future reliant on foreign supplies. But the new surge puts US output at more than double its low point of about 5m b/d in 2008. […]

The US remains a net oil importer, but its purchases from other countries have fallen sharply. Net imports of crude and petroleum products were down to 2.5m b/d by last October, from a peak of 13.4m b/d in 2006. […]

Industry plans suggest there is still plenty more growth to come. ExxonMobil, the largest US energy group, this week announced plans to increase its shale oil production in the Permian Basin fivefold over the next eight years, to 500,000 b/d. [more]

Shale powers US oil output to heights of 1970

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