US ‘Likely’ Has Taken Over as the World’s Top Oil Producer

Marco Green
September 13, 2018

The United States is producing 11 million barrels of crude oil per month, becoming the world's top crude producer for the first time in more than 40 years, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said Wednesday.

If those estimates are right, it would mark the first time since 1973 that the USA has led the world in output, according to government figures.

US oil producers scaled back production in mid-2014 due to decreased costs. Opponents say that fracking results in toxic contamination of groundwater and increases the number of earthquakes in places like Oklahoma and Texas. The report notes USA crude production in February outstripped Saudi Arabia's for the first time in over 20 years.

Saudi Arabia has the chance to regain Asian market share after at least three North Asian refiners have asked to receive extra supplies of Saudi oil for October as they are concerned that the returning US sanctions on Iran will limit supply just as winter demand begins, Reuters reported on Tuesday, citing sources.

The agency expects the USA will continue to top Russian Federation and Saudi Arabia for the rest of this year and through 2019.

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. But price increases in 2016 spurred production, while Russian Federation and Saudi Arabia's production numbers have remained steady, the EIA said.

Saudi Arabia's crude oil and other liquids production data are EIA internal estimates.

The U.S. led the world in oil production for much of the last century until the Soviet Union and later Saudi Arabia passed it during the 1970s. However, after crude oil prices increased in early 2016, investment and production began increasing later that year.

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.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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