I pointed out last month that U.S. crude oil production is way up in recent years, which continues to surprise a lot of people. This surge in domestic production, from America’s shale formations, offers profound economic and national security benefits.
Let me add another point that may help people understand this new era of energy abundance: This U.S. oil production increase represents by far the largest addition to world oil supplies over the last few years from any nation on the planet.
According to estimates from the Energy Information Administration (EIA) in its most recent Short-Term Energy Outlook:
EIA expects strong crude oil production growth, primarily concentrated in the Bakken, Eagle Ford, and Permian regions, continuing through 2015. Forecast production increases from an estimated 7.4 million bbl/d in 2013 to 8.4 million bbl/d in 2014 and 9.2 million bbl/d in 2015.
As the nearby chart shows, this surging output contrasts strongly with many other oil-producing regions. EIA explains the dramatic drop in OPEC production in 2013 as cutting back to accommodate non-OPEC (read: U.S.) supply growth.
A new Time magazine feature, meanwhile, reinforces the national security advantages of our growing domestic energy production.
That piece focuses on a new report by several experts who know something about the intersection of energy supplies and our economic and national security – Bill Richardson, who served as both U.S. ambassador to the United Nations and as secretary of energy; John Warner, former Navy secretary as well as past chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee; and Paula Dobriansky, former undersecretary of state for global affairs.
One key takeaway from their report is that energy exports are crucial to strengthening U.S. national security. They write: “Hoarding energy at home, neglecting bilateral relationships with major global energy players and forfeiting economic opportunities to export energy would leave the United States less secure.”