EnergyFactor By ExxonMobil | Pespectives has a new home

EIA reports highest U.S. oil production in a quarter century

Last week I noted how, at the end of 2013, the United States accomplished something it hadn’t been able to do in two decades: The U.S. actually produced more oil than it imported.

Oil_Production_Chart_03-2014Conventional wisdom about American energy scarcity has dominated public policy discussions for over four decades. But that is changing.

According to the Energy Information Administration, our nation’s crude oil production last year averaged 7.5 million barrels per day (bpd) – the highest level since 1989.

Production increased nearly one million barrels per day more in 2013 than in 2012, a 15 percent increase. Not since 1940 has the nation seen a larger annual percentage jump in U.S. oil production.

More to come

That’s not all. EIA estimates that domestic oil production will keep growing. By 2015 it should stand at more than 9 million barrels per day, some 70 percent higher than in early 2011.

This represents by far the largest addition to world supplies from any nation on the planet. I’ll repeat something I wrote in January that puts this growth in perspective:

If it were its own country, the 3.9 million barrels per day that increase represents would rank sixth overall on the list of global oil producers, ahead of every OPEC nation except Saudi Arabia.

Think about what this means for American energy security. In June 2005 the United States imported 10.7 million bpd. Last year net imports averaged just 7.6 million bpd. And that figure is continuing to fall.

A bright future for the Gulf of Mexico

Texas and North Dakota were responsible for 83 percent of U.S. oil production growth last year, which should not surprise anyone who reads this blog.

What was heartening to see from EIA’s report is that its experts expect oil production in the Gulf of Mexico to rise by 350,000 bpd in 2014 and 2015.

That’s good news considering the period of stagnation brought on by the federal government’s reactions to the Deepwater Horizon accident. In fact, Gulf oil production actually declined last year, but new projects coming online should reverse that trend.

And I’ll note that ExxonMobil, among other corporations, participated in a Gulf of Mexico lease sale this morning conducted by the federal government. We were the apparent high-bidder on several blocks in the Central Gulf and in the trans-boundary area between the U.S. and Mexico.

Developments such as these will further enhance the United States’ stature as a major international energy producer – and with it bring more American jobs, more American exports, more American economic growth, and more American energy security.

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