U.S. oil production topped seven million barrels per day for the first time since March, 1993 and is nearly 20 percent above the amount produced at this time last year.
The latest weekly data from the Energy Information Administration Wednesday again highlights how the growing role of the U.S. as a major energy producer is changing the dynamic of the energy market. As domestic production rose, U.S. imports fell in the week ended Jan. 4 to 7.9 million barrels per day, 10 percent below the four-week average and nearly 16 percent below the level imported in the same period last year.
U.S. oil production continues to accelerate at a surprising rate, and the government now predicts the U.S. industry could pump 14 percent more oil this year alone. The use of non conventional drilling techniques in places like North Dakota and Texas has created an explosion in U.S. production to the point where the U.S. is expected to surpass Saudi Arabia in crude production by 2020, according to the International Energy Agency.
At the same time, the industry is developing more pipeline capacity to carry landlocked U.S. crude from storage in Cushing, Okla. to the Gulf Coast refining areas. That should continue to drive the trend, create more refined product for the U.S. and export markets, and bring down some oil prices in the next several years, according to the EIA.
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