Interesting to realize that United States has overtaken Saudi Arabia and Russia to become the world’s largest oil and gas producer and continues to lead in production. On April 7, 2016, the U.S. Energy Information Administration released a report showing the United States remained the world’s largest producer in 2014 despite the decline in oil prices that occurred during the second half of 2014. In that year, the United States produced almost double the amount of oil and gas that was produced by Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia produces mostly oil and a small amount of gas while the production in the United States and Russia is balanced, with about half of the production coming from gas, and the other half from oil.
Why The Increase In The US?
The report credits the increase in production of both oil and gas directly to the United States’ ability to exploit tight oil and shale gas formations. Last year the United States produced over 3.1 billion barrels of crude oil, an 18% increase from the 2.7 billion barrels produced in 2013. The increase in hydrocarbon production over the last several years is credited to the increase in horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing which allows production from unconventional reserves which were previously uneconomical to produce.