Friday, November 16, 2012

U.S. [Weekly Crude] Oil Production Increases to Highest Since December 1994

By Asjylyn Loder, Bloomberg, Nov 7, 2012
U.S. [crude -- D.R.] oil production rose to the highest in almost 18 years as a shale drilling boom cut reliance on foreign fuel and nudged the country closer to energy independence.

Output swelled by 8,000 barrels to 6.68 million barrels a day in the week ended Nov. 2, the Energy Department reported today. It was the most since [the week of -- D.R.] Dec. 23, 1994 [, when crude output topped 6.7 million b/d---please see Argus. Also, please see EIA data on weekly U.S. field production of crude oil, Jan 7, 1983 - Nov 2, 2012. -- D.R.]. Improvements in horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, have unlocked fuel trapped in deep underground rock formations in states such as North Dakota, Texas and Oklahoma. [The volume of crude flowing from US onshore and offshore wells is up more than 14 percent, or 830,000 b/d, over the same time last year, mostly due to an unconventional oil boom in several shale formations, including the Eagle Ford of south Texas, the Permian basin in west Texas and North Dakota's Bakken---please see Argus -- D.R.]. 

The U.S. met 83% of its energy needs in first six months of 2012, on track to be the highest annual level since 1991, according to department data compiled by Bloomberg. Production advanced 31 percent this year in North Dakota, 19 percent in Texas and 11 percent in Oklahoma, department records show. Crude imports have declined 11 percent this year.

“Every added barrel we make here is another barrel we don’t need from somewhere else,” said Kyle Cooper, director of commodities research at IAF Advisors, a Houston consulting firm.“U.S. production could reach 9 million to 10 million barrels per day in another five to 10 years.” [Read Full]

(According to EIA, U.S. crude oil production, including lease condensate, averaged almost 6.5 million barrels per day in September 2012, i.e., 6,468,000 barrels per day -- D.R., the highest volume in nearly 15 years. EIA maintains the last time the United States produced 6.5 million barrels per day or more of crude oil was in January 1998, sic >> my remark -- was in April 1998 when it produced 6,483,000 barrels per day -- D.R. Since September 2011, U.S. production has increased by more than 900,000 barrels per day. Most of that increase is due to production from oil-bearing rocks with very low permeability through the use of horizontal drilling combined with hydraulic fracturing. The states with the largest increases are Texas and North Dakota. From September 2011 to September 2012, Texas production increased by more than 500,000 barrels per day, and North Dakota production increased by more than 250,000 barrels per day. Texas's increase in production is largely from the Eagle Ford formation in South Texas and the Permian Basin in West Texas. North Dakota's increase in oil production comes from the Bakken formation in the Williston Basin. Increased production from smaller-volume producing states, such as Oklahoma, New Mexico, Wyoming, Colorado, and Utah, is also contributing to the rise in domestic crude oil production---please see EIA,"U.S. Monthly Crude Oil Production Reaches Highest Level since 1998," Today in Energy, Dec 4, 2012. Wood Mackenzie Ltd. calculates oil and gas companies will spend $28 billion in the South Texas Eagle Ford play during 2013---please see OGJ, Dec 6, 2012.
The U.S. is set to become the biggest oil producer by 2020, according to the International Energy Agency/IEA. Within 10 years, U.S. oil imports will drop to about 4 million barrels a day from a current average of 10 million, thanks to new oil production in the U.S. and stricter fuel-efficiency standards for cars and trucks, IEA Chief Economist Fatih Birol said at a London press conference on Nov. 12, 2012. The U.S. will pump 11.1 million barrels of oil a day in 2020 and 10.9 million in 2025, according to the IEA. Those figures are 500,000 barrels and 100,000 barrels higher, respectively, than its forecasts for Saudi Arabia for those years. The U.S. is not destined to become the next Saudi Arabia, though.[...] The U.S. will be the world’s top producer for about five years, starting in 2020. Sometime after that, U.S. production will slip behind Saudi Arabia’s again, according to the IEA’s Birol---please see this interesting forecast: "Is It Time for the U.S. to Join OPEC?," BloombergBusinessweek, Nov 15, 2012. Also, please see our article "U.S. Crude Oil Production, 1970-2011" and my posts: "Texas Crude Oil Production, Jan 2007-Jul 2012," "U.S. Crude Oil Production in First Quarter of 2012 Highest in 14 Years," "North Dakota Tops Alaska in Oil Production, Trailing Only Texas," "Five States Accounted for about 56% of Total U.S. Crude Oil Production in 2011." -- D.R.)

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