Crude oil production in the United States surpassed 7 million barrels per day (bpd) in November last year, the first time since December 1992 that output reached that level. According to numbers released by the U.S. Energy Information Administration today, the U.S. produced 7.013 million bpd in November and 7.030 million bpd in December.

Driven largely by increased production of “unconventional” or “tight” oil from the Bakken Shale in North Dakota and Montana, and Eagle Ford in Texas, U.S. crude oil production has been on a steady climb annually since 2008. (See related: “Photos: Bakken Shale Oil Boom Transforms North Dakota” and “Oil Train Revival: North Dakota Relies on Rail to Deliver Its Crude“) Overall output for 2012, at 6.474 million bpd, was the highest since 1995. (Annual U.S. production reached its peak in 1970: 9.63 million bpd.)

How long can this crude oil boom last? That is a matter of debate, as Great Energy Challenge blogger and Duke University scientist Bill Chameides notes, pointing out that some observers think the longevity of this boom has been overstated. Most recently, geoscientist J.David Hughes, writing in the journal Nature, questioned certain EIA projections on shale gas and oil output, concluding, “Declaring U.S. energy independence and laying plans to export the shale bounty is unwise.”

But at least in the short term, the boom is expected to continue. The EIA forecasts that crude oil production will continue its upward trend for the next two years, hitting more than 7.8 million bpd in 2014.

(See related post: “The Big Energy Question: How Has Fracking Changed Our Energy Future?“)


  1. Old Papa
    March 10, 2013, 9:53 pm

    So called renewable energy would be great if it did not have to be subsidized with your tax money. Fracking is a very expensive way to extract natural gas and oil but could stand alone without subsidies. As far as carbon and sulphur dioxide emissions are concerned, Has anyone truly measured the natural emissions of the earth? I.E. the volcanic emissions. Or would that blow away the theories of many so called scientific studies of the past 50 years. Imagine if half of the worlds population planted 1 tree per year per person. Could we change our so called carbon footprint ?

  2. Steve
    March 8, 2013, 3:43 pm

    I bet my above comment will not be posted or will be heavily edited.

  3. Steve
    March 8, 2013, 3:42 pm

    The fracking question attached to a crude oil piece is evidence once again that environmental extremists love to hate the fact that this country might actually not need foreign carbon-based energy sources. God (oh wait, can I write “God” here?) forbid the US is actually independent and successful because we’ll just destroy all the other peace and nature loving peoples of the world, right? Pathetic..