by Michael Bastasch
The U.S. surpassed Saudi Arabia to become the world’s largest producer of crude oil, according to preliminary estimates from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).
“U.S. crude oil production exceeded that of Saudi Arabia for the first time in more than two decades,” EIA reported Wednesday. “In June and August, the United States surpassed Russia in crude oil production for the first time since February 1999.”
Indeed, U.S. drillers have continued to smash production records in 2018, including hitting 11 million barrels a day in output in July. That’s about double what the U.S. produced per day just eight years ago.
It’s good news for President Donald Trump, who campaigned on a platform of “energy dominance.” Trump’s policies have focused on promoting domestic oil and natural gas production and exports.
News from EIA comes after the Interior Department announced record-breaking revenues raised from an oil and gas lease sale in New Mexico. The lease sale raised nearly $1 billion in bonus bids, according to the department.
“Critics of the Administration’s American Energy Dominance policy often falsely claim there is little to no interest in Federal oil and gas leases,” Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said in a statement.
“Today they are eating their words and once again President Trump’s policies are bearing fruit for the American people,” Zinke said.
Booming oil production, however, predates the Trump administration by several years. It started on state and private lands that allowed companies to pioneer hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling that’s now commonplace.
“Much of the recent growth has occurred in areas such as the Permian region in eastern Texas and western New Mexico, the Federal Offshore Gulf of Mexico, and the Bakken region in North Dakota and Montana,” according to EIA.
As the fracking boom continues, EIA expects “U.S. crude oil production will continue to exceed Russian and Saudi Arabian crude oil production for the remaining months of 2018 and through 2019.”
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