United States Becomes Largest Oil-and-Gas Producer

October 7, 2013

­The United States is overtaking Russia as the world's largest producer of oil and natural gas, a startling shift that is reshaping markets and eroding the clout of traditional energy-rich nations, says the Wall Street Journal.

U.S. energy output has been surging in recent years, a comeback fueled by shale-rock formations of oil and natural gas that was unimaginable a decade ago. A Wall Street Journal analysis of global data shows that the United States is on track to pass Russia as the world's largest producer of oil and gas combined this year -- if it hasn't already.

  • The United States produced the equivalent of about 22 million barrels a day of oil, natural gas and related fuels in July, according to figures from the Energy Information Administration and the International Energy Agency. Neither agency has data for Russia's gas output this year, but Moscow's forecast for 2013 oil-and-gas production works out to about 21.8 million barrels a day.
  • The United States last year tapped more natural gas than Russia for the first time since 1982, according to data from the International Energy Agency. Russia's exports have been crimped by rising competition and the economic slump in Europe.
  • U.S. energy producers also are drilling more efficiently and cutting costs in other ways. Some companies have said that the amount of oil and gas produced by shale wells isn't dropping as fast as predicted.

Plenty of private equity funding and overseas investment remains available, industry experts say, and debt remains relatively cheap.

Source: Russell Gold and Daniel Gilbert, "U.S. Is Overtaking Russia as Largest Oil-and-Gas Producer," Wall Street Journal, October 2, 2013.

 

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