NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

America Set to Lead World in Oil Production

October 1, 2014

According to the International Energy Agency, the United States is producing oil at the same level as Saudi Arabia, producing 11.5 million barrels per day. It is on track to surpass Saudi Arabia and become the world's largest oil producer, though, according to Saudi Arabia, the country has the capacity to increase its oil production further.

The United States has fracking to thank for its recent oil boom, a technique which has allowed producers to reach energy sources that would otherwise have been unrecoverable. Horizontal drilling has also contributed to the surge in energy production, as companies have drilled into oil shale to recover oil and natural gas.

North Dakota has benefited especially from the fracking boom:

  • Its residents have seen a 31 percent increase in per-capita income from 2008 to 2012, the highest in the nation.
  • The energy boom has brought with it high-paying jobs and investment opportunities, resulting in North Dakota residents having the highest per capita income of any state in the country ($57,367).
  • South Dakota saw the second highest per-capita income gain, at 10 percent.

A recent study estimates that America will become the world's largest oil producer as early as next year.

According to Bud Weinstein, writing for the Heartland Institute, the United States needs to lift the ban that currently exists on exporting American oil. He cites a recent study from the Brookings Institute which estimates consumers could see a 12 cent drop in gasoline prices if the ban is lifted.

Source: Rob Nikolewski, "Move over Saudi Arabia, here comes U.S. oil and gas,", September 30, 2014; Kenric Ward, "Fracking good times: North Dakota tops U.S. income gains,", September 22, 2014. 


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