Oil production plays a key role in the nation's economic and energy landscape. Everything from gas prices to clothing is impacted by the cost of extracting petroleum and all its byproducts.
While the Biden administration is driving efforts to implement a large-scale transition to renewable energy and investment in green technology, much of the US economy is still inextricably tied to oil production and will continue to be for the foreseeable future.
So, what is the state of oil production in the US today? Is the country producing enough to meet consumption demands, and how has the industry changed over the past decade?
Domestic energy production has increased faster than at any other time in history, with crude oil production more than doubling between 2011 and 2022. US crude oil peaked in 2019 with the country producing an average of 12.3 million barrels per day.
According to the Energy Information Administration, the US has been the largest producer of crude oil in the world since 2018, surpassing Russia and Saudi Arabia.
The Energy Information Administration (EIA) expects US crude oil production to increase to record heights in 2023 and 2024.
In 2022, over 70% of total crude oil production came from five states. In descending order, these were:
In addition, 14.7% of total crude oil produced in 2022 came from the Gulf of Mexico offshore territory.
Other states, such as Texas, New Mexico, and North Dakota, among others, had a relative boost in production over the last decade, partially resulting from a new methodology of oil and gas extraction known as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.
Since 2015, oil extracted through fracking has accounted for more than half of total US crude oil production.
In 2022, two-thirds of all US oil came from fracking, compared to under 7% two decades ago.
While hydraulic fracturing has helped extract fossil fuels for over six decades, its significant contribution to crude oil production is a more recent development. This technique, combined with horizontal drilling, has led to an unprecedented surge in oil production over the past several years.
Fracking involves injecting a high-pressure liquid, mostly water, into a well to fracture rock formations containing hydrocarbons. This process facilitates the extraction of materials such as crude oil and natural gas, allowing them to be refined once returned to the surface.
In the US, the majority of domestically produced or imported crude oil undergoes refining processes to become various petroleum products, including gasoline, diesel fuel, heating oil, and jet fuel, which are subsequently consumed.
During 2022, the US had an average daily petroleum consumption of approximately 20.3 million barrels, totaling about 7.4 billion barrels of petroleum for the year.
All data provided in this article comes from the US Energy Information Administration, a subsidiary of the Department of Energy. The EIA collects, analyzes, and disseminates independent and impartial energy information for the purpose of informed policymaking and public understanding of energy and its impact on the economy and environment.
There are several other government resources that report oil production data at the national, state, and local levels, such as the Department of the Interior and the Bureau of Economic Analysis. However, not all data between these sources matches up, meaning there are several potential discrepancies depending on where sources come from.
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