US Crude Production Keeps Hitting New Records and Texas is Over 5 Million Barrels Per Day

U.S. crude oil production reached a new all-time daily average high of 12.2 million barrels per day (MMbpd) in May. In May, Texas crude oil output was over 5 MMbpd for the first time.

Texas is only behind Russia, Saudi Arabia and the USA in crude oil output.

U.S. crude production would hit 13.4 MMbpd by December, 2019.

52 thoughts on “US Crude Production Keeps Hitting New Records and Texas is Over 5 Million Barrels Per Day”

  1. I suspect that the US embassy wouldn’t be in Jerusalem without fracking. OPEC doesn’t control the price of oil now.

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  2. Except actual observations show that low lying islands are not shrinking, nor are coastlines. They are either stable or growing, in fact. So the ocean scare is another beautiful theory murdered by a few ugly facts!

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  3. Supercritical is an even higher pressure – tough sell. If cooled with liquid water in a accident condition or when not running, there would be a lot of excess to suppress

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  4. …artificial scarcity for nuclear fuel considering how shippingport could become the basis for a standard cycle which would still require reprocessing which I am typically against. I’m typically against reprocessing because it would take eight to ten spent LWR assemblies to make one 4.5% fissile mox assembly. If a derivative of Shippingport becomes our fuel cycle standard, then I’m fully behind reprocessing. And it’s nice to know that the reprocessing is easier with thorium MOX using plain conversion to separate fissile from fertile. But that’s also likely the reason we’re not doing it because that fissile vector can be used in a gun type fission weapon by undergrads. Many people claim that the reactor grade Thorium spent fuel is impractical to handle due to being a strong gamma source. I’m saying that is not enough for our politicians…. and that they are keeping the thorium fuel cycle down because it is a liability.

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  5. No, my main point was that the uranium is very nice for bombs. Putting a ring of thorium oxide fuel assemblies around the periphery of my normal PWR for 18 months would yield multi kg quantities of bomb grade 233U, and the 232U gamma source would be manageable… assemblies would pick up a maximum of 3-5GWd/T being driven on the periphery of my PWR and would therefore have quite little 232U gamma source. This 233U has a low spontaneous fission rate so the simplest bomb design (gun type) would work. The source of the 233U in shippingport was a commercial pwr in New York, which was loaded this way (my inference). Additionally, it seems rather easy to separate the uranium vector from the thorium oxide since thorium does not have a hexavalent state. What this means is that simply grinding up these slightly irradiated peripheral fuel assemblies, and using the standard “conversion” to ThF4/UF4 will yield, with further fluoridation, a gas partly compsed of 99% 233U UF6. Fission products aside, that appears easier than PUREX as we “convert” kilotons of U3O8 to UO2 to UF4 then UF6 every year to feed the centrifuges for our fleet. I did infer that reprocessing is likely easier for Th MOX and that there is only artificial scarcity

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  6. I look forward to the day when ports will block entry to any ship burning bunker oil. The Greek-owned Panamax container ship Rena ran onto a reef near Tauranga nine years ago and spilt hundreds of tons of fuel – New Zealand’s worst maritime accident, for environmental effects. A nuclear powered ship would have had no discernable effect, though it would have made for some lurid headlines. After a few dozen such, the headlines would drop to about the level of ‘ another ferry sinks in Indonesia/Phillipines/Bangla Desh’.

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  7. Didn’t the Reduced Moderation Reactor and some of the supercritical reactor concepts propose packing their fuel in a lot tighter, too ? If you went supercritical and raised the flow rate, it should be safe to go dense at a high power rate – accidents excepted.
    Regarding rogue states, the fact that they’re labelled as such by the World’s Policeman doesn’t necessarily make them crazed wreckers. The way I see it, the Teheran regime is in pretty much exactly the same situation as Joe Stalin was in 1945 -or for that matter, the Korean Kims, or Ben-Gurion in Israel. They were surrounded by powerful enemies that would be happy to see them overthrown. Acquisition of nukes made them safe from direct attack. Whether the US and its allies would have attacked the Soviet Union at some point is debatable – there were plenty of hawks keen to – but Joe 1 took that off the table. So the ‘Prison House of Nations’ lasted for another generation or two, but avoided yet another war. I think it’s pertinent that the Soviet collapse happened after war was definitively ruled out. The regime could no longer claim that it was vital for its people to support it against external enemies.

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  8. Don’t assume that because a USN Aircraft carrier can run a nuke plant with no trouble, that a Liberian Freighter can get away with it. There is no comparison between the two even if they are both called a “ship”.
    Even then, as Scaryjello points out, there are many places that won’t let the nuclear aircraft carrier dock.

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  9. So, if I understand what you’re saying here: Yes you can get a Thorium reactor to work just fine, it breeds Thorium into fuel, you can run it just great with no Uranium input.

    But you can make bombs from the bred fuel. Even easier than starting from Uranium.

    Now given that Thorium reactors have only two advantages:

    1. Some countries have Thorium but don’t want to rely on imported Uranium.
    2. Can’t be used for nuclear weapons. Err… wrong. Turns out to be even easier.

    So with advantage 2 turning out to be completely back to front, that only leaves advantage 1, which only applies to a handful of countries. Notably India who has loads of Th and already has nuke bombs so the second point is no big deal.

    Have I got that right?

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  10. “Most of that increased productivity is due to fracking and other expensive technologies that are unprofitable if oil goes muchbelow $50/barrel.”

    Not true. Production costs are high $30s to low $40s and dropping. You only need $1 in profit for a well to be drlled.

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  11. About the hot spot peaking mentioned above. The reactor was operated at a very low power density because the fuel rods nearly touch and therefore will not support modern heat rates (i.e. 20kW/m); the liquid “channel” between fuel rods is coolant starved. You can see how tightly packed the fuel is from the reference. Reactor was operated at about 10MW/ton in the regions built with fissile material. Modern PWR produces 40MW/ton in similar fuel, but fuel rods are more spread apart giving larger liquid channel for cooling. Shippingport Core 3 was designed so that a 5.2% fissile seed “drove” or sourced neutrons into the remainder of the system. The local power in these “seed” regions was quite high relatively speaking. Based on peak to average burnup given in the report, the peaking factor was on the order of 7 for these seed region rods – those rods ran 7 times the average power. That is about 5x the peaking factor that could be supported at modern heat rates in modern fuel, which is “optimized” for thermal margin to film boiling. The only way to avoid film boiling in Shippingport was to run it at a super low power (236MW for a 24 ton fissile bearing core – 42 tons with the blanket). Amazing. Rickover’s NR was lightyears ahead of all these concepts we read about on NBF. I’m very grateful this information is available- great daydreaming material.

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  12. Total BS about the proliferation resistance of 233U: http://fissilematerials.org/library/sgs09kang.pdf

    “We find that pressurized light-water-reactors fueled with LEU-thorium fuel at high burnup (70 MWd/kg) produce U-233 with U-232 contamination levels of about 0.4 percent. At this contamination level, a 5 kg sphere of U-233 would produce a gammaray dose rate of 13 and 38 rem/hr at 1 meter one and ten years after chemical purification respectively.”

    Note that 70MWd/kg is almost double the typical LWR discharge burnup – so they are trying to theoretically maximize the gamma source for their report. This same reference shows that the spontaneous fission rate is less than for 235U, which means you could make a gun-type device with it.

    Rogue nation could make a fine bomb with that tasty stuff if discharge below 10MWd/kg. You could use the high exposed stuff too, just would be too hot to handle – except at a distance.

    All is quiet on the Thorium fuel cycle front because – well – bombs (that was the interesting realization)..

    233U for Core 3 of Shippingport came out of Indian Point 1 in NY. A commercial PWR closed in mid 1970s.

    Love it. I finally get the why and why not about Thorium. I was always just anti reprocessing – seems the reprocessing of thorium breeder oxide fuel might just involve conversion operations and that the real problem is proliferation. THAT’S AMAZING. Barrier for rogue nation entry into nuclear weapons state is even lower than I imagined…

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  13. To clarify further, with great oversimplification, sacrificing technical accuracy to make the point: Shippingport fuel can be dissolved in HF and bomb-grade 233UF6 would come out as a gas. That is what killed this whole line of research – the profundity of its success. Note that converting oxide to fluoride and back is a standard part of fuel manufacturing called “conversion” and it is quite a bit less complicated than the typical reprocessing schemes advertise with MSRs. Of course the fission products make it more difficult but the point is Iran would have no problem as they already convert for enrichment.

    Initial fuel load:
    seed blanket1 blanket2 blanket3
    233U(kg) 199 116 186 0
    232Th(kg) 5206 9487 8788 18,574
    fissile % 3.6% 1.2% 2% 0%

    average fissile % including blankets = 1%
    average fissile % excuding blanket3 = 2%

    Maximum fissile % = 5.2%

    This link shows similar isotopic vectors for the discharged fuel in the 300s pages: https://inldigitallibrary.inl.gov/sites/sti/sti/2664750.pdf

    So evidently, you can do a lot with ‘sort of ‘ 5% enriched fuel diluted from thorium breeder used fuel, which has a 98% 233U isotopic vector*. Apparently, you can become Vishnu, destroyer of worlds.

    *isotopic vector = 232U%, 233U%, 234U%, 235U%, 236U%, 238U%

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  14. Who is going to insure said ship? Who is going to ensure the operators are qualified and sober? Who is going to assume ownership of the hulk with reactor plant damaged by individuals that were not qualified and sober? Kiwis won’t allow a nuclear ship within 12 nautical miles since 1984. I imagine none of that stuff matters tho. It appears to be more economical to power a cargo ship with an 80 MW Wärtsilä-Sulzer diesel burning bunker oil than it does to build, operate, maintain a Rankine plant. That makes sense. Big diesel burns thick sulfurous oil; power comes out on shaft.

    I’ve been reading IAW long term interest in stretching the LWR fuel cycle; came to very interesting realization. Core 3 of Shippingport was a success breeding Th/233U in my platform of choice, PWR. There were some issues with the power density being a 1/7 or 1/4 (with/out blanket) typical PWR (w/astronomical ~7 hot spot peaking) but, it was powered by bomb grade 233UO2 mixed into ThO2, and it made more bomb grade 233UO2 from ThO2 as it burned. It is apparently easy to separate Th from U in fluoride form because excess F2 gives UF6 which comes out of the mixture while ThF4 remains solid/liquid. So Th-U LWR breeder simultaneously makes mining and enriching uranium obsolete, and reprocessing yields something like the 98% 233U vector shown on page 38 of: https://www.nrc.gov/docs/ML0923/ML092310709.pdf

    Thats bomb grade folks. It’s all proliferation concerns; that’s it. Amazing what holds us back!

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  15. Ships aren’t secure enough to run on nuclear ? Aircraft obviously were never secure enough to run on jet fuel, but nobody worried much about it, till they killed 3,000 people in New York. If you can show me some way that a ship with 5% enriched fuel could do that much damage, I’d be interested to hear it.
    Cars and trucks can mostly be replaced by public transport and rail, and the rest could use synthetic fuel, made with nuclear heat and power. Air travel ? Check the place out with VR. Mass air travel is making most tourist hot spots not worth visiting. If you’re not interested enough to spend a week getting there, don’t go.

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  16. The climate effects we’re seeing now aren’t just from current emissions – it’s taken 200 years to go up an average 1 C, and rising. It’s pretty much certain we’ll get to 2 C, no matter what we do now, the only questions are how soon, and how much hotter it will get after that. If we’re serious about not drowning every coastal city and delta, shifting all our crop zones by hundreds of miles, and entering a climate regime never experienced by any humanoid species, we need to get on with dropping net emissions below zero.
    Biodiversity has so far taken a much bigger hit from forest clearance and overfishing than from climate change. Animals left to themselves can move with their climate zones – kingfish that used to only be caught in the North Island are now regularly showing up in the harbour here, hundreds of miles further south. It’s us, with our enormous infrastructures, that we’re totally dependent on, that will have the worst problems.

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  17. It has been 3 years since a dry hole has been drilled in the USA.

    Can I get a cite on that? Because that sounds amazing.

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  18. Nobody will replace oil with MSR’s. You can’t fit even the smallest powerpoint reactor in a car or truck, and aircraft and cargo ships are not secure enough either. You could obviously run ships on wind if you are prepared to give up 95% of modern shipping as now too slow and unreliable. A solar ship is likewise a dodgy option.

    All that stuff replaces coal and gas. Not oil.

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  19. The Permian Basin is a layered shale environment. The Rig can literally stay on the same pad using the same road system, the same distribution pipeline and even the same fracking fluid (pumped out of the ground and re-used) and produce one layer after another.

    It has been 3 years since a dry hole has been drilled in the USA.

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  20. China is DROWNING in DEBT. The Chinese Economy is an Investment led Economy. The Government is dumping cash into the Chinese Economy comparable to the Obama Stimulus EVERY 28 DAYS!

    Chinese economic debt is estimated at 4.5 to 5 times GDP!

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  21. It called scraping the bottom of the barrel. When its done there will be no more oil. We need to use this time to move away from oil instead of doubling down.

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  22. Most of that increased productivity is due to fracking and other expensive technologies that are unprofitable if oil goes muchbelow $50/barrel. Seen that way, a cynic might conclude that sanctioning Iran and Russia has something to do with keeping their oil off the world market to keep the price high for domestic producers.
    Then, of course, when Iran (or previously, Libya and Iraq) try to trade oil for something other than (petro)dollars, our military somehow always finds the need to visit those countries, in a bad way.

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  23. Well, yes and no: certainly a very clever achievement and a short- to medium-term contribution, but all the same not a long-term solution to the energy needs.
    Nuclear and solar are, especially fusion.

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  24. Hmm, am I wrong or are you just kidding, or 5 x 50 x 365 = just over 90 billion.
    Or maybe you were calculating a whole chain of economic spin-off productivity, very smart 😉

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  25. We still need oil in the short-term, but 20-30 years from now it will start to fail. Lok, I know this has been said before, but South Florida may disappear in the next 50 years, so…
    Other forms of power generation like MSRs, wind, solar, and stuff yet to be proven will replace it. It is already happening. China and India will be the last big oil users, but they have little reserves and also understand a need to push away from hydrocarbons.

    What will OPEC and Russia do then?

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  26. Wrong, the Monterey Shale Formation is not really recoverable. Many different geotech studies have shown that faulting (since it is on or is adjacent to the San Andreas) have broken up the formation to the point where recovery would be futile except in some rare cases like Sespie and Sunset-Midway. I would know I worked on the SB4 EIS for examining the viability and impacts of ongoing recovery efforts.

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  27. He ended up rich, famous and beloved by millions.

    Maybe not as dimwitted as you think?

    Don’t look at the correctness of the statements, look at the result of the statements.

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  28. If you apportioned 100% of last year’s $91B losses to the CO2 emitted at 6.46B tonnes equivalent it still would be only $14.09 per tonne.
    The PTC credit of 2.4 cents per kWh for wind power is the equivalent of like $35 per tonne compared to coal, more if gas is your baseline (like $50 counting methane leakage).
    Saving biodiversity is important also but arguably we are already costing for that in the USA although with crappy slapdash subsidies.
    I think you are overestimating the cost of hitting the snooze button.

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  29. It may still be using oil in 50 years, but it will not be so profitable to most. You still have to pay to make whole everyone hit by assorted natural disasters, again and again and…
    No amount of magical thinking can insulate you from the consequences of basic physics, only laws acting to socialize loss while protecting private profit.

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  30. When You consider the improvements in drilling rig productivity and the thousands of drilled, uncompleted wells out there, it shouldn’t lead to a decline for a while.

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  31. Rig count goes down, at times, due to massive productivity increases. Much of the drop in rigs over the last 10 years is due to productivity.

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  32. Besides a Canadian company has already invented thw perfect means of using thw u.s.’s oil shale in a truly profitable manner. The problem is that the resource is on government land and someone has to pay for the initial full scale testing. No one sees a need while shale oil is still pumping. Starting to use it now would just end the shale plays. Better to create wealth instead of destroying wealth. The u.s. will still be using oil 50 years from now.

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  33. The well can be refracked over and over again. Some wells are on thwir 3rd fracing and are still producing good numbers. Also there are a but load of wells up in tje Bakken that have been drilled but not fracked and the companies are merely waiting a for a serious market spike to crack those wells open so tjat they are not operating at a loss while the well cost is recooped. It also allows the companies to maximize their depreciation costs for tax purposes. They have taken their maximum write offs on those well and are now just waiting for the maximum profit opportunity and for the pipeline expansions to finally be built out or otjer production to fall off. If you cannot get it to market wasted production is wasted wealth.

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  34. Well to be fair the California play is a different type of shale formation and will take years to figure out properly once they start really drilling there. The shale east of the Rockies is literally one of a kind globally and is near perfect for oil formation. The new york and Pennsylvania play is also a different type of formation which is why they are mainly getting natural gas from it.

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