US Crude Oil Production at Record 12.9 Million Barrels Per Day

US crude oil production hit an all-time record of 12.9 million barrels per day.

This is about triple the lowest levels in 2005-2010.

38 thoughts on “US Crude Oil Production at Record 12.9 Million Barrels Per Day”

  1. China should also be more aggressive with its nuclear energy buildout. I have the article about how China could scale to 500 GW (3750 TWh per year) of nuclear power by 2050. China’s nuclear companies have the capacity to build 10 nuclear plants per year at the 1.0, 1.2 and 1.4 GW size. Take 4-5 years to complete. Add 120 GW from 2025-2035 to the 55 GW they should have done by 2022 with completions for reactors starting in 2025. This would be about 1200 TWh. Also, they accelerate electrification of 18 wheel trucks, cars and buses.

  2. People are people. If you want them to do something you have to give them a tangible benefit right now. Heroes and saints, people who demonstrably put the public weal ahead of their own own are fairly rare and are notable because of it.

    An ant that saves its colony gets no special recognition because that is the way they are programmed. But, in general, people are not ants, which is why communism/socialism does not work for us.

    If you want less carbon in the air then carbon capture and carbon recovery needs to be made financially attractive, even to people who don’t believe in climate change, or are willing to either ignore it or deny it in order to pursue more personal interests.

  3. We are not energy independent. The best I can say we are less dependent. But it was always our choice. We could have use more natural gas and conserve.

    I don’t understand why we are still used oil for home heating and industrial processes when natural gas is half the price.

    We still have to import heavy oil since most of the oil from fracking is light. And we need the heavy oil as feed stock for the refineries we have.

  4. I agree, but it will be a long transition, while I love EV’s, I also love that we are energy independent, and the middle east no longer means anything to us.

  5. The implication of a tipping point is that once we breech it there is no coming back. That isn’t true. What will happen is that the climate will get painful to live with. But we will always be able to reverse the change by reducing our CO2 emission and increasing our CO2 reduction. We are going to blow thru the tipping point. The fossil fuel extraction industry has Just too much money and power. Only when climate change has reared it ugly head will there be enough political power to push back and not until then.

  6. You like tipping points, but we have been hitting these nonsensical point throughout history, and here we are.

  7. News flash. Global oil production is around 1.5% in growth because population growth is about 1%. Transportation uses about 40% of oil output and it won’t be 25 years until we see an impact on consumption at the soonest.

  8. There is no “world commitment” to anything. Individual choice only. Would you give up your family’s meal so you could pay higher taxes to implement the push to ineffective renewables? Your religion comment seems more of a non sequitur dig at the air than anything. Who is the arbiter of this “personal safety” and “global wellness” crap? I agree with the nuke comment, but our planet’s history is one where the genius and entrepreneurship of of man is taking raw materials and making us all wealthy and cleaner as a result. Major pollutants are coming down in the U.S. and have been for decades. Just moving to natural gas from coal has impacted emission output, but it was an economic decision that drove it, not green speak. Take a look at vilified gasses output per unit of GDP and you will see a picture that doesn’t jive with the current narrative. We produce more with less energy over time. It’s a great time to be alive. The future is bright and prosperous.

  9. If you look at crude and and all the related products we are only at about break even:
    About 2.7 million barrels imported per day of crude. About 2.6 million barrels per day of finished products exported. Just slight import: 113 thousand barrels imported but this moves week to week. The week before we exported 310 thousand barrels a day.
    I’d sure like it, if we were a large net exporter. Maybe net 7 million barrels per day. I think that would benefit our economy greatly…potentially.
    Need to reduce consumption by having a more efficient infrastructure including more efficient autos, using natural gas/solar walls for heating, electrifying freight rail, and moving more freight by rail.

  10. Yes, there would have had to be some concern for rising CO2 levels or foresight about the vulnerability of imported oil to take a huge bite out of oil. The second part takes no special brains. Eisenhower set limits on imported oil because he knew. Greedy special interests mocked his policy calling it “drain America first”. LBJ and Nixon were idiots…and set us up for a big fall. Claimed nuclear adoption would not “move the needle”, not “good part” but it clearly would move because of earlier oil power plants, and navel ships.
    If we had smart people, who were not serving special interests, they may have concluded that it is wise to conserve fuel for future generations, and move to nuclear…and the electric power it makes to power other things like trains, and metal refining. Big oil would have had less influence and been prevented from buying all the trolley lines and scraping them…replacing everything with dirty buses:
    And the Navy does use a lot of oil. If they had fully switched to nuclear, that would have saved a lot of oil as well.
    And with lots of cheap nuclear power, maybe it would be sufficiently attractive for railroads to electrify. That may have required that the oil prices go up like they did during the oil crisis…which may or may not have happened if our grid was 80% nuclear and much of the rest hydroelectric. But, yes, there was no compelling reason back then to make electric cars.

  11. Yes. I know. Though I did not say “much more heavily”. Right now they have really big loopholes. Most oil companies pay nothing…but most are not big. I am happy to see them explore and such. It is when they are pumping a bunch that I think they need so start to pay taxes…and be exempted from using the “oil-depletion allowances” nonsense. Also, if they are majority foreign owned they should get no tax breaks. I am talking shareholders and where they are paying their taxes.
    I also think some of the big producers need to be broken up. We need a bunch of companies competing more seriously. Some people will say oil is something we are doing right. Don’t kill the goose. And I feel that. But there is a such thing as too much corporate welfare.
    When an oil well drys up they can claim “oil-depletion allowances” and recover the entire expense of drilling the well in the first place…never mind how much they pumped out before it went dry. They can even get back more than they spent through tricks. We had 2 oil tycoon Presidents recently…need I say more?

  12. You want the US oil industry to greatly expand, and you also want to tax them much more heavily.

    I see a tension there.

    I mean it’s not a contradiction as such. If you want to tax an industry for monetary (as opposed to punitive) reasons, then of course you want them to expand at the same time. But there’s still a tension.

  13. But Mark has a good point. It’s SO MUCH EASIER to build your EV megafactories if you

    • Still have diesel to put in the bulldozers and cranes for megafactory construction
    • Still have a vibrant economy, in part because of a short term oil and gas boom
    • Don’t have any domestic crises because the oil fueled food supply is still humming along
    • Aren’t fighting any major wars overseas because of a world wide oil crisis
    • Can take your time, because you’ve started with a decade or two left to go.

    We’ve already seen what happens when an economy tries to slash oil usage in a couple of years with no warning (early 1940s Germany, early 1940s Japan, and to a lesser extent early 1940s Britain, 1970s everywhere). It’s much better to be able to take the time to do it properly.

  14. That’s a great graph. Yeah, I hadn’t thought of using oil for electricity, seeing as it’s such a ridiculous idea these days.

    However I don’t think one can point to the possibility of converting rail and cars to electric, which would be technically feasible, and cover that with “a good part of this could have been offset if the West wasn’t so afraid of nuclear.”

    In reality the statement would be “a good part of this could have been offset if the West wasn’t so afraid of nuclear AND we had embarked on a major nationwide project to minimise oil usage despite it not being a big issue at the time.”

    That was my real point. Nuclear power was not a sufficient condition on it’s own. Not a necessary condition either, the USA could have gone all coal and gas if that was really urgent (eg. If the USSR took control of the middle east.)

  15. But “lots of urban commuters” is still not enough to reduce total fuel use by any noticeable amount. As a fraction of total cars sold this is very marginal.

  16. That makes little difference if we hit a climate tipping point… it doesn’t take a Phd to see there are lots of potential tipping points and all it takes is one to be tripped.

  17. Doc, lots of urban commuters found gen one Leafs and other short range EVs quite viable for their intended use so in that sense they were not at all marginal.

  18. from 1963 to 1974 use of oil for electrical grid grew quite a bit (6.1%-17.9%). That was LBJ and Nixon who let that happen and/or encouraged it. That is the real reason for the first oil crisis. Our use greatly exceeded domestic production, and we made ourselves very vulnerable. We produced enough to meet domestic use until 1956, then we started importing. If we had moved all electrical production off oil, and built out nuclear, we would not have been nearly as vulnerable. Of course big oil and the automakers were in cahoots driving up the use of fuel as well, so it may have just been a matter of time before we were in the same pickle.

  19. That is not entirely true. The US could have electrified rail freight and expanded freight rail. We have close to zero electrified rail…beyond trolleys, elevated and subways…in isolated metropolitan areas. Rail is 6x more efficient, so we would not save a ton by electrifying it alone. What makes a huge difference is forcing a large amount of freight to be transported by rail instead of trucks. Electrified rail extant since 1837. No good reason we have no electrified freight.
    And nickel cadmium batteries have been around since 1899. Less range, but usable range. It would have required more powerful lighter motors than were available way back. You probably need neodymium magnets. Those were not around until 1982. But there really was not major technology beyond nickel cadmium batteries and neodymium magnet motors required. And perhaps there were other motors suitable earlier. When the threshold was reached…I don’t know. Probably need 75HP or more and 400lb or less, preferably brush-less.
    The Navy could have developed less costly modular reactors and put them in all the Navel ships.
    It also was not that long ago that we used oil to power the grid. The early embrace of nuclear to the tune of 80% of the grid, would certainty have saved a lot of oil: check out this animation:

  20. I think that is the list of gross oil exports, not net oil exports. Because there are different types of crude oil the USA sells some oil at the same time as buying others.

  21. But not a net exporter of crude oil:
    About 2.7 million barrels a day short. Value, other forms, sure. But I would like to see a sizable export, the equivalent of 7 million barrels of crude a day. And start taxing producers more seriously. We have been giving them a killer deal for decades because we needed more and people needed relief at the pump. Tax the big higher earning companies more the little guys less.
    We need to make our transportation system more efficient, and our energy production heavily nuclear. We need to reinstate the full tax deduction for EVs of any US manufacturer. If fact, do the opposite of what they have been doing…reward makers who have made more electric cars. Increase the deduction when they make more. That will cause an acceleration of production and an urgency for other makers to start producing, and producing a lot rather than being left behind.
    I’d like to see 25 million or more of these made in the US every year. The less we use, the more we have that we can export.

  22. It is only now that electric vehicles have been competitive for any but the most marginal of uses.
    Widespread adoption of nuclear power, or solar or whatever, would have not moved the needle on oil usage. Though I’ll grant this could change a lot over the next decade or so.

  23. What we are doing is scrapping the bottom of the barrel. We need to move on before there is nothing left in the barrel.

  24. Nuclear isn’t remotely cost effective compared to other GHG mitigations.
    The world only needs like a $50 GHG tax to hit their 1.5C targets. That’s like 1.7 cents per kWh if natural gas is your marginal “swing” fuel. 45 cents a gallon on gasoline. It doesn’t even need $50 immediately, just phased in over 15 years.
    GHG mitigation can be relatively cheap, but there’s a lot of propaganda that it isn’t.

  25. Nicely put, but you realize the USA is a big oil exporter, right?

    The USA has indeed entered a bonanza in oil production thanks to modern extraction techniques that have delayed peak oilers’ celebrations by a long shot. The use of that oil surplus has been shared across the many USA’s oil buyers.

    I’d also be wary of over-optimism in the growth of electrical cars. Specially because such growth will put a lot of pressure in rare earths’ supply. People will figure out solutions, certainly, but it won’t be a near instantaneous replacement of cars and other engines.

  26. Other than the US, and to a much lesser extent Canada and Brazil, there isn’t much growth in global oil production. Overall global oil production is around unimpressive 1.5%, this growth will probably completely dissipate when trucking and busing outside China will start moving toward electrification which by all means will be felt in the next five years.

  27. Its about money. Countries that dont produce much have their handouts from the top producers. “wealth distribution”.

  28. And this is the weak point of the environmentalists.
    If you belive global warming was an major threat you want nuclear power as its the most efficient way to reduce co2 emissions, you simply take the meltdowns.

    But no its all about the agenda, not about results.

  29. Brian: a worthwhile article would compare oil production, natural gas liquids production, and petroleum consumption. By my math the U.S. has been a net petroleum exporter by value for some time now and is now a net exporter in terms of actual product.

  30. Seems the world is committed to ever more energy usage, despite the nice words uttered in Paris.

    Curiously, a good part of this could have been offset if the West wasn’t so afraid of nuclear. But a lot of this comes from China and other strongly developing nations, not convinced about sacrificing their development either.

    Truth is, most people won’t trade personal safety for abstract, global wellness and/or religious piety.

Comments are closed.