By Maeve Allsup
Move over, Russia and Saudi Arabia. The United States is expected to produce more oil than any other country in the world by 2023.
As the chart below shows, less than eight years ago, the U.S. produced significantly less oil per day than Russia and Saudi Arabia, the world’s top two suppliers. But U.S. production is expected to reach 10.6 million barrels of oil a day this year, the highest level ever recorded.
“For over 40 years, America was vulnerable to foreign regimes that used energy as an economic weapon,” President Trump said in 2017. “Powered by new innovation and technology, we are now on the cusp of a true energy revolution,” he said.
That transformation is underway. Over the next three years, the United States will be able to supply 80 percent of global demand growth. By 2023, the International Energy Agency expects that the United States will produce more than 17 million barrels of oil and gas each day, outranking every other country.
Increased U.S. energy production is good for countries around the world looking for a reliable supply of oil and gas from free and open markets, and it’s a boon to the U.S economy and national security.
The majority of this growth can be linked to what’s known as the “American shale revolution,” spurred by companies extracting oil and gas from shale rock formations using new technologies. The newer, unconventional methods are called horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing, or more commonly fracking. Today, fracking accounts for more than half of U.S. crude oil production, a drastic increase over the last decade. (In 2008, fracking accounted for only 7 percent of total U.S. production.)
“The remarkable ability of producers to unlock new resources, cost effectively, pushes the combined United States oil and gas output in 2040 to a level 50 percent higher than any other country has ever managed,” Fatih Birol, director of the International Energy Agency, told a Senate panel in January. “This is an impressive feat, which cannot be overstated. This makes the United States the undisputed oil and gas producer in the world over the next several decades.”
The dramatic increase in production has allowed U.S. exports of crude oil and petroleum products to double in the last eight years. This growth also can be attributed in part to a lifting of restrictions on exporting domestic crude oil, which happened at the end of 2015, and to lower shipping costs. Canada is the top destination for U.S. crude oil, purchasing 58 percent of exports. Other destinations for U.S. oil include The Netherlands, China, Italy and the United Kingdom.