Fracking Threatens OPEC As US Oil Output Is At 20-Year High

  • Date: 14/02/13
  • Mark J. Perry , AEIdeas

A surge in oil production has pushed U.S. output to the highest level since 1992, a trend expected to further weaken the once all-powerful Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries.


oil1The Department of Energy reported today that the US produced an average of 7.064 million barrels of oil per day during the week ending February 8, which is the highest level of domestic oil output since December 1992, more than 20 years ago (see top chart above). Compared to the same week a year ago, US oil output increased by 21.4% last week, marking the fifth straight week of annual increases in oil production above 20%. In just the last 18 months, US oil output has increased by more than 1.5 million bpd, from 5.4 million bpd in July 2011 to almost 7.1 million bpd last week. That increase of 1.5 million bpd in America’s oil output would be almost the equivalent of adding Norway’s entire oil production (1.549 million bpd in October 2012) to the US oil supply.

The bottom chart below shows that America’s oil output has increased so dramatically over the last year that US oil production recently surpassed the entire output of all Central and South American countries, according to international oil production data from the Department of Energy.  For the month of October (most recent month available in this data series), the US pumped an average of 6.82 million bpd, which exceeded the 6.57 million bpd in combined output for all of the 14 oil-producing countries in Central and South America, including Brazil and Venezuela.  That was the second straight month that America’s oil output surpassed all of Central and South America’s production, which hasn’t happened since early 1998, almost 15 years ago.

See a related Bloomberg news report today titled ”Fracking Threatens OPEC as U.S. Output at 20-Year High,” with this quote from Ed Morse, global head of commodities at Citigroup: “OPEC should find it challenging to survive another 60 years, let alone another decade. The U.S. should see its role in the world as a singular superpower enhanced and prolonged.”