US oil production hits highest level in 25 years
U.S. oil output has reached a 25-year record thanks to the large reserves of fossil fuel extracted by hydraulic fracturing in states like Texas and North Dakota. Because of the shale boom in recent years, the United States is more energy independent than ever and has been able to reduce energy imports dramatically, Bloomberg reported.
In the first week of December total U.S. oil production came in at 8.075 million barrels a day, the highest since October 1988, according to figures from the Energy Information Administration (EIA). Just over the past 12 months output grew at the fastest rate ever recorded, reaching 18 percent. Projections by the EIA anticipate the United States becoming the largest oil producer by 2015. Last year the agency predicted that the country would occupy the top position in 2020, but the rapid growth rate prompted a revision of this forecast.
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Over the first nine months of 2013 oil production in both Texas and North Dakota increased by 21 percent, while Oklahoma saw a 19 percent rise. Other states that registered double-digit growth include Wyoming (14 percent), New Mexico (12 percent) and Colorado (11 percent), data from the EIA shows.
Imports of crude and petroleum products are expected to lose ground on the U.S. market in 2014, with foreign production accounting for 28 percent of domestic demand. This is in stark contrast to the peak of 60 percent, recorded just eight years ago.