NEW YORK (Reuters) – U.S. crude oil production shattered a 47-year output record in November and retreated slightly in December, the U.S. Energy Department said on Wednesday, as oil production from shale continued to upend global supply patterns.
Oil output rose to 10.057 million barrels per day (bpd) in November, a revision from earlier estimates, the EIA said. December production fell 108,000 bpd to 9.949 million bpd, it said.
November’s figure exceeded the 10.044 million barrels produced daily in November 1970. Output has surged in the last several years due to the shale boom, pushing the United States past Saudi Arabia among top producers. Only Russia now has greater daily oil output.
The new record probably will not last. The U.S. government forecasts production will hit 11 million barrels per day later this year.
“We’ve got a lot more oil to produce and we’ll be through that 11 million barrel-per-day threshold much sooner than expected,” said Phillip Streible, senior market strategist at RJO Futures in Chicago.
The gains are primarily due to rising production in shale regions in Texas and North Dakota. Output there ramped up sharply at the beginning of the decade as new techniques involving hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, allowed drillers to extract vast quantities of crude from oil fields.
The increase in crude output has cut U.S. oil imports by a fifth over a decade, and boosted energy exports.
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