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Thursday, 20 September 2018

US overtakes Russia and Saudi Arabia for the first time in 45 years to becomes the world's largest oil producer

The United States has risen to the top the list of oil-producing countries for the first time in almost 45 years.

The US overtook Saudi Arabia for monthly crude oil production back in February and likely surpassed Russia some time in June or August, new data shows which comes after the development of fracking led to a boom in shale oil production while massively reducing drilling costs.

The figures are based on preliminary estimates published by the US Energy Information Administration last week. If confirmed, it would mark the first time since 1973 that the US has topped world rankings. 

The agency said it expects the US to hold its position at the top of the chart for the remaining months of 2018 and throughout 2019.  After languishing at less than 6million barrels of oil per month between 2000 and 2011, American oil production began rapidly increasing from 2012 onwards.  

That figure has now almost doubled in the last six years, though there was a dip between 2014 and early 2016 when the price of crude plunged and oil companies were forced to scale back operations.

At the center of the boom is Texas, and in particular the Permian Basin in the west of the state. The Lone Star state now produces so much oil that it would be ranked third in the world on its own if it were a country, outstripping the likes of Iraq and Iran.

A change in the law allowing US companies to export crude oil for the first time in 40 years also came into effect in 2015, further boosting production.  Meanwhile, the US has climbed up the rankings in terms of energy security because it relies less on foreign imports to meet its needs. 

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