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Report: U.S. Oil Output Nears New Record by ’16

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December 16, 2013 by   Leave a Comment

U.S. crude oil production will approach a record by 2016, climbing to the highest level in 46 years as rising output from shale formations lifts domestic supplies, reducing the nation’s need for foreign oil.

Bloomberg reported that domestic output will grow annually by about 800,000 barrels a day to 9.5 million in 2016, nearing the record level of 1970, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) Annual Energy Outlook for 2014. Natural gas production will grow 56% to 37.6 trillion cubic feet by 2040, boosting liquefied natural gas exports to 3.5 trillion, the EIA said today.

“The production growth we’ve seen is exceeding what anyone would’ve predicted a few years ago,” John Auers, senior vice president of Tuner Mason & Co., a consulting firm in Dallas, said by phone today. “It’s surprised everyone. We’ll be reaching even higher production very quickly because of breakthroughs in technology.”

U.S. oil production grew 18% to a 25-year high in the past 12 months, according to the EIA, as the combination of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, unlocked supplies in shale formations including the Eagle Ford in Texas and the Bakken in North Dakota. Burgeoning output has reduced domestic demand for foreign oil and spurred record exports of fuel from U.S. refineries.

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