In 2011, for the first time since 1949, the United States exported more petroleum products on an annual basis than it imported. This continuing trend lead Goldman Sachs in late 2011 to predict that the United States might even return to the top of the list of the world’s largest oil producing countries, a title which the U.S. lost in 2002. Since then, Saudi Arabia and Russia have dominated the world’s oil production mainly as the result of the vast reserves.
In contrast to the conventional production methods in nations rich in accessible oil reserves, the recent boom in U.S. domestic oil production is mainly driven by new technologies. The development of techniques such as horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracking, allows extraction companies to access resources formerly out of reach. Consequently, the new American oil boom plays out in areas not traditionally associated with large scale oil production, such as North Dakota and Montana, states traditionally known for their cattle and not their oil rigs.
While the USA crude oil production growth is expected to principally come from the Bakken Shale in North Dakota and Montana, the use of new methods to locate, explore, and extract oil, oil sand, and related petroleum resources also reinvigorated already the traditional oil country of West Texas and New Mexico. Department of labor statistics estimate that the new focus on domestic oil, combined with the equally rapid growth of the U.S. natural gas industry will soon account for more than 3 million jobs nationwide. It is therefore no surprise that communities long associated with the oil industry that had felt the growing pinch of renewable energy policies welcome the shifting focus towards fossil fuels equally enthusiastic as the new centers of production.
The US Energy Department forecasts that the daily domestic production of crude and other liquid hydrocarbons will average 11.4 million barrels next year. That number would not only constitute a record production level for the U.S., but also put domestic production slightly below Saudi Arabia’s crude output of 11.6 million barrels per day. Whether the USA will surpass Saudi Arabia as the world’s biggest oil producer will depend on many factors, such as Saudi Arabia’s future production capacity, oil prices, and the world economic climate. In addition, Russia and Saudi Arabia have not made any significant efforts to increase their crude oil production capacity over the last years, yet both countries most certainly have the reserves to not only increase production significantly, but to do so at the fraction of the cost U.S. domestic production currently runs.
In the end, it is not important if domestic oil production outpaces that of other nations or not. More significantly, the U.S. is on a clear path towards energy independence which will not only free American enterprise from the restrictions that come with energy dependence, but also promises a significant cost reduction for in-country consumers, as well as the continued growth of a healthy energy sector.
EVS Translations, as a FPAL registered translation company, can help your company benefit from the exciting changes in our energy sector by providing professional translation services for the accurate exploration and cost effective management of oil production facilities, as well as related industries. We will be pleased to leverage our multi-national presence and in-house teams of oil industry specific translators in the USA, Europe, the Middle East and Asia and provide cost-optimized language solutions for oil exploration and production projects.
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