"The U.S. will remain the world’s biggest oil producer this year after overtaking Saudi Arabia and Russia as extraction of energy from shale rock spurs the nation’s economic recovery, Bank of America Corp. said," writes Grant Smith.
U.S. production of crude oil, along with liquids separated from natural gas, surpassed all other countries this year with daily output exceeding 11 million barrels in the first quarter, the bank said in a report (July 4).
Bank of America is not the first to report it. "The International Energy Agency (IEA) said in June that the U.S. was the biggest producer of oil and natural gas liquids," adds Smith.
Without the surge, U.S. "prices at the pump would be completely unaffordable,” states Francisco Blanch, the bank’s head of commodities research. Global prices would have been reduced as well if it weren't for geopolitical conditions in the Mideast and North Africa.
"Typically such a large energy supply growth should bring prices lower, but in fact we’re not seeing that because the whole geopolitical situation outside the U.S. is dreadful," added Blanch.
The report praises the Commerce Department's recent decision to allow a small amount of "ultralight crude" to be sold abroad, calling the first change in the 40-year-old ban on crude oil exports “a positive first step to dispersing the build-up of crude supply in North America."
A U.S. Energy Information Administration chart shows 2013 production of crude oil, NGPL [natural gas plant liquids (PDF)], and other liquids (Thousand Barrels Per Day) The top three producers last yere were:
Saudi Arabia: 11,583.5