US crude oil production hits record levels in 2019

Published on March 04, 2020 by Dave Kovaleski

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U.S. crude oil production was 11 percent higher in 2019 than the previous year, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Production reached a record 12.23 million barrels per day (b/d) last year, 1.24 million b/d more than 2018 levels. In November, monthly U.S. crude oil production averaged 12.86 million b/d, the most for any month in U.S. history. U.S. crude oil production has increased steadily over the past 10 years, driven mainly by production from tight rock formations using horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing to extract hydrocarbons.

Texas leads the nation in crude oil production, accounting for 41 percent of the national total in 2019. Texas crude oil production averaged 5.07 million b/d in 2019 and reached a monthly record of 5.35 million b/d in December. The increase was due to significant growth within the Permian region in western Texas. Texas crude oil production has grown by 333 percent since 2010.

The Permian region also drove a 248,000 b/d increase, or 36 percent, increase in New Mexico. New Mexico had record production for the third consecutive year.

Also, the Offshore Federal Gulf of Mexico’s crude oil production grew by 126,000 b/d to 1.88 million b/d. It was the second-largest crude oil producing region in the United States last year. Colorado and North Dakota also set record production levels. Colorado had about 514,000 b/d while North Dakota was 1.4 million b/d. Also, production in Oklahoma increased by 32,000 b/d.

These increases offset production declines in Alaska and California.

EIA forecasts U.S. crude oil production will continue to increase to an average of 13.2 million b/d in 2020 and 13.6 million b/d in 2021 with most of the growth coming from the Permian region of Texas and New Mexico.