United States recognized as world’s top producer of petroleum, natural gas hydrocarbons for fifth straight year

Published on June 12, 2017 by Daily Energy Insider Reports

The United States remained the world’s top producer of petroleum and natural gas hydrocarbons for the fifth year in a row in 2016, according to U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) data.

The United States became the world’s top producer of natural gas in 2009 when production surpassed that
of Russia. The United States then began producing more petroleum hydrocarbons than Saudi Arabia in
2013 and became the world’s top producer in that category as well.

In the United States and Russia, total petroleum and natural gas hydrocarbon production in energy content terms is approximately equal. Saudi Arabia’s production is focused on petroleum.

The United States retained its position despite decreases in both petroleum and natural gas production compared to 2015 levels.

Due to relatively low oil prices, U.S. petroleum production decreased by 300,000 barrels per day in 2016. Natural gas production decreased by 2.3 billion cubic feet per day in 2016, because of a rapid expansion of natural gas production through 2015 and a mild 2015–2016 winter that reduced demand for natural gas as a heating fuel, which caused prices to fall.

EIA’s June Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO) projects that U.S. petroleum and other liquid fuels production will increase to 15.6 million barrels per day (b/d) in 2017 and 16.7 million b/d in 2018, up from 14.8 million b/d in 2016.

The outlook expects Russia’s production to decrease slightly in 2017 and 2018. It provides forecasts for the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) as a whole, rather than for individual OPEC countries. The June STEO predicts OPEC liquid fuels production to be 39.2 million b/d in 2017 and 39.9 million b/d in 2018.