In a watershed moment for the United States, it has now surpassed Saudi Arabia as the world’s largest supplier of oil.
According to PIRA, an energy analysis firm, the skyrocketing oil output over the last four years is the most dizzying ascent since Saudi Arabia’s from 1970-1974. Since 2009, U.S. oil output has climbed 3.2 million barrels per day (bpd). The total includes natural gas liquids and biofuels.
The trigger for the huge expansion is the shale revolution, which has seen areas such as the Bakken in North Dakota and Eagle Ford in Texas lead the way as U.S. supplies jumped 1 million bpd in 2012 and repeated that jump in 2013.
Because of the huge jump in supplies, the U.S. is no longer the number one importer of crude oil; that spot now belongs to China. PIRA Energy Group noted, “The U.S. growth rate is greater than the sum of the growth of the next nine fastest growing countries combined and has covered most of the world’s net demand growth over the past two years… The U.S. position as the largest oil supplier in the world looks to be secure for many years.”
In 2013, total liquids that are produced by the U.S.–comprised of crude oil, condensate, biofuels, and natural gas liquids–are expected to average 12.1 million bpd, ahead of Saudi Arabia. Even though Saudi Arabia’s output grew last year, the growth in U.S. output was greater.