The U.S. Oil Boom: Partying Like It's 1998

More

The Energy Department is out with a new report on America's booming oil production, and it's something to behold. Thanks to new drilling in North Dakota, Texas and the Gulf of Mexico, the United States is now pumping oil more than 6 million barrels a day of crude, up roughly a tenth since the middle of last year, and the highest volume the country has managed since 1998. Not since Bill Clinton was busy fending off impeachment charges have we been able to extract oil at this pace. Here's the EIA's chart:

EIA_Oil_Production.png

The oil boom has been driven primarily by two factors: First, companies have taken advantage of new drilling techniques that let them tap unconventional crude resources, such as the shale deposits in Texas and North Dakota. Second, high global prices have made those extraction methods economical. Even with oil tumbling these days, most people believe that companies can still turn a profit drilling as long as it sells for at least $50 a barrel. Unless something drastic happens in the market, we should expect this growth to continue. 

For the sake of not sounding like a Pollyanna, though, here's something to always remember: we still import about 9 million barrels of oil a day. That's a hole we likely can't drill our way out of. 

Jump to comments
Presented by

Jordan Weissmann is a senior associate editor at The Atlantic.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

The Death of Film: After Hollywood Goes Digital, What Happens to Movies?

You'll never hear the whirring sound of a projector again.


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

The Death of Film

You'll never hear the whirring sound of a projector again.

Video

How to Hunt With Poison Darts

A Borneo hunter explains one of his tribe's oldest customs: the art of the blowpipe

Video

A Delightful, Pixar-Inspired Cartoon

An action figure and his reluctant sidekick trek across a kitchen in search of treasure.

Video

I Am an Undocumented Immigrant

"I look like a typical young American."

Video

Why Did I Study Physics?

Using hand-drawn cartoons to explain an academic passion

Writers

Up
Down

More in Business

Just In